The familiar saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” But for scientists, understanding those smaller parts is critical to scientific discovery. A method known as chromatography-mass spectrometry lets researchers analyze and study the composition of…
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis Course Affirms SU’s Status as Forensics Leader
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.
“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.”
James T. Spencer, executive director of FNSSI and an associate dean for the college, is proud of IABPA’s endorsement.
“It’s another reason FNSSI is in a class by itself,” he says. “In addition to being the only university on the East Coast to offer IABPA-approved curriculum, we are home to the nation’s only program focusing on the scientific interface between forensic and national security sciences.”
Krystyna Rotella ’10, a Madison County (N.Y.) deputy sheriff, recommends “Bloodstain Pattern Analysis” to anyone looking to get ahead in forensics or law enforcement. “We tested theories of blood patterns in real-life situations,” says Rotella, recalling her time in the course. “I gained a wealth of knowledge that I will use in law enforcement and, eventually, in criminal forensics. It was a blast.”
“Bloodstain Pattern Analysis” provides a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to the science of bloodstains. Much of the curriculum delves into the history, theory and scientific principles behind such analysis methods.
“We put considerable emphasis on experiments and practical application,” says Zannin, who also has an extensive medical background. “Students use bloodstains to reconstruct incidents, such as assaults and death investigations, and to evaluate statements from witnesses and crime participants.”
In addition to traditional students, “Bloodstain Pattern Analysis” is offered as an affordable non-credit option to mid-career professionals in forensic science, law, health or medicine.
“Our format places less burden on police departments and labs, all of which have strained budgets during this difficult time,” says Zannin. “With us, they don’t lose employees to days or weeks of training—something that, along with the cost of transportation, tuition, lodging and meals, can add up to thousands of dollars.”
Adds Spencer: “This course is a great way to strengthen our ties with the regional law enforcement and forensic science communities.”