Our faculty members have more than 50 years of professional forensic science experience, and they routinely publish in peer-reviewed publications and present original research at forensic science conferences. Our program director, Lawrence Quarino, Ph.D., is past chair of FEPAC, the leading accreditation agency in the field. Our department has as many faculty members who are certified by the American Board of Criminalistics as at any other higher education institution in the nation.
Professor/Director of Forensic Science Program
B.S., Saint Peter's College
M.S., John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Ph.D., Criminal Justice, Forensic Science Track, City University of New York
Trace Evidence and Microscopy
Legal, Ethical, and Administrative Issues in Forensic Science
Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Science; Director, Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board, Tri-Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Forensic Science Education, Member, Northeastern Association of Forensic ScientistsAwards: Lifetime Achievement Award, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, 2019; Mary Cowan Outstanding Service Award, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, 2010
Lawrence Quarino is a professor of forensic science and director of the forensic science program, a role he has served in since 2002. His professional experience includes 4 years as a forensic scientist with the New Jersey State Police and 11 years as a supervising forensic scientist with the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. In New York City, he supervised forensic scientists who analyzed physical evidence in over 1,000 sexual assault or homicide cases. He worked on the World Trade Center Identification Project as a molecular biology consultant and has provided expert courtroom testimony in more than 100 cases. He has authored or coauthored more than 30 publications in peer and editorial reviewed journals and has served as the Chair of the Criminalistics Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, President of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientist, and Chair of the Forensic Science Educational Programs Accreditation Commission. Additionally, he has served as a manuscript reviewer for nearly 20 different journals and currently serves as a tri-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Forensic Science Education. He also currently serves on the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board.
Lambert, C.M., Clark B., Schwartz T., Brettell T., Quarino L. Evaluation of the Evidentiary Value of Cable Ties, Journal of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners, In Press, 2020.
Rogers M., Lal-Paterson A., Kishbaugh J., Quarino L., Use of RGB Values in the Periodic Acid-Schiff Color Test to Determine the Presence of Vaginal Fluid, Science and Justice, In Press, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2020.06.004.
Thomas A. Brettell
Chairperson of Chemical and Physical Sciences
B.S. in Chemistry, Drew University
M.S. in Chemistry, Lehigh University
Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, Villanova University
Forensic Science Administration
Quality Assurance, Control & Management
Forensic Chemistry & Toxicology Laboratory
Memberships: American Chemical Society (ACS), American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS), American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD), Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE), Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS), New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists (NJAFS), Middle Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists (MAAFS), Eastern Analytical Symposium, Inc. (EAS), Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT).
Awards: AAFS Criminalistics Section Meritorious Service Award. Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley Award
Dr. Brettell is Chair of the Chemical & Physical Sciences Department of Cedar Crest College. He previously served for 31 years in the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, where, as Director, he oversaw the operation of the State's regional forensic laboratory system. Dr. Brettell has testified in municipal and superior courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and was the State of New Jersey’s lead expert on the scientific reliability of the breath testing instrument in two Frye hearings before the New Jersey State Supreme Court.
Dr. Brettell has been active in leadership positions in national and international forensic science professional organizations, most recently serving on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Seized Drug Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Committees (OSAC) to develop federal standards and guidelines to improve Forensic Science. He presently serves as Commissioner Academician on the Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission. He is a certified Diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics and a Fellow with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).
J. Anasti and T.A. Brettell, "Hydrophilic-Interaction Liquid Chromatography", Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, Eds. R.A. Meyers, John Wiley, Chichester. 2015.
K. Joy Karnas
Professor of Biology
B.S., College of William and Mary
M.S., College of William and Mary
Ph.D., University of Arizona
"Research in my lab focuses on the use of RNA to examine changes in gene expression in response to environmental stimuli. The tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, is the model organism for most of my research projects, but chicken embryos, tomato plants, and human tissues have also been used by my research students. In addition, projects that focus on RNA decay in deposited stains connect my RNA research to the field of forensic science."
K. Joy Karnas, Ph.D., continues her investigation of lipoprotein biosynthesis in the tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) through use of an S2 cell system and budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) secretory mutants. She has several research projects currently being conducted with Cedar Crest College students.
"My students inspire me. They are the reason that I am who I am, and the motivation for me to do what I do. If I didn’t have such incredible students who truly appreciate the effort that I put into my teaching, I don’t think I would feel as passionate about my teaching and scholarship. Nothing inspires me more than learning that one of my students has achieved more than they thought possible, and words cannot express how much I value letters from alumnae that praise the genetic engineering program and the courses they took at Cedar Crest College."
"In my first true teaching experience (beyond simply serving as a teaching assistant and running college biology labs), I discovered my talent for breaking complex concepts down into bite-sized bits that students could comprehend. I have a knack for developing analogies to help students visualize exactly what they are trying to learn. I describe biological concepts in simple, everyday terms, creating a parallel that is easier for novices to grasp. I love teaching the details of molecular genetics-introducing upper-level college students to the intricate world of gene expression-but also enjoy outreach activities that connect me with elementary school classrooms. I am passionate about student centered learning and incorporate classroom discussions, inquiry-based learning, and laboratory activities into my teaching as much as possible. Every time I step into a classroom, my connection with the students helps me rediscover why I love this job."
Instructor of Forensic Science
B.S. in Genetic Engineering, Cedar Crest College
M.S. in Forensic Science, Cedar Crest College
Forensic Molecular Biology
Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Member, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists
Two sexual assault-based research projects were published and then sited research investigated with funding through the Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice. (Lonsway, K. A., Archambault, J., O’Donnell, P., Ware, L. (2016). Role of DNA Evidence in Sexual Assault Investigations. Part 1: The ABC’s of DNA Evidence. End Violence Against Women International.)
Sween, K., Quarino, L., Kishbaugh, J., Detection of Male DNA in the Vaginal Cavity Following Digital Penetration Using Y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeats. J Forensic Nurs 2015; 11(1): 33-40.
Quarino, L and Kishbaugh, J., The utility of Y-STR profiling in four-, six-, and eight-day postcoital vaginal swabs. Med Sci Law 2012; 52: 81-88.
B.S., Biochemistry, University of Scranton
M.S., Biochemistry, University of Scranton
Crime Scene Reconstruction and Pattern Analysis (undergraduate)
Advanced Forensic Pattern Analysis (graduate)
Advanced Crime Scene Reconstruction (graduate)
Recent Advances in Forensic Biology (graduate)
Thesis Prospectus (graduate)
Research (undergraduate and graduate)
Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry, State University of New York at Binghamton
B.S. in Biochemistry, University of Scranton
Biochemistry I and II
Biochemistry Laboratory I and II
Survey of Organic Chemistry
Marianne Staretz, Ph.D., did her doctoral research on the mechanism of the colchicine-tubulin interaction in relation to cancer. A multi-disciplinary approach combining the techniques of organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and biochemistry was used. She went on to do postdoctoral research at the American Health Foundation, a non-profit research institution dedicated to disease prevention. Her research focused on the effects of isothiocyanates, dietary inhibitors of carcinogenesis, on the metabolism of and formation of DNA adducts by carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines and benzo(a)pyrene. Staretz has continued some of the cancer prevention research at Cedar Crest College by examining the cancer prevention mechanism of organoselenium agents. She has also expanded some of the toxicology experience gained at the American Health Foundation into the area of forensic toxicology and has several ongoing research projects in this area.
Member-American Chemical Society (ACS), Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists (NEAFS), and American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS)
"I don't think students realize as they are progressing through their years of college how valuable the experience actually is. The goal is not just to get that degree. You will actually use what you are learning here—so work hard to learn as much as you can. The greater the effort you put into it, the greater the rewards will be."
"I have always wanted to teach at a small liberal arts college where teaching is the focus of the college. Cedar Crest College certainly fits in that category. On my first visit to Cedar Crest, I became aware of a faculty dedicated to teaching and knew that I wanted to be a part of that faculty. I am surrounded by some very talented teachers and scholars and it is a privilege to be a part of that community. Being part of the family of women scientists, it is also a pleasure to be involved in the education of future women scientists and contribute to the growth of this family."