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Duquesne Forensic Students Deliver Presentations at National Conference

Three Duquesne University graduate students studying forensic science and law were among the presenters who discussed their work before more than 800 forensic scientists at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) annual scientific meeting in Denver recently.

This was the first time Duquesne students were chosen as presenters for the scientific sessions, said Dr. Fred Fochtman, director of the Forensic Science and Law Master's Program. "While other students presented in a specific student poster session, we were extremely proud that our three students were chosen to address the conference with podium presentations," Fochtman said.

Dr. Lisa Ludvico, assistant professor in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences; Ron Freeman, retired Pittsburgh police commander in the homicide division and instructor in the school; and Sarah Hochendoner, adjunct faculty member, were co-authors on various projects.

The fifth-year students and their presentations in the Academy's criminalistics section were:

  • Lyndsie Schantz, Lower Burrell, Comparison of Surfactants for the Transfer of Touch DNA
  • Philip Nase, Reading, Internal Ballistics: Temperature Analysis of a 9mm Firearm with Thermal Imaging Camera
  • Daniel Watsula, Bethlehem, Extraction, Quantification, and Analysis of DNA from Spent Shell Casings.

Schantz also presented Corresponding with ‘The Happy Face Killer’ - A Case Study to the general section of the academy. Co-authors on this paper were graduate students Cara Spencer of Greensburg and Natalie Sciulli of Crafton.

The AAFS national conference gathers professionals from a wide range of forensic specialties to present the most current information and research in the field.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.