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.
Director, Forensic Science/Professor
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
New Jersey State Police (1986-1990)
New York City Medical Examiner's Office (1990-2001)
K. Sween, L. Quarino, J. Kishbaugh, J., Detection of Male DNA in the Vaginal Cavity Following Digital Penetration Using Y-Chromosome Short Tandem Repeats, Journal of Forensic Nursing, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2015.
J. Bonetti, L. Quarino, Comparative Forensic Soil Analysis of New Jersey State Parks Using a Combination of Simple Techniques with Multivariate Statistics, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 59, No. 3, 2014.
M. Schmidt, and L. Quarino, A novel method for the detection of cocaine in hair using a freeze/thaw method and GC/MS analysis, Romanian Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2012.
C. Corby, C. Hauke, B. Gestring, L. Quarino, Analyzing the halo effect: factors involved in sequencing the deposition of overlapping bloodstains caused by blood smears and airborne droplet, Investigative Sciences Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2012.
J. Kishbaugh, L. Quarino, The utility of Y-STR profiling in 4, 6, and 8 day post-coital vaginal swabs, Medicine, Science, and the Law, Vol.52, No. 2, 2012.
C. Mulligan, S. Kaufman, L. Quarino, The Utility of Polyester and Cotton as Swabbing Substrates for the Removal of Cellular Material from Surfaces, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 56, No.2 , 2011.
N. Deitz, L. Quarino, Differentiation of Blue Gel Inks Using Adobe Photoshop, Journal of Forensic Identification, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2010.
M. Zellner, L. Quarino, Differentiation of Twenty-One Glitter Lip Glosses by Pryolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 54, No. 5, 2009.
Trace Evidence and Microscopy (undergraduate)
Professional Issues in Forensic Science (undergraduate)
Advanced Microscopy (graduate)
Legal and Ethical Issues in Forensic Science (graduate)
Recent Advances in Forensic Biology (graduate)
Lawrence Quarino, Ph.D., is an associate professor of forensic science and director of the forensic science program at Cedar Crest College 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 15 publications in peer and editorial reviewed journals and given nearly 50 presentations at professional conferences.
"Your role as a forensic scientist is to provide conclusions based on only your analysis of physical evidence taken from crime scenes: You do not allow passions or subjective beliefs effect your scientific ability. The importance of the forensic scientist in society cannot be overstated. Your scientific integrity can never be questioned."
"I teach at Cedar Crest College because of the terrific science facilities and instrumentation and the close interaction I have with my students. The small class sizes allow me to know my students personally, which helps with advising and teaching. The strong mentoring aspect of the College provides me the opportunity to develop the scientific skills of my students far beyond what the classroom or laboratory would allow."
B.S. in Chemistry, Miami University
M.S. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University
Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry, Seton Hall University
Jeanne Berk, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of chemistry at Cedar Crest. Her research as a graduate student was based on a new class of polymers called Dendrimers, which she synthesized and then studied their physical properties in solution. She moved to the Lehigh Valley after graduate school and worked as an adjunct instructor at local colleges and universities until finally settling into a position at Lehigh University. There, Berk acted as their first undergraduate laboratory manager, teaching and helping them redevelop their general chemistry laboratories into an inquiry based format. She left Lehigh and joined the Cedar Crest community in order to get back to teaching organic chemistry.
Berk is a member of the American Chemical Society, Alpha Chi Sigma (Professional Chemistry) and Sigma Xi.
“The environment. I first found Cedar Crest College as an adjunct teaching over the summer, but I found myself wanting to teach here more and more. So when the organic chemistry position finally opened I had to apply. Some of my closest friends graduated from Cedar Crest College, so I am honored to be here continuing their legacy and they are thrilled I could be part of their experience. The faculty and staff are inspiring and the students truly want to learn and be involved. What more could you ask for?”
“College is your chance to explore, so make the most of it. If you read a class description and it sounds fascinating, try taking it. Also check out the travel abroad opportunities. It can truly open your eyes. They will all be things you'll treasure from your college experience.”
“After getting my undergraduate degree I had planned on going out into the industrial market, but the job market was bad I decided to go on and get my Masters degree. I left Ohio and ended up in New Jersey, a whole new world. As a graduate student I worked as a teaching assistant (T. A.) in the organic labs and teaching recitations. Students kept telling me that I explained things clearly and their "Aha" moments were pure chemistry for me. I found that the idea of working in a lab became less and less appealing and that teaching was what I wanted. I never looked back, and continued on for my Ph. D. so I could teach.”
Thomas A. Brettell
B.S. in Chemistry, Drew University
M.S. in Chemistry, Lehigh University
Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, Villanova University
C.E. Meloan, R.E. James, T.A. Brettell, R. Saferstein. Lab Manual for Criminalistics. 11th Ed., Prentice Hall, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-13-345889-3J. Anasti and T. Brettell, "Hydrophilic-Interaction Liquid Chromatography", Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, Wiley, Inc. 2015.
J.L. Bonetti, M.E. Crowley, K.J. Johnson, M.R. Khalil, K.R. Sween, and T.A. Brettell, Forensic Science Administration and Ideals for Laboratory Management, Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal, Vol. 3, 2012. DOI: 10.1080/19409044.2012.716141
M.L. Dawes and T.A. Brettell, Analysis of goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis, L., and related alkaloids in urine using HPLC with UV detection, Journal of Chromatography B, Vol. 880, 2012. DOI:10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.11.026.
T.A. Brettell, J.M. Butler, and J.R. Almirall, Application Reviews - Forensic Science, Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 83, Number 12 2011. DOI: 10.1021/ac201075e.
M. R. Wood, T. A. Brettell, H. W. Thompson, and R.A. Lalancette, The Hydrated and the Anhydrous Gold(III) Tetrachloride Salts of l-Ecgonine: Important Forensic Toxicology Markers for Cocaine, Acta Crystallographica, Section C66, 2010.
L. A. Quarino and T.A.Brettell, Current Issues in Forensic Science Higher Education, Journal of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Vol, 394, Number 8, 2009. DOI 10.1007/s00216-009-2598-y.
Introduction to Forensic Science
Concepts in Chemistry Laboratory
Chemical Principles Laboratory
Crime Scene Reconstruction and Pattern Analysis Laboratory
Technical Information (WRII)
Instrumental Analysis (lecture & lab)
Forensic Science Research (undergraduate and graduate)
Thesis Prospectus (graduate)
Separations Chemistry (graduate)
Advanced Analytical Spectroscopy (graduate)
Forensic Chemistry (graduate)
The Application of Science and Technology to the Investigation of Crime, and more
Thomas A. Brettell, Ph.D., joined Cedar Crest College in the fall of 2006, where he has been teaching forensic chemistry and analytical chemistry courses in the department of chemical and physical sciences. He previously served as director of the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences, where he oversaw the operation of the State's regional forensic laboratory system. He had been employed by the New Jersey State Police Forensic Science Bureau since 1976. In addition to Cedar Crest, he had previously taught forensic science in the criminology and justice departments at The College of New Jersey and Rider University.
Dr. Brettell has served on the Governor's Advisory Council Against Sexual Violence and presently serves on the National Safety Council's Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs. He has testified more than 90 times in municipal and superior courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania including testimony for the New Jersey State Supreme Court.
Dr. Brettell was appointed to the NIST Seized-Drug Subcommittee of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) to develop federal standards and guidelines to improve Forensic Science.
AAFS Criminalistics Section Meritorious Service Award (2016)
Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley Award (1997)
Commendation from Colonel Justin J. Dintino, Superintendent, New Jersey State Police, Re: Suarez Investigation (1993)
American Board of Criminalistics (Diplomate)
American Academy of Forensic Sciences (Fellow)
Council of Forensic Science Educators (Past President)
Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley (Past President)
Eastern Analytical Symposium (Executive Board-Treasurer)
New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists (Treasurer)
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), Committee E-30
American Chemical Society
Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD)
Middle Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists
National Safety Council’s Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs
I try to stress to the students that they are responsible for their own education and self worth; that they must invest in themselves and assume responsibility for their personal growth. I emphasize to them that they are not going to learn everything they need to know for their future career in school. The students are here to get the solid educational foundation they can use as a spring board for a successful career. I approach this with the Cedar Crest mission in mind, to help them become leaders in whatever endeavor they choose in life.
I realized a long time ago there was a real need to educate students in the sciences who aspired to enter the forensic science field. I taught as an adjunct for several years while still working at the forensic laboratory. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and realized the impact that I could have on students by sharing my experience, and stressing the importance of a strong scientific education needed for personnel working in the field. Cedar Crest is the perfect setting for forensic science education because encouraging women to pursue science careers is an important part of a skilled, diverse workforce.
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."
B.S. in Genetic Engineering, Cedar Crest College
M.S. in Forensic Science, Cedar Crest College
L. Quarino, J. Kishbaugh, The utility of Y-STR profiling in 4, 6, and 8 day post-coital vaginal swabs, Medicine, Science, and the Law, Vol.52, No. 2, 2012.
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.
A faculty member with bachelor's and master's degrees from Cedar Crest College, Janine Kishbaugh has presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists on topics including forensic science education and Y Chromosome STRs. The teachers were schooled in forensic science labs and coursework to help them instruct high school students about the field of forensic science.
"Think about the future while you are in the present. While you are in the classroom is to study in order to learn the material and, most importantly, to understand the information. Do not just study to pass the next exam."
"My experience as a student at Cedar Crest was exceptional. I loved the tradition, the passion for excellence and the personal relationships I developed with my professors. For me, there was no better place to continue my career. Teaching in one of the best forensic science programs in the country is an honor and a privilege."
Thomas H. Pritchett
B.S. in Chemistry and Computer Science, Murray State University
M.S. in Chemistry, Murray State University
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory
Before joining Cedar Crest in 2003, Thomas Pritchett worked both as an analytical chemist and as an environmental chemist for 21 years. His work included running the GC/MS support laboratory at Murray State University, working in the Superfund program for the U.S. EPA, and working as an environmental consultant. During that time, he taught numerous short courses on subjects ranging from the use of field analytical instrumentation in soil gas investigations, to the use of optical remote sensing equipment for the determination of emission rates, to fence line monitoring at hazardous waste excavations. As of summer 2011, Thomas Pritchett has presented 25 papers at national or regional meetings of professional societies and has been a co-author on 51 additional papers at such conferences. Current research interests involve the application of emerging analytical techniques to the field of forensic science and determination of the uniqueness of partial fingerprints, and the probability of errors in a match of a partial print to a known full print.
Member - Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists
Professional Member - Delta Delta Epsilon international forensic science honor society
Member - American Association for the Advancement of Science
"You should never stop learning. A college education is less about learning new facts and more about building a foundation of knowledge and skills upon which one can continue their learning after graduation. After graduation life will periodically present you new challenges that will require you to teach yourself new knowledge and skills. Those who can meet those challenges will advance in their careers while those who cannot will stagnate. In the sciences, this is ultimately what will determine whether you will become a true scientist or just a mere technician."
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)
Chairperson of Chemical and Physical Sciences
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."
B.S., Lycoming College
Ph.D., Lehigh University
Inorganic Chemistry (with lab)
American Chemical Society, Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York, American Vacuum Society, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
Lindsey Welch completed her doctoral research in physical-inorganic chemistry in the area of surface science. By using ultra-high vacuum conditions (‹10-9 Torr), she studied the interactions of gas phase molecules on platinum and tin-platinum alloy surfaces. This fundamental surface chemistry determined the activation barriers for the desorption and reaction of nitrogen-containing cyclic molecules.