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Cedar Crest College to Host Annual Forensic Science Symposium 

Cedar Crest College to Host Annual Forensic Science Symposium  Image

Six Forensic Scientists to Showcase Field Insights 

Forensic science professionals and enthusiasts can explore the dynamic field’s most recent developments on March 23rd, 2024, as Cedar Crest College hosts the 22nd Annual Forensic Science Symposium. This full-day event, themed “Falcon Files,” will showcase six forensic scientists presenting unusual or intriguing cases in their field of interest, with topics ranging from drug chemistry to forensic nursing. Attendees will hear firsthand accounts of these cases, research insights, and learn innovative techniques from professionals in the field. 

The symposium boasts an impressive roster of speakers from a wide variety of fields, including Catherine Vulcano, RN, FNE-CSA, SANE A, LNC, Coordinator of the Union County Sexual Assault and Non-Fatal Strangulation Team; Holly Fox, B.S., Forensic Laboratory Analyst at Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office Forensic Investigative Division; and Mark Desire, Assistant Director with the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. 

Registration for the Forensic Science Symposium is open and required.  

About the Speakers 

Holly Fox, B.S. 
Forensic Laboratory Analyst, Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office Forensic Investigative Division 
Presentation: The ever-increasing drug smuggler: PAPER 

Holly Fox is a forensic laboratory analyst at the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office Forensic Laboratory, where she specializes in seized drugs. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science with an emphasis in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University. Previously, Holly worked at the Delaware State Police Crime Laboratory, focusing on blood and breath alcohol analysis. At Cumberland County, she primarily analyzes items from the PA Department of Corrections, with a focus on identifying novel psychoactive substances. Holly has presented her work at annual meetings of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS) and Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS). 

Catherine Vulcano, RN, FNE-CSA, SANE A, LNC 
Coordinator of the Union County Sexual Assault and Non-Fatal Strangulation Team 
Presentation: So what exactly is a Forensic Nurse? 

Catherine Vulcano oversees the sexual assault and non-fatal response teams for Union County. She began her career as a forensic nurse in 2004, focusing on sexual assault cases. Over time, she expanded the program to serve victims of all ages and assumed the role of coordinator in 2023. Catherine also initiated the non-fatal strangulation team in March 2023. 

Kimberly Michalik, B.S., MSFS 
DNA Laboratory Analyst, New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences 
Presentation: DNA Mixture via Transplantation: A Chimera Story   
 
Kimberly Michalik earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in Forensic Science from Cedar Crest College in 2007, followed by a Master of Science in Forensic Science in 2008. She worked as a Criminalist II for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner from 2008 to 2011 before joining the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences in November 2011, where she remains employed. In addition to her casework, Kim oversees the Summer Internship Program for the DNA Laboratory and assists the New Jersey State Police Cold Case Task Force in examining and testing evidence samples.  

Mark Desire 
Assistant Director with the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner 
Presentation: From the Ashes…Death as Our Mentor 

Mark Desire is an Assistant Director at the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, overseeing the Department of Forensic Biology, the city’s largest DNA crime lab. With 27 years of experience, he has investigated thousands of criminal and missing persons cases, managing the World Trade Center DNA Identification Team and aiding international efforts to locate missing individuals. Mark created New York City’s Missing Persons Day and serves on the Missing Migrant Identification Task Force. He is also a professor at Rutgers University’s Program in Criminal Justice and has been featured in numerous television programs and documentaries. 

Sandra Sewitsky, B.S. 
Forensic Analytical Chemist III at the Delaware Division of Forensic Science 
Presentation: Quickly Tackling Unusual/Large Volume Cases at Delaware Division of Forensic Science 

Sandra Sewitsky is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where she earned an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. She’s currently employed as a Forensic Analytical Chemist III at the State of Delaware Division of Forensic Science and has previously held positions at the State of Delaware Public Health Lab and QPS, LLC. 

Brandi Skymba, B.S., MSFS 
Analytical Chemist Specialist in the Toxicology Lab at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office 
Presentation: It’s not always “Fentanyl” in Philadelphia   

Brandi Skymba Steigerwalt is an Analytical Chemist Specialist in the Toxicology lab at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry with a concentration in Forensic Science and a Master’s Degree in Forensic Science from Cedar Crest College. With 12 years of experience at the MEO, Brandi helps provide toxicology results to forensic pathologists, specializing in gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. She presented her Master’s research at AAFS in 2012. 

For questions, please contact Janine Kishbaugh at 610-606-4666, ext. 3643 or by email at