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FNSSI Adjunct Professor Brian Ehret Presents at IAC&ME Meeting

July 23, 2017

Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute Adjunct Professor Brian Ehret presented at the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IAC&ME) annual meeting in Las Vegas from 07/23-27/17. The International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners has over 80 years of experience in the presentation of educational seminars for the purpose of assisting Coroners and Medical Examiners in the performance of their duties. This commitment is enshrined in the Association’s mission statement, “The International Association of Coroners & Medical Examiners is committed to advancing the accurate determination of the cause and the manner of death through the utilization of science, medicine and the law.

Picture (L-R)

Professor Brian Ehret, F-ABMDI
Secretary - American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)

John Fudenberg, D-ABMDI
Clark County Coroner - Las Vegas, Nevada
Past President - IAC&ME

David Mills, F-ABMDI
Chief Forensic Investigator - Clark County Coroner/Medical Examiner's Office, Las Vegas, Nevada
Past President - ABMDI

Brian Elias, F-ABMDI
Chief Forensic Investigator, Los Angeles County Coroner/Medical Examiner's Office, Los Angeles, CA
Board of Directors - ABMDI

FNSSI Student Presents at Forensic Science Event in Latin America

Filipe Augusto Da Luz Lemos

Filipe Augusto Da Luz Lemos

June 14, 2017
The Interforensics was the largest integrated Forensic Sciences event in Latin America. Filipe Augusto Da Luz Lemos had the opportunity to represent the Forensic Science Department by Presenting two posters: "Usage of "self-destructing" photo and video sharing social media apps for drug trafficking on North American College Campuses" and "LatEdu – Latent Print Examination Evaluation Software". He also had the opportunity to talk with representatives of the Brazilian Federal Police and the United Nations about possible research partnership between them and the Syracuse University.

New Study Explores Link Between Fingerprinting, Snowy Conditions

Sam McCook M.S. '15

Sam McCook M.S. '15

May 3, 2017

Syracuse’s all too familiar snowy winters are no match for the staying power of fingerprints, recent research shows. While quality declined over time, fingerprints placed on soda cans and then exposed to snow for multiple weeks could still be processed by forensic methods. The results suggest that non-porous items found at crime scenes can yield forensic clues, even if they’ve been exposed to inclement weather.

“A review of the literature showed that little to no research had been done on this topic. Given that Syracuse gets plenty of snow, I thought this would be a new and interesting avenue to investigate,” says Sam McCook M.S. ’15, a former Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) student and the study’s lead author.

Read the fully story at AS News.

Pictures from the Undergraduate Capstone Poster Session (Gallery)

May 2, 2017

Take a look at some pictures taken from the FNSSI Undergraduate Capstone Poster Session

Undergrad Capstone One

Undergrad Capstone Two

Undergrad Capstone Three

Undergrad Capstone Four

Marciano and Adelman featured in News Article

Mike Marciano (left) and Jonathan Adelman (right)

Mike Marciano (left) and Jonathan Adelman (right)

April 20, 2017

Check out Professors Marciano and Adelman in this article about their exciting DNA research!

Michael Marciano Presents "Is Forensic Science Infallible?"

Michael Marciano

Michael Marciano

April 13, 2017
Michael Marciano, a research assistant professor and lead of the bioforensics laboratory at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, presented "Is Forensic Science Infallible? The DNA Paradigm and the Evolution of Forensic Science", as part of the Technology Alliance of Central New York’s 2016-2017 Sweet Science Series on Thursday, April 13th. Thank you to all that came out to hear Professor Marciano's lecture.

FNSSI Graduate Travelled to Italy to Present Research

Victoria Williamson

Victoria Williamson

November 17, 2016
FNSSI Graduate and Adjunct Professor Victoria Williamson travelled to Bologna, Italy to present research on new methods of processing sexual assault evidence using the DEPArray (Williamson and Marciano).

Forensic Science Camp for Syracuse City Students Held Aug. 3-7

Participants in the NSBE Jr. Program

Participants in the NSBE Jr. Program

August 10, 2015

From Aug. 3-7, 45 students from the Syracuse City School District in grades 7-12, lived on the Syracuse University campus and participated in an academic schedule as rigorous as most college students’. They were part of the NSBE Jr. program, hosted by the Upstate Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. The National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) Jr. program is for pre-college students, designed to stimulate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The goal is to encourage students to attend college and pursue technical degrees.

Tamara Hamilton is director of the Upstate Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ULSAMP) at Syracuse University, which supports students pursuing undergraduate degrees in STEM disciplines. She says that Syracuse University has sponsored a collegiate chapter of NSBE since 2000, and the NSBE Jr. chapter has operated its camp on the Syracuse University campus for six years.

Gwen Raeford, NSBE camp coordinator and co-adviser of NSBE Jr., explains that this year’s camp theme is forensic science. “The students are solving a crime,” she says. “Teams work through eight stations, including blood splatter analysis, fingerprint analysis, handwriting analysis and more. At the end of the week, the teams compare data to solve the crime based upon their findings.”

Instructional time each day is also dedicated to mathematics, science concepts and English language arts. Hamilton says this is because NSBE Jr. seeks to prepare its students for college admissions and the PSAT, SAT and ACT. Additionally, students participated in hands-on activities like LEGO robotics, scavenger hunts and arts activities in the evenings.

Syracuse City students who participate in the NSBE Jr. program are committed to more than just the five-day camp at Syracuse. NSBE Jr. is a year-long commitment that includes regular workshops and the completion of a final project that will be presented in competition at the NSBE national convention in the spring.

The NSBE Jr. camp is sponsored by ULSAMP, Syracuse University, the Syracuse City School District and National Grid.

Read the original story at SU News.

University to Host ‘Current Trends and New Horizons in Forensic and National Security’ Sciences

John Katko

John Katko

April 27, 2015

The Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI), the Maxwell School and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) are teaming up to present “Current Trends and New Horizons in Forensic and National Security Sciences: Opportunities and Challenges” on Monday, April 27, and Thursday, May 7.  The events will foster a dialog between national and local forensic and national security leaders with the Syracuse University community.

The two-day event is part of a Distinguished Lecture Series supported by ORAU and will focus on the relationship that exists between effective forensic science and the scientific needs of national security interests. Organizers say the continually evolving landscape of both science and technology, as well as newly emerging natural and man-made threats have provided unique opportunities and difficult challenges in forensic science and national security.

Free and open to the public, the event will kick off with a keynote lecture by Congressman John Katko, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last November and serves as the chair of the Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee. Congressman Katko will deliver his remarks on April 27 from 11 a.m. to noon in 220 Eggers Hall.

On Thursday, May 7, the event will continue at at 9:30 a.m. in 220 Eggers Hall with a lecture and panel discussions featuring an array of experts from both the forensic and national security sciences fields. The diverse backgrounds of the panelists provide a unique perspective at many levels related to matters involving forensic science and national security, including intelligence, defense, the judicial system, health and criminal justice policy, and disaster preparedness and response.  The May 7 sessions will focus on new opportunities and potential directions of efforts to strengthen forensic and national security sciences to successfully combat threats—both domestically and globally—as well as opportunities, challenges and efforts to strengthen forensic and national security sciences in dealing with existing and emerging threats.

For more information, visit SU News.

Professor Has ‘Final Word’ on Forensic Linguistics

Tej Bhatia works with a student

Tej Bhatia works with a student

September 17, 2014

Tej Bhatia is not exactly the cloak-and-dagger type, but, if pressed to explain himself, the affable, slightly built professor, with a mop of brown hair and thick mustache, is proof that appearances are deceiving.

Which is probably a good thing, considering his line of work.

A linguistics professor in Syracuse University’s Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (LLL), Bhatia has held a myriad of positions on campus. In the College of Arts and Sciences, he oversees the South Asian Languages Program and has directed both the linguistic studies and cognitive science programs.

But it’s Bhatia’s up-to-the-minute work as a fellow in the college’s Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI), where he conducts research and mentors graduate students, that has brought him recent acclaim.

“Tej’s work is certainly groundbreaking and brings together several key disciplines, including psychology, linguistics and pattern recognition,” says James T. Spencer, Meredith Professor of Chemistry and executive director of FNSSI. “He’s setting high standards of excellence that are opening up new multidisciplinary dimensions of the field.”

To be sure, Bhatia’s work in FNSSI marks the culmination of years of study in practically all branches of linguistics. This has led to his publication of 16 books and dozens of articles and book chapters, many of which focus on South Asian linguistics. Last year, the American Library Association named “The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), which Bhatia co-edited with LLL professor William C. Ritchie, a “CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.”

Read the full article at SU News.

Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute to Dedicate New Laboratory Suite Nov. 8

November 5, 2013

In response to the growing international threat of bioterrorism, the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) in The College of Arts and Sciences has established a state-of-the-art laboratory suite. A dedication ceremony for the facility will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, from 1-2:15 p.m. in SU’s Lyman Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The ceremony will include remarks by SU Interim Chancellor and Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina; George Langford, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences; James T. Spencer, associate dean of the college and executive director of FNSSI; David Knaebel, FNSSI Professor of Practice; and forensic science graduate student Stephanie Gladyck. Rounding out the program are guided tours of the suite, student poster presentations and a reception.

“The collective investments of the college and SU in forensics and national security sciences and in this suite, in particular, reflect our profound commitment to leveraging and building on our strengths across disciplines to create signature research opportunities and educational environments,” says Spina. “The FNSSI Laboratory Suite is a place where first-rate scholars, students and professionals from across a range of fields can collaborate to do great science and pursue novel solutions to complex, contemporary problems.”

Read the full article at SU News.

The Forensic Main Office Gets a Makeover (Gallery)

Take a look at the new forensic office!

Forensic Main Office 1  Forensic Main Office Two  Forensic Main Office Three


Forensic Main Office Four

Syracuse Launches Certificate Program in Forensic Firearms Analysis

The new certificate program is offered by the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute.

The new certificate program is offered by the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute.

Forensic firearms analysis is the subject of a new graduate certificate program offered by the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI) in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The Certificate of Advanced Study in Firearm and Tool Mark Examination is a 12-credit program that targets current and future examiners preparing for certification from the Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE). The program is offered in response to the national and regional demand for qualified examiners from the agencies that hire them.

“Even after an examiner is hired, he or she must undergo at least two more years of training before being able to work independently,” says James T. Spencer, FNSSI executive director and Meredith Professor of Chemistry. “This training comes at great expense to the hiring agency, which is usually small and unable to train multiple candidates at once. Our goal is to provide this training, in a compact and concise manner, for examiners at the federal, state and local levels.”

Learn more at SU News.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Course Affirms SU’s Status as Forensics Leader

Anita Zannin

Anita Zannin

A course in bloodstain pattern analysis, offered by The College of Arts and Sciences, has been recently approved by the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA). SU is one of only two institutions in the country—the other is Baylor University in Texas—to offer a course sanctioned by IABPA, which is responsible for promoting the education of all involved with bloodstain pattern analysis.

SU’s course, “Bloodstain Pattern Analysis” (FSC 463/663), is taught by Anita Zannin G’11 in the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI).

“Successful completion of this course fulfills the minimum guidelines and criteria for provisional membership in the IABPA,” says Zannin, a consultant for the Syracuse-based AZ Forensic Associates. “Membership in professional organizations is critical for anyone wishing to enter or get ahead in forensic science or one of its many allied fields. There are many networking, educational and courtroom benefits.”

Read more at SU News.