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MIDWESTERN ASSOCIATION OF FORENSIC SCIENTISTS

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Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists  2021 Annual Meeting


Dates: October 31 – November 5, 2021

Hosted by the DuPage County Forensic Science Center

Co-Chairs:
Jillian Baker & Claire Dragovich
(MAFS2021Chicago@gmail.com)

Local Workshop Coordinator
Jennifer Berg (Jennifer.Berg@dupagesheriff.org)


Meeting Registration Fees*


Member

Non-Member

Student/

Emeritus

Through

October 11, 2021

$240

$300

$125

After

October 11 ,2021

$265

$325

$150

The Meeting Registration Fees include attendance and meals at the following events held Thursday, November 4 and Friday, November 5, 2021: Wine and Cheese Reception, plenary session, business meetings, scientific presentations, and Gala.

*These fees do not include workshops.


Workshop Registration Fees


Member

Non-member

Half-Day Workshops

$125

$150

Full-Day Workshops

$250

$300

Workshops are held Monday, November 1 – Wednesday, November 3.

Registration for a full-day or two half-day workshops on the same day includes lunch.

 

Exhibitor and Sponsor Information

Exhibitor and Sponsor Information and Packets will be posted shortly.


 
Meeting Location and Accommodations


The DoubleTree by Hilton Chicago – Oak Brook

1909 Spring Road, Oak Brook, Illinois


 Room Rate:

$95/night + tax (current total tax rate is 9% and subject to change) 

Rate guaranteed until Friday, October 8, 2021 or until the hotel block is full, whichever comes first.  The room rate is extended 3 days prior and 3 days after the meeting dates, based on availability.

 

 Reservations:

Call the hotel at (866) 812-3959 and mention you are with the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists. 

 Parking:

Complimentary parking for all guests is available on-site in an attached, covered garage.


Transportation

 

Commercial Air Travel

https://www.flychicago.com


O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

18.5 miles to hotel (24 minutes, without traffic)

Commercial flights from American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Southwest & United

 

Midway International Airport (MDW)

15 miles to hotel (24 minutes, without traffic)

Commercial flights from Allegiant, Delta & Southwest

 

 

Ground Transportation To/From Airports

https://www.flychicago.com/ohare/tofrom/

https://www.flychicago.com/midway/tofrom/

 

Available shuttle, taxi, and rental car services available at the websites above.

 

Check the airport’s website prior to arrival for current transportation conditions as some services may be closed or suspended.

 

American Taxi 

Offers taxi service to/from suburbs, including Oak Brook.  To make reservations visit www.americantaxi.com.

Current flat rates:

Oak Brook to O’Hare:      $30

Oak Brook to Midway:    $36

Oak Brook to Loop*:        $46

Oak Brook to Loop*:       $45

*Loop refers to Downtown Chicago

 

Regional Transportation

 

Metra Train

Offers commuter train service throughout the Chicagoland area.

Can purchase Metra tickets on Ventra App or with cash onboard.

 

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 

Offers both train and bus service throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

Can purchase with cash or credit.  

 

Pace Bus

Offers suburban bus service.  Visit https://www.pacebus.com/ for rates, routes and schedules.


 

Meeting Schedule


Sunday Oct. 31

Monday Nov. 1

Tuesday Nov. 2

Wednesday

Nov. 3

Thursday Nov. 4

Friday

Nov. 5

Morning

MAFS

Board Meeting

Workshops

Workshops

Workshops

Plenary Session

Breakout Sessions






MAFS

Business Meeting Luncheon







Posters


Afternoon

MAFS

Board Meeting

Workshops

Workshops

Workshops

Breakout Sessions

Safe Travels!

Evening

ABC Exam

Events and Tours

Events and Tours

Student Forum

GALA






Wine and

Cheese Reception






Posters








 

Workshops: Abstracts for the fall workshops are included in the following pages.  Attendance at workshops requires extra fees in addition to the meeting registration. The spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with members receiving priority. Check the meeting page on the MAFS website for the most up-to-date information!

 

Events and Tours: Check the meeting page on the MAFS website for updates on organized evening activities.

 

ABC Exam: The ABC Examination will be offered on Sunday evening. More Information about the exam as well as application information will be made available on ABC’s website: www.criminalistics.com


Student Forum: Hear from a panel of Forensic Scientists from different disciplines about what it is like to work in the field and have your questions answered.

 

Wine and Cheese Reception: Open to all registered meeting attendees, this reception is an opportunity to network with attendees and exhibitors while enjoying food and drinks.

 

Poster Presentations: Posters presenting various research topics will be on display Wednesday evening through Thursday. Check the “Call for Presentations and Posters” in the following pages for information on presenting a poster.

 

Plenary Session: Open to all registered meeting attendees, the Plenary Session formally commences the 50th annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists.  Listen to professionals in Forensic Science speak about topics in our field.  See the following pages for details regarding this year’s session.

 

MAFS Business Meeting Luncheon: Registered meeting attendees enjoy lunch in the Grand Ballroom as the MAFS Board reviews important business information.  Be sure to attend to provide comments and vote on any applicable motions.  Must be a MAFS member to vote.

 

Events and Tours: See the following pages for information regarding tentative events and tours.

 

Breakout Sessions: Forensic scientists present interesting cases, research and more during Thursday afternoon and Friday morning sessions. Sessions are divided by discipline. Check the following pages for information on presenting during the breakout sessions.

 

Gala Event: Open to all registered meeting attendees, the gala is a night of food, drink, and fun for all to enjoy. This year’s event is a black-tie optional masquerade ball to celebrate our 50th Anniversary.  Your masquerade mask can be as simple or as decorative as you like.  The person wearing the most creative mask wins a prize!


 

Plenary Session

“Midwestern Forensic Science Went from Opacity to Transparency in Just 50 Years”

 

Presenters: Richard Bisbing, Susan Gross and Mark Stolorow

 

 Fifty years ago, a small number of forensic scientists in the Midwest uncovered their laboratory windows, opened their laboratory doors and opened their minds to allow light to pass through the opaque exteriors of their labs. For the thirty-some years previous, most of those who labored at the bench kept to themselves; their laboratory activities were hidden from other laboratories, from stakeholders and from the public. Although personal integrity and a dedication to science held Midwest forensic sciences together, there were a lot of questions: who was doing what and why; were we doing it right; could we do it better? 

 

Due to the foresight of a few of our colleagues, soon joined by many more who shared their realization that there was a need for conversation and sharing, the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) was born. With the first meetings, there began a translucency, where the light was still scattered, but small groups sat at panels, met around a table, gathered for hospitality and shared techniques, experiences, opinions and questions. Although the view of forensic laboratories from within and from without was not yet perfectly clear, our colleagues tore down walls, built bridges and talked to each other. 

 

As the membership grew and MAFS connected with other regional and national organizations, a translucency evolved into true transparency, with more openness, communication, and accountability. Technical presentations increased in number and quality requiring concurrent sessions, specialized workshops shared more practical aspects, scientific working groups formed to begin discussions about standards of practice, and organizations published guidelines. We learned to listen to others offering new technologies, providing fundamental research and technique validations, while stakeholders demanded more transparency and warned of potential biases. 

 

As we take off our masks one more time and start another conversation with our colleagues, after some introduction, we’ll discuss MAFS’ more recent history. We’ll discuss how we experienced the C.S.I. Effect, realized that there is actual innocence when DNA sometimes disputed erroneous opinions, and read the NAS Report proclaiming some shortcomings. A witness will describe the structural changes that occurred and what has been the reaction in the labs; how has transparency affected laboratory operations, attitudes and analyst behavior? A colleague who immersed himself in the great DNA transformation, through the development of polymorphic enzyme and protein analysis, starch wars, unfolding of DNA evidence, OJ, and who then invented OSAC, will explain what it all means, and what he sees for the future of MAFS and forensic scientists. 

 

 

 

Biographies

Richard E. Bisbing

Mr. Bisbing was a Charter Member and the 3rd President of MAFS. He retired from the Michigan State Police as a Unit Supervisor, from McCrone Associates as the Executive Vice President, and from the Field Museum of Natural History as a volunteer Chemical Microscopist. A native of Flint, Michigan, he studied Chemistry at Albion College and Forensic Science with Ralph F. Turner at Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1968. 

 

For 44 years, he practiced forensic science at the Michigan State Police and McCrone Associates laboratories. In Michigan, his duties included crime scene investigation, serology, footwear identification, and microscopical comparison of trace evidence. At the Bridgeport Laboratory, he directed the scientific work of the trace evidence unit for 9 years.

 

For 14 years, he managed the technical and operations forces at McCrone Associates including:  laboratory and analytical services, information technology, instrument sales, and the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. He administered: industrial, governmental and forensic projects; government research and service contracts; quality and safety programs; college academic, student and business affairs; and consulted on a variety of projects in analytical light microscopy and the forensic sciences.

 

He is a Retired Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences where he was Criminalistics Section Program Chairman, Secretary, and Chairman (1996-1998) and served on the Journal of Forensic Sciences’ Editorial Board (2004-2019); a Life Member of the State Microscopical Society of Illinois; and for 50 years a member of MAFS: Program Chairman 1973 and 1981, Training Committee Chairman 1973-1974, President 1974-1975, Certification Peer Group Chairman (trace evidence) 1979-1980, Program Study Committee Chairman 1981-1982, Training and Education Committee Chairman 1986, Meeting Chairman 1987, Ethics Committee 2004. He received MAFS’ Distinguished Service award in 1986. 

 

He authored chapters on trace evidence in: Forensic Science Handbook (1982); Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences, (2000); Mute Witnesses: Trace Evidence Analysis (2001); Spitz and Fisher’s Medicolegal Investigation of Death, 4th ed. (2006); The Forensic Laboratory Handbook (2006); Forensic Chemistry: Fundamentals and Applications (2016); and Forensic Science Handbook, 3rd ed. (2020). 

 

He served on the Scientific Working Group for Materials Analysis (SWGMAT) and the Scientific Working Group for Geological Materials (SWGGEO). He was invited to speak about forensic hair comparisons to The National Academies Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Sciences Community (2007).

 

Susan Gross

Ms. Gross has been a forensic scientist for over 26 years. Currently she is a Forensic Chemist at the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives. She works in the trace evidence section and performs examinations on fibers, paint and polymers, tape, fabric damage, fabric impressions, building materials, hair, wood, soil, general unknowns, footwear and tiretracks. 

 

Prior to joining the ATF, Susan was at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Forensic Science Services Laboratory in St. Paul, Minnesota for 23 years where she was a supervisor for 15 years, the technical leader of trace for 10 years and on the Crime Scene Team for 10 years all the while continuing to analyze trace cases.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Psychology from St. Cloud State University and a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from Florida International University. 

 

Susan is a current Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a member of the International Association of Identification, a member of the Forensic Science Society, a charter member of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners, and a member of American Society of Crime Lab Directors. She is certified by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) in Hairs and Fibers, Paints and Polymers and General Criminalistics.  In addition, she is a Certified Technical Assessor for ANAB. 

 

Susan has been a member of the Organization of Scientific Committees (OSAC) Materials (Trace) Subcommittee since the onset and was the Chair of the Materials (Trace) Subcommittee for the first 3 years.   She continued on as a member of the Materials Subcommittee and is the chair for the Physical Fit Task Group. Prior to OSAC, Susan was a member of the Scientific Working Group for Materials (SWGMAT). 

 

Susan has been a member of MAFS since 1998, was on the Board of Directors of MAFS for 15 years including Newsletter Editor for 9 years and President in 2015 – 2016. Susan was the recipient of the MAFS New Scientist Award in 1999 and the MAFS Outstanding Scientist Award in 2010.

 

Mark Stolorow

Mr. Stolorow retired in 2019 from his position at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce in Gaithersburg, Maryland as the Deputy Director of the Office of Special Programs (OSP).  He was also the Director for OSAC Affairs (Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science) and the NIST Ex-Officio member of the OSAC Forensic Science Standards Board from 2014-2019.  The mission of OSAC is to produce consensus documentary standards and guidelines to improve quality and consistency of work in the forensic science community.  Mr. Stolorow currently serves the NIST Special Programs Office as a contractor responsible for facilitating the OSAC Standards Implementation Plan.  In his role as a contractor, he serves as an OSAC ambassador assisting forensic science service providers with the process of implementing standards listed on the OSAC Registry of Standards.

 

Mr. Stolorow has significant forensic laboratory and courtroom experience, having served as a forensic serologist with the Michigan State Police Bureau of Scientific Services from 1971-1979; as the training coordinator for the statewide forensic serology program and as the research program administrator for the Illinois State Police Bureau of Forensic Science from 1979-1989; and served as the Executive Director of Orchid Cellmark, a forensic DNA testing laboratory from 1998-2008.  Mr. Stolorow led teams that performed DNA analysis for high-profile cases such as the 1995 criminal investigation of O.J. Simpson, the 1996 murder case of JonBenet Ramsey, and the 1998 Unabomber case of Theodore Kaczynski.  Mr. Stolorow is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the recipient of the 2014 Criminalistics Section Mary E. Cowan Outstanding Service Award.  He is also a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (since 1972). Mr. Stolorow received the 2005 Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Distinguished Service Award.  He served as co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Forensic Science from 2009 through 2012.  Mr. Stolorow received a B.S. from the University of Michigan, an M.S. in Forensic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, and an M.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.

 

 

 

Second Presentation to be announced!

 


 

Things To Do in Chicago & Suburbs

 

Chicago

Popular Attractions

  • 360 Chicago Skydeck
  • Adler Planetarium
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Buckingham Fountain
  • Chicago Riverwalk
  • Field Museum
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Magnificent Mile- Shopping
  • Millennium Park
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Navy Pier
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • The Bean
  • Various tours available
  • Cruises on the river and lake available

Professional Sports Venues

  • Guaranteed Rate Field- Home of the Southsiders, Chicago White Sox Baseball
  • SeatGeek Stadium- Home of Chicago Red Stars Soccer
  • Soldier Field- Home of Chicago Bears Football and Chicago Fire FC Soccer
  • United Center- Home of Chicago Blackhawks Hockey and Chicago Bulls Basketball
  • Wintrust Arena- Home of Chicago Sky Basketball
  • Wrigley Field- Home of the Northsiders, Chicago Cubs Baseball

 

Oak Brook & Suburbs

  • AMC Movie Theater
  • Axe throwing- Axeplosion Axe Throwing Lounge or Master Axe Throwing
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Cantigny Park
  • Drury Lane Theater
  • Escape the Room Chicago/Oak Brook
  • Morton Arboretum
  • Oakbrook Center Shopping Mall
  • Pinstripes
  • Sandbox Virtual Reality
  • Yorktown Center Shopping Mall

SELECTED RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO & SUBURBS

 

Chicago (Near Navy Pier)

·         Billy Goat Tavern (Navy Pier)

·         Billy Goat Tavern (The Original)

·         Brown Bag Seafood Co.

·         Carson’s Ribs Prime Steaks & Famous Barbeque Chicago

·         D4 Irish Pub & Cafe

·         Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier 

·         Gino’s East Pizza

·         Giordano’s Pizza 

·         Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

·         Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab 

·         Labriola Chicago

·         Margaritaville 

·         Mariposa

·         Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge

·         Offshore Rooftop & Bar

·         Pinched on the River

·         Quartino Ristorante

·         The Capital Grille

·         The Purple Pig Restaurant

·         Riva Restaurant

·         Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company 

·         Shaw’s Crab House

·         Woodwind

 

Oak Brook & Suburbs

·         Antico Posto

·         Bar Louie- Oakbrook Terrace

·         Cajun Boil & Bar- Oakbrook Terrace

·         Devon Seafood & Steak

·         Ditka’s Restaurant Oakbrook Terrace

·         Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse

·         Giordano’s Pizza

·         J. Alexander’s

·         Maggiano’s Little Italy

·         Michael Jordan’s

·         Mon Ami Gabi

·         Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille

·         Roka Akor- Oak Brook

·         Seasons 52

·         The Clubhouse Oakbrook

·         The Cheesecake Factory

·         True Food Kitchen

·         Wildfire

Tentative Organized Tours and Events

Check the MAFS website for updates on events,

 

 

Monday 11/01: 

Bus to Navy Pier in Chicago



 Tuesday 11/02:
 

Coordinated Group Outing(s)

Possible Activities: Axe Throwing,

Escape Room, Bowling, Local Brewery Stops



Wednesday 11/03: 

Trivia Night                           







 

Call for Presentations & Posters

2021 MAFS Annual Meeting

Deadline October 1st!

October 31 – November 5, 2021 Oak Brook, Illinois

Section: (choose one only)

      Biology

  Toxicology

      Crime Scene

  Trace Evidence

      Drug Chemistry

  Questioned Documents

      General

  Other   _________

      Latent Prints


 Presentation Type:

·         Oral (indicate time needed):         ___

·         Poster

 Presenter Information:

Name:             ________________________________________________

Professional/Academic Affiliation:                  ________________________

Address:                      __________________________________________

Telephone:      _______________Email:                    __________________

 Audio/Visual Requirements:              ______________________________

 

Attach document containing the title, names of all authors, and complete abstract.

 

Email/Mail form and document to:

Jillian Baker

DuPage County Forensic Science Center

501 N. County Farm Road

Wheaton, IL 60187

(630) 407-2103

MAFS2021Chicago@gmail.com


Presenters planning to attend presentations and events outside of their own presentation are required to register for the Fall Meeting and pay the registration fee.

Section Coordinator Approval: _____________________________________________________


Workshop Schedule

 

Monday, November 1st

Tuesday, November 2nd

Wednesday, November 3rd

 

AM

PM

AM

PM

AM

PM

Biology

Tentative Topic: Statistics

Next Generation Sequencing in Forensic Lab Setting

Preparation for Admissibility Hearings for Probabilistic Genotyping

What’s That Stain? Serology and Body Fluid Identification

Crime Scene

Measurement Uncertainty and CSI

 

Documentation of Bloodstains on Clothing

Identification and Collection of QD Evidence at Crime Scenes

(crossover w QD)

 

Advanced Presumptive Testing and Testimony for Crime Scene Investigators

 

Drugs

Analytical Method Validation and Verification

Separations/Extractions/Clean-up for Difficult Matrices

Organization and Maintenance of Drug Standards

Quality in Forensic Chemistry

Trace Evidence

Hair and Ancestry: a review of hair features and classification systems

Approaches to Qualitative Conclusions and Report Writing for Trace Analysts

The Detection and Identification of Poisons, Adulterants, and General Unknowns

When the Dust Settles: Explosive Residue Collection, Analysis, and Determinations

General

Tentative Topic: Public Speaking for Forensic Managers

Creating a Dynamic Presentation

Leadership Symposium for the Bench Level Chemist

Leadership Symposium for the Advanced Scientist/Leader

An Introduction to Yoga for First Responders

Tentative Topic: Diversity Workshop

QD

Examining Documents Requiring a Multi-Faceted Approach

Identification and Collection of QD Evidence at Crime Scenes

(crossover w Crime Scene)

Tentative Topic: Accreditation Considerations at FDE Lab

Tentative Topic: Standards Development

Latent Print

Currently Unscheduled

Tentative Topic: Reducing Erroneous Exclusions

Tentative Topic: Resolving Technical Disputes

Palm Print Training

Toxicology

Currently Unscheduled

Pharmacological & Toxicological Assessment of Kratom: Myths, Effects, and Risks

Tentative Topic: E-Cigarette/Vaping Product Use- Associated Lung Injury

Tentative Topic: LC/MS Validation

Tentative Topic: Legalization of Marijuana Debate


Tentative Workshops

BIOLOGY

Next Generation Sequencing in the Laboratory Setting

Instructors: Mellissa Helligso; Jesse Cox, PhD; Danny Hellwig

Tuesday, November 2nd —Full day

Abstract: Next-generation sequencing, also known as massively parallel sequencing, has revolutionized the ability for molecular diagnostics laboratories to sequence genomic material of interest for a variety of clinical purposes, including in the fields of oncology, pharmacogenomics and genetic medicine, among others. This technology is poised to have a similar, significant impact on the field of molecular forensics and the laboratory’s ability to discern physical characteristics and ethnicity data from sources of unknown genetic material. In this workshop, we will 1) describe the workings of the major next-generation sequencing platforms, IonTorrent and Illumina, 2) discuss how this technology is used to identify unique single nucleotide polymorphisms and INDEL changes from a particular individual, 3) review the bioinformatic pipelines necessary for variant calling and assignment of significance to particular changes seen, 4 )discuss the challenges and opportunities NGS affords in implementation, processing, and interpretation. We will also discuss our approach to validating next-generation sequencing testing for the application of identifying ancestry and physical characteristics, approaches to proficiency testing and interpretation of single source specimens and an approach to deconvolution of mixtures, such that ethnicity and phenotypic traits can be assigned to a major contributor and a minor contributor from a single, blended source. An overview of forensic genetic genealogy and kit options will also be presented.


Bio(s):
Danny Hellwig, Laboratory Director, Intermountain Forensics

Daniel holds an M.S. in Forensic Science and is a 16+ year veteran of both Public and Private Crime Forensic DNA Laboratories.  He has served as a DNA analyst, technical leader and in executive management of Forensic DNA laboratories over that time.  He has provided training to hundreds of Forensic DNA labs and conferences on a variety of different topics. Armed with a black belt certification in Lean/Six Sigma process improvement and extensive experience in both quality and operational leadership, he provides executive direction and oversees the quality system of the Intermountain Forensics laboratory.

 

Mellissa Helligso, MFS

Mellissa holds a Masters in Forensic Science and has been working in the forensic DNA field since 1998.  She has worked over 1,000 cases and has testified approximately 100 times for the prosecution and defense. Currently she is the Manager and Technical Leader of the Human DNA Identification Laboratory, founded in 1996 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The laboratory provides forensic DNA testing for local, state, and federal agencies in Nebraska, and surrounding states. In 2019/2020, the lab became the first in the United States to become ANAB/ISO 17025:2017 accredited to perform Ancestry testing with NGS/MPS technology. 

 

Jesse Cox, PhD

Dr. Cox is Pathology Assistant Professor and Director of the Human DNA Identification Laboratory, located at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

 

Preparation for Admissibility Hearings for Probabilistic Genotyping

Instructor: Michael Coble, PhD

Wednesday, November 3 – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract: Preparing for an admissibility hearing on probabilistic genotyping: the analyst’s perspective

Probabilistic methods of DNA interpretation using “probabilistic genotyping’ software are being utilized in over one-half of accredited laboratories in the United States. A still growing number of laboratories are preparing to bring their software system online and may soon face their first admissibility hearing.

This workshop is targeted for the analysts and scientists working in laboratories ready to implement their probabilistic genotyping system for DNA interpretation, or are preparing for their first admissibility hearing.  We will examine research and the published literature for areas for the scientist to review in preparation of an admissibility hearing including:

         Internal validations

         Standards for Validation of Probabilistic Genotyping Software

         Discriminating between donors and non-donor

         A review of relevant decisions

         The use of Likelihood Ratios

Handouts and materials will be provided.

 

Bio: Available soon.

 

What’s That Stain?:  Serology and Body Fluid Identification

Instructor: Sharon Polakowski

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract: This half day workshop will provide a brief history of serology in the field of forensics, an in-depth discussion of the tests and techniques currently available and their use in casework, and an overview of research in serology for the future.

 

Bio: Sharon Polakowski has been a Forensic Scientist at the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory in Milwaukee for over 25 years, beginning with training/casework in Serology and transitioning to DNA testing as it was put into use in the crime laboratories in Wisconsin.  Sharon has conducted serological testing, RFLP DNA testing, and STR and Y-STR DNA testing on a wide variety of case types.  She has aided in the training of analysts through the years in a variety of aspects of serology and DNA, as well as prosecutors and law enforcement personnel.  She is an active member and past board member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS).

 

CRIME SCENE

Fulfilling ANAB Accreditation Requirements Regarding Measurement Uncertainty: A Crime Scene Perspective

Instructor: Brianna Stoddard, CSCSA; Jeremy Morris

Monday, November 1st – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract: Crime scene investigation has managed to, on the whole, avoid the subject of maintaining metrological traceability in its endeavors to meet ANAB’s requirement (ISO/IEC 6.5.1/AR 3125 6.5.1.1). As it pertains to the discipline of crime scene investigation, the notion of metrological traceability and estimating measurement uncertainty feels like a less than concrete condition that might better be applied to hard scientific disciplines where numbers are of utmost importance.

In this half-day presentation, the ANAB requirements pertaining to traceability, calibration, measurement uncertainty, and their applicability to the crime scene investigation discipline will be addressed and clarified. The specific application of the ISO standard to shooting incident reconstruction will be brought to the foreground. Additional information will be provided by Jeremy Morris regarding application of the ISO standard to the discipline of bloodstain pattern analysis.

 

Bio: Brianna is a forensic scientist in the Crime Scene Investigations Unit for Johnson County, KS Sheriff’s Office. She has a certification as a senior crime scene analyst from the International Association for Identification. She has 12 years of crime scene experience under her belt between Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Council Bluffs, IA Police Department. She serves as a technical assessor for ANAB in the field of crime scene investigations and latent print enhancement. Brianna has been an active IAI member her entire career, as well as a member at multiple local chapters between Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. Most recently, she (along with a team) has had the opportunity to undertake a measurement uncertainty study for shooting incident reconstruction to help fulfill her lab’s 17025 accreditation requirement on the topic.

 

Jeremiah Morris is a forensic scientist at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory in Kansas and is the technical leader in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Trace Evidence.  He has over 20 years of experience in forensic examinations including controlled substance analysis, trace evidence examinations, and bloodstain pattern analysis.  Jeremy has taught workshops on numerous topics related to forensic science for over twelve years at forensic laboratories and professional organizations across the United States.  Jeremy is a Past-President of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists as well as other forensic organization.  He is a Certified Bloodstain Pattern Analyst and is the Editor for the Journal of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.

Documentation of Bloodstains on Clothing

Instructor: Jeremiah A. Morris, CBPA

Monday, November 1st – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract: Like all aspects of evidence documentation, the documentation of bloodstain patterns on evidence plays an essential role in subsequent analyses. This is especially true when bloodstain as present on items of clothing. Proper documentation of bloodstains, even by individuals who will not perform the actual bloodstain analysis, captures an extensive amount of information about the size, shape, distribution, location, and appearance of patterns on the clothing. This workshop will cover the fundamental aspects of proper documentation of bloodstain patterns on items of clothing – photographs, sketches, and narratives. The workshop will include lectures reviewing these concepts as well as hands-on exercises putting these skills in practice. Attendees should expect to work with patterns which have been created using real blood – human or animal.

 

Bio: Jeremiah Morris is a forensic scientist at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory in Kansas and is the technical leader in Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and Trace Evidence.  He has over 20 years of experience in forensic examinations including controlled substance analysis, trace evidence examinations, and bloodstain pattern analysis.  Jeremy has taught workshops on numerous topics related to forensic science for over twelve years at forensic laboratories and professional organizations across the United States.  Jeremy is a Past-President of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists as well as other forensic organization.  He is a Certified Bloodstain Pattern Analyst and is the Editor for the Journal of Bloodstain Pattern Analysis.

 

Identification and Collection of Questioned Document Evidence at Crime Scenes

Instructor: Mark Goff

Tuesday, November 2nd – Full Day

 

Abstract: The intended audience for this workshop are crime scene responders and forensic document examiners.

 

The educational objective is to provide attendees with the knowledge, skills and abilities to assess and collect a wide variety of crime scenes and search venues for potential evidence of value for forensic document examination, and collect it in a manner that preserves the integrity of the evidence for examination. 

 

When responding to crime scenes or searching scenes for evidence, many crime scene responders have not had much exposure to the wide range of examination types conducted by forensic document examiners. This can result in evidence that can assist in an investigation being overlooked.  This workshop is structured to provide examples of the types of cases where QD evidence may be present, strategies for the proper collection and packaging of the evidence collected, and potential sources of comparison evidence.  The participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of forensic document examiners, collaborate with other crime scene responders and forensic document examiners, and conduct hands on evidence collection for unique cases.

 

During the course of the workshop, the participants will be introduced to a draft standard for On-Scene Collection and Preservation of Document Evidence currently in development and have the opportunity to provide input.

 

Bio: Mark has been a forensic document examiner and crime scene responder at the Michigan State Police Lansing Forensic Laboratory for the last 12 years, where he has technical responsibility for the QD discipline and is a unit supervisor over the QD and trace evidence units.

He is a certified diplomat with the ABFDE, a member of the ASB, and an affiliate member of the OSAC QD subcommittee.  He is also a Member of AAFS QD section, the ASQDE, and a member of MAFS where he was previously the Questioned Document Section Chair.  Mark has given multiple workshops and presentations in the area of questioned documents for regional and national and international forensic science organizations.

Prior to entering the forensic science field, Mark worked for 10 years as a Michigan State Police Trooper at the Brighton and Niles Posts and he served in the United State Army Reserve as an MP, including 3 overseas deployments, and as adjunct faculty of military science at Michigan State University, where he and retired in 2015 with 24 years of service.

In his personal life he is married to a forensic scientist for the Michigan State Police who specializes in DNA, and has 2 little girls who specialize in hugs and beating him at card games of all types.

 

Advanced Presumptive Testing and Testimony for Crime Scene Investigators

Instructor: Amy Santoro

Wednesday, November 3rd – Full Day

 

Abstract: In this full day workshop, students will learn the scientific underpinnings of commonly used presumptive and confirmatory tests for blood, semen, saliva, and lead, with a particular emphasis on how to explain the reactions, false positives, cross reactivity, etc. in a court of law. Students will also learn the workflow for sequential processing in regard to biological evidence and chemical enhancement. The workshop will provide hands on experience with techniques including ABACard Hematrace, Hemastix, Acid Phosphatase, ABACard P30, Phenolphthalein, and sodium rhodizonate.

 

Bio: Amy Santoro has worked in forensic science since 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensics and a Master of Science in Forensic Science.  Amy is recognized by the International Association for Identification as a Certified Crime Scene Analyst. She is currently a crime scene investigator in the Kansas City area, specializing in shooting incident reconstruction and bloodstain pattern analysis. Previously, Amy worked as a forensic analyst specializing in forensic biology and body fluid identification.  

 

Drug Chemistry/Toxicology

Analytical Method Validation and Verification

Instructor: Anne Slaymaker

Monday, November 1st – Full Day

 

Abstact: Method validation, verification, and quality controls are critical to demonstrating the reliability of methods used in a forensic laboratory. Method validation involves testing a method to ensure it is capable of performing the intended task, whereas method verification involves testing an already validated method to ensure the method performs as expected on a different instrument or in a different laboratory. Quality controls verify that the validated and verified method continues to function as expected over time. This workshop will provide an overview of method validation and verification including when each should be performed and how they apply to both qualitative, including instrumental and non-instrumental methods, and quantitative methods. We will also discuss examples of method validations and verifications from various forensic laboratories for several different method types.    

 

Bio: Dr. Slaymaker completed her B.A. in Chemistry at Concordia College in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Minnesota in 2006. Dr. Slaymaker began her career at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) North Central Laboratory in 2006 as a forensic chemist and transitioned into her current role as Quality Assurance Specialist in 2012. As part of her role as Quality Assurance Specialist, Dr. Slaymaker serves as the method validation coordinator for the DEA North Central Laboratory. She has also been involved with laboratory accreditation and the drafting of numerous DEA laboratory system policies, including instrument performance verification, method validation and verification, qualitative and quantitative analysis requirements, and evidence sampling procedures.  Dr. Slaymaker also serves as the Executive Secretary of the OSAC Seized Drugs Subcommittee and as chair of the task group drafting revisions to the ASTM standard on analytical method validation and verification by forensic chemistry laboratories.

 

Pharmacological and Toxicological Assessment of Kratom: Myths, Effects, and Risks

Instructor: Dr. Abir El-Alfy, Associate Professor

Tuesday, November 2nd – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract:  Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is psychoactive plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. The leaves and brewed teas have been widely used by natives as a stimulant, to combat fatigue, relieve pain, as well as an opioid substitute. While its use in Southeast Asia dates back to the mid 1800s, it recently gained attention in the United States for both its therapeutic potential as well as potential abuse risk. Several pharmacological effects have been attributed to kratom including antinociceptive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, as well as anorectic activities. Very few studies examined the mechanism of such actions. So far, studies report kratom effects to be mediated via agonist action on mu opioid and a2 adrenergic receptors. Most of the kratom effects are attributed to the indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. However, pharmacological, chemical, and pharmacokinetic studies are still sparse impeding proper understanding and assessment of efficacy and safety of kratom.

 

The plant has recently gained national attention in the United States because of its widespread use as an opioid substitute. With the internet market targeting the public, interest in kratom is on the rise. Over thirty death cases reportedly attributed to Kratom since 2016 resulted in increasing concerns over the safety of the plant products. In 2017, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classified kratom as a “drug of concern”. However, the number of hospital visits and deaths potentially caused by extracts of the plant are increasing in several countries. Such reports suggest that kratom use is associated with significant toxicities. However, further research is in high demand to properly characterize the therapeutic potential and assess the risks associated with kratom use.

 

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an overview of available literature regarding the pharmacology, toxicology, chemistry, and pharmacokinetic properties of kratom and its main constitutes. In addition, discussion of some of the nationwide reported cases of kratom toxicity will be conducted.

 

Bio: Abir El-Alfy is an Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutical Sciences-Pharmacology at The Medical College of Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy (MCWSOP).  She is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt.  She has a M.S. Degree in Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Mississippi.  Before joining MCWSOP, Dr. El-Alfy held several faculty positions in Pharmacy and Medical schools.  Dr. El-Alfy held several leadership positions including Director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Core-NPN at the School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, chair of several governance committees at different Pharmacy Schools, and spearheaded the development and implementation of the MCW SOP co-curriculum program.

Dr. El-Alfy’s teaching experiences include physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  She is a seven-time recipient of teacher of the year award in the college of pharmacy.  She also received the 2015 Chicago State University Faculty Excellence Teaching Award and the 2020 MCW Faculty Service Award.  

 

Dr. El-Alfy is an active member of many professional societies and acts as a grant, dissertation, and manuscript reviewer for various national and international organizations.  Dr. El-Alfy's research interests focus on the role of the endocannabinoid system in neuropsychiatric disorders.  The ultimate goal of this research is to develop new therapeutic targets for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. El-Alfy has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and 100 national and international presentations.  She is a co-inventor of 2 provisional patents and one full patent.  She has received several research grant awards.

 

Separations, Extractions, and Clean Up for Difficult Matrices

Instructor: Jason Stenzel, PhD

Tuesday, November 2nd – Full Day

 

Abstract:  This workshop will cover the theory behind separations and extractions with practical tips for cleaning up difficult matrices.

 

Bio: Available soon.

 

Organization and Maintenance of Drug Standards

Instructor: Adrienne Hirsch

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract: This class will provide an overview of how drug standards are maintained at the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago.  I will discuss how I maintain order requests and process orders received. I will provide an overview of how standards are stored in our vault including the storage and maintenance of confirmation spectra as well as the references we commonly use to confirm them.  I will show how I maintain the database (currently using Microsoft Access), archive record storage and audit processes. Our lab maintains ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation issued by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).  I will discuss how our practices fulfill those requirements and how we fulfill requirements that are set by our own policies and procedures.  I will also discuss the registrations that are required to maintain drug standards in our lab.

 

For the second half of the class, I would like to have an open discussion.  If you would like, please share photos/issues with me before the presentation so that I may include them in my presentation.  We can share what works well for our labs and/or exchange ideas on how to improve each other’s systems.

 

Bio: My name is Adrienne Hirsch.  I live in the south suburbs of Chicago and work at the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago.  I have my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from Western Illinois University.  I have worked as a forensic scientist in drug chemistry since I was hired with the State Police in October of 2005.  I currently support our section as a member of our Instrument Maintenance Team, Standards Team, and Chemistry Advisory Committee.  I serve on the Command Advisory Board for Drug Chemistry that supports our section on a statewide level.  In addition, I am the lead chemist for our triple quadrupole LC/MS instrument validation.  I have been a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists since 2006.

 

Quality in Forensic Chemistry

Instructor: Christine Gabig

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract: There are as many approaches to assuring quality in forensic drug analysis as there are forensic laboratories across the country. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ way to implement quality procedures in a lab, despite the number of professional published guidance documents and accreditation standards. It is up to each lab to determine how to design their procedures in a way that will not only meet accreditation standards, but that will also work in that lab system and be truly effective in achieving the goal of providing proper quality assurance of results.

 

This workshop will cover specific ANAB AR3125 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards that are relevant to Forensic Chemistry such as evaluating data, implementing new equipment, case records, monitoring performance of personnel and equipment, reporting results, evidence inventory discrepancies, validations/verifications, etc. as well as a comparative discussion of multiple possible approaches based on procedures provided by participants from accredited labs.

 

Published standard and guidance documents that exist on quality in forensic science (ASTM, SWGDRUG, NIST, and OSAC) will also be discussed in the context of possible approaches and how they do or don’t relate to accreditation standards.

 

Besides just a discussion of specific standards and documents this workshop will provide a discussion about ‘everyday’ analysis related topics that are relevant to quality assurance, such as negative and highly cut samples, sample selection, isomer determination, report wording, and GCMS analysis considerations to be aware of as well as other quality related issues that are commonly discussed among forensic chemists.

 

Attendees will be asked to anonymously provide some of their laboratory’s policies prior to the workshop, and attendees should come prepared to share and discuss the pros and cons of different approaches to these often complicated topics.

 

Bio: Christine Gabig, MSFS, F-ABC DA, CC is a Forensic Chemist at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Crime Laboratory in Omaha Nebraska, where she has worked for the past sixteen years. Her current professional experience includes controlled substance, fire debris and blood alcohol analysis; with past experience in trace evidence and crime scene investigation.  Christine holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and an M.S. in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Christine holds professional certifications as a Fellow in Criminalistics and Drug Analysis through the American Board of Criminalistics. She also serves as a Technical Assessor for ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) assisting other crime labs maintain their ISO 17025 accreditation.

 

To stay current in the field, Christine has attended over 1000 hours of professional training in different aspects of forensic science, and holds memberships in several professional organizations including the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers, and the Clandestine Laboratory Investigating Chemists Association.

 

Trace Evidence

Hair and Ancestry: a review of hair features and classification systems

Instructor: Sandra Koch, PhD

Monday, November 1st – Full Day

 

Abstract: To meet the rigor of continued scientific acceptance, we need to periodically reevaluate methods in current use to ensure that they are objective and reliable. For the forensic sciences, the classification of ancestry is one area where there is growing discomfort with the race-based labels from the past but we should also look at the traits themselves and examine whether they are measurable and can be objectively evaluated. The concept of race was developed from the European Colonial point of view during the 16th to 18th centuries and was often used to express European superiority. The classification system focused upon physical differences in skin color, skeletal morphology, and hair form but described features in terms of what was perceived as “beautiful” or “superior”. Research has shown that biologically distinct racial groups are not scientifically supported and that morphological variation is shared variably among populations with overlapping traits found throughout the world. Yet, the race classification system remains influential in modern medico-legal terminology, forensic analysis, and anthropological research. In this workshop, we will examine how well hair traits relate to modern medico-legal ancestry classification and discuss how the typological classification system developed by anthropologists and adapted by forensic scientists relates to attendees’ casework.

 

This workshop will be framed around the examination of hair samples (populations indicated on the map below) from a historic collection assembled by Dr. Mildred Trotter.

Hair samples used in her foundational research on hair form and variation among different human populations will be available for microscopical analysis. Examples from a recently published study examining microscopical analysis and the relationship of genetic ancestry to hair traits will also be available for attendees to examine. After looking at hair samples with known ethnogeographic origin, genetic ancestry, and self-identified ancestry we will explore how hair form and microscopic characteristics can vary and how our perception of these samples can inform forensic reporting moving forward. During the hands-on portion, attendees will be able to explore the extent that hair features conform with, or differ from, individuals’ self-identified ethnicity, and better understand the traits that may or may not be useful when examining hair in forensic contexts.

 

Currently there are varied opinions among forensic anthropologists on the validity of ancestry classifications from morphological analysis and if such information could insert a bias into an investigation and potentially mislead investigators to not consider other missing persons. We will review some of the recent literature and discuss how trace examiners can best describe hairs to provide investigative leads without potentially misleading investigators regarding the level of certainty in report language.

 

Bio: Sandra has worked in the field of forensic trace evidence analysis for more than 20 years.  She worked for the FBI Laboratory Trace Evidence Unit from 1997 to 2013 where she analyzed hairs, fibers, fabric damage, and feathers using a range of instrumentation including light microscopy, polarized light microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, microspectrophotometry, and infrared spectroscopy.  She has taught numerous workshops and short courses on crime scene evidence collection and trace evidence analysis.  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, a founding member of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners, and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics (Hairs and Fibers).  Sandra is an affiliate of the Materials (trace) subcommittee on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC), specifically on the hair and fiber task groups.  Prior to the founding of OSAC, she was a member of the Scientific Working Group for Materials Analysis (SWGMAT) from 1999 to 2013, and served as the chair of the fiber subgroup from 2009 to 2013.  Sandra has published on the topic of hairs, fibers, fabric damage and feather identification in a variety of scientific journals.

 

Approaches to Qualitative Conclusions and Report Writing for Trace Analysts

Instructors: Jeremy Morris and Ted Manasian

Day/time: Tuesday, November 2nd – Full Day

 

Abstract: This workshop will examine various approaches to report writing for trace evidence including variations on conclusion scales and their applications.  The principles of communication science will be discussed, including how the meaning of an analyst’s conclusions are conveyed to the intended audience.  The workshop will include a round table discussion of the specific conclusion scales used by the presenter’s laboratory, OSAC interpretation guide, as well as other examples.  Workshop attendees will be requested to submit examples of their reports and any conclusion scales they use.

 

Bio: Ted Manasian is a Forensic Scientist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Bowling Green Laboratory.  Ted has 28 years of experience in the Trace Evidence Unit conducting examinations on glass, paints/polymers, fibers/fabrics, tape, footwear/tire track impressions, GSR, vehicle lamps and miscellaneous materials.  Ted holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from Grand Valley State University and is certified in General Criminalistics by the American Board of Criminalistics.  Ted is currently a member of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science; serving on the Trace Materials Subcommittee and Glass Task Group.  Ted has been a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists since 1997 and served as president of the organization from 2017-2018.  Ted has served on numerous MAFS committees as both member and chair and has served on the MAFS Board of Directors for a total of five years.  Ted has also been a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences since 2000 and a charter member of the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners since 2009.  Over the course of his career, Ted has given a variety of presentations on subjects related to Trace Evidence.

 

Jeremy Morris is a forensic scientist supervisor at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory in Kansas and is technical leader of bloodstain pattern analysis and trace evidence.  He has over twenty years of experience in a number of forensic disciplines including controlled substance analysis, trace evidence examinations, and bloodstain pattern analysis.  Jeremy has taught workshops on controlled substance analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, and cognitive bias for over twelve years at forensic laboratories and professional organizations across the United States.  He is a member of a number of professional forensic organizations including the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, the International Association for Identification, the American Society for Trace Evidence Examiners, and the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts.   Jeremy is a member of the Trace (Materials) subcommittee on the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science and a Past President of MAFS.

 

The Detection and Identification of Poisons, Adulterants, and General Unknowns

Instructor: Michelle Ponschke

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract: Analyzing “general unknowns” is a common type of casework completed by trace evidence analysts that can encompass a wide variety of requests. But how frequently are we actually able to identify such unknowns? How does one go about determining if a substance has been poisoned or adulterated? In this workshop, attendees will learn strategies and approaches to these requests, including determining which instrumental methods can provide useful information given the potential adulterant, considerations for evidence condition and case circumstances, and how to report results out to agencies. Have a tried-and-true method you want to share? Questions about how to approach a weird case request? Participants are encouraged to submit cases/questions in advance (ponschkem@michigan.gov) to have the instructor incorporate them into the workshop!

 

Bio: Michelle Ponschke has been a trace analyst at the Michigan State Police Lansing Forensic Laboratory for over 8 years. Her casework sub-disciplines include paint, general chemical unknowns, poisons/adulterants, bank dye, and low explosives. She is also a member of MSP’s crime scene response team. When she’s not working on the strangest evidence possible, she enjoys kayaking, traveling, reading, and quilting.

 

When the Dust Settles: Explosive Residue Collection, Analysis, and Determinations

Instructor: Raleigh Parrott

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract: Post-blast scenes can be a very chaotic environment.  Multiple responses from varying agencies, confusion, and the scale of the scene can add complexities.  The collection and preservation of post-blast related evidence is crucial for success in the analysis and determination of explosive content of a device.  This workshop will highlight best practices for the collection/preservation of such evidence.  In addition, it will discuss the analysis of post-blast residues and reporting the results of such residues in forensic reports to include determinations made from the analysis.  

 

Bio: Mr. Parrott is currently a Chemist-Forensic Examiner for the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, VA. His area of expertise is in the analysis of explosives, residues of explosives, and related materials.  Since 2008, he has deployed throughout the world and has testified in both international and domestic courts as an expert witness.

 

General Workshops

Creating a Dynamic Presentation

Instructor: Michelle Lach

Monday, November 1st – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract:The objective of the sessions in this workshop are to learn the basics for creating a dynamic presentation for use in-person or virtually.

Session 1: (1.5 hours)

How to develop a dynamic presentation

  • Planning for your presentation – what should you include?
  • Structuring your presentation – what type of presentation are you doing?
  • Organizing your content – what is the purpose of your presentation?
  • Laying out your presentation – how should it look?
  • Presenting or recording your presentation – greenscreen, background, lighting?

Session 2: (1 hour)

How to use some of the best features of popular free/very affordable presentation platforms 

  • Prezi
  • Google Docs
  • Canva
  • Plus Advanced PowerPoint features

Session 3: (0.5-1 hour)

The benefits and features of free / very affordable virtual meeting platforms 

  • Google hangout
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Zoom

 

Bio: Michelle Lach is a marketing communication professional with experience in print, digital and virtual spaces. She holds a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University, with almost two decades of communications experience, and is an Honor Society of Phi Kapa Phi lifetime member.

Michelle has been in the marketing communications department at United States Drug Testing Laboratories (USDTL), an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 laboratory for forensic testing, for over nine years. Her main objective is to convey complex scientific information to the public in an understandable and straightforward way. Michelle manages an entirely remote team using online and cloud-based software to communicate effectively with clients, teams, and the public.

 

Leadership Symposium for the Bench Level Scientist

Instructors: Brian Hoey and Brooke Ehlers

Tuesday, November 2nd – Half Day (AM)

 

Abstract: If you think about the numbers 6 and 9, depending on which way you look at this page, you may see 6 and 9 or flip the page upside down and you will see a 9 and a 6.  When we are bench scientists or front-line workers, we look at situations or circumstances perhaps in a much different way than our leaders do.  It is often challenging to be a follower and try to see things through a leader’s lens.  However, just as we see the 6 and 9, leaders will frequently see things different than followers as well.  This dynamic is not new, most of the time a leader will have more experience and training then their followers; however, challenges come when leaders fail to fill the gap between individual’s needs and organizational goals.  For our Fall 2021 leadership symposium, we will look at leadership though the lens of the bench scientists.  We will discuss what it means to be a good follower and ask ourselves why leaders do what they do.  We will attempt to unveil leader strategies for those who are not formal leaders, so the traditional follower can understand how they are being lead.  Moreover, we will make ourselves better followers and prepare followers for future leadership so we can see both the 6 and the 9.

 

Leadership Symposium for the Advanced Scientist/Leader

Instructors: Brian Hoey and Brooke Ehlers

Tuesday, November 2nd – Half Day (PM)

 

Abstract: Since 2015 the MAFS Leadership Symposium series has tackled many topics to include communication, motivation, and gender in the workplace.  As a counterbalance to Leadership for the Bench Level Scientist, this workshop will cover Executive Level leadership.  Leadership can be thought of in three phases, tactical, strategic and executive.  Tactical leadership is front-line, hands on, leading the individual.  Strategic leadership basically leads teams, this is more middle management.  Executive leadership leads organizations.  Much of our leadership series over the past six years has focused on topics relevant to the tactical leader.  This workshop will cover topics geared more toward the middle manager and above.  Topics will include, transactional vs. transformational leadership, organizations and organizational culture, leading change, ethics and an ethical climate, and communications and counseling to name a few.  Many of us may not be executive leaders yet, but a continuous theme has been, “sharpen your saw”; it’s never too late to start honing your skills toward executive leadership.

 

Bio(s): Brian Hoey is a twenty-seven-year veteran of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory.  Brian worked much of his career as a DNA analyst and served as the DNA technical Leader for 8 years.  Brian is currently the Director of the laboratory system. 

 

Brian holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University as well as an MBA from William Woods University. Brian served as a Member of the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) for 8 years as well as served on it’s on the Executive Board for 3 years.  Brian is a Member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) where he served for five years as the Biology Coordinator, served as the Program Chair for the 34th annual meeting, served on the Board of Directors as the Treasurer for three years (2008-2011) and President (2013).  Brian was awarded MAFS Outstanding Scientist in 2016.  Brian has given several papers and taught a number of workshops at MAFS meetings, most recently having coordinated and presented in the MAFS leadership and Management series.  Additionally, Brian is a certified facilitator for Police Leadership: The West Point Model.  Brian is also a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).

 

Brooke Ehlers is a 20 year veteran of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratory (MVRCL) in Dayton, Ohio. She started as a bench analyst in the Chemistry section and was promoted to Technical Leader in 2010. Brooke is currently serving as the Director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from Eastern Kentucky University. She is a member of the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS) where she has served as the Chemistry section coordinator, Program Chair for the 2013 Annual Fall Meeting, on the Board of Directors as Member-at-Large, and on the Training and Education, Fall Meeting Planning, and Bylaws and Administrative Rules Committees. Brooke is currently serving as the President of MAFS. She was awarded the New Scientist Award through MAFS in 2003.  Brooke is also a member of the Forensic Science Institute of Ohio and the Clandestine Laboratory Investigating Chemists Association. In 2018, Brooke was appointed to the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Seized Drugs for a three year term.  During her time at the MVRCL, Brooke has given presentations and organized training on the subjects of drug analysis, drug trends, and clandestine laboratories to MAFS. More recently, she has been assisting with the Leadership and Management Series webinars and symposiums.

 

 

 

 

 

An Introduction to Yoga for First Responders

Instructor: Kortney (Stock) Snider

Wednesday, November 3rd – Half Day (PM)

 

 

An Introduction to Yoga For First Responders®

 

Abstract: Forensic scientists experience a large amount of unaddressed stress while working in crime laboratories and processing crime scenes.  While a certain amount of stress can be helpful, accumulation of consistent stress without a tool for regulation can impair judgement and other cognitive abilities resulting in an overall decrease in performance.A survey of forensic examiners showed that almost 70% experienced high amounts of work pressure and used unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol or smoking. This shows a clear need for a proactive skill set for processing stress, building resilience and enhancing performance for those working in high stress and often traumatic situations. Yoga has been shown to not only reduce stress, but to also optimize areas of the brain required for problem solving and performing under pressure.

 

Yoga For First Responders® (YFFR) is a non-profit organization that offers traditional yoga training tailored to be job specific and culturally informed for those working in law enforcement and other public safety agencies. YFFR’s certified instructors have trained thousands of first responders across the country in this life-changing skill set. YFFR Instructor and forensic scientist, Kortney Stock, will lead a 4-hour YFFR presentation that will:

 

        Explain original intention of yoga, address misconceptions about yoga, and demonstrate how yoga can influence the basic functions of the nervous system and stress response

        Define mindfulness, awareness and resilience along with tangible techniques for training these areas

        Illustrate how yoga can train the forensic examiner to perform at his/her highest level of functioning for work performance, career longevity and personal life satisfaction. This includes learning basic techniques trainees can practice immediately.

**No experience or flexibility necessary.

 

Bio: Kortney (Stock) Snider began her career with the Arizona Department Public Safety in 1998 as a Forensic Scientist.  She found the combination of science and law enforcement to be a perfect combination of her interests.  In 2008, after working several crime scenes on top of her laboratory work, she recognized that her mental health was not doing well.  Fortunately, she had started a yoga practice that same year which guided her through this difficult time.

 

In 2017, at the encouragement of her yoga teachers, Kortney decided to take a yoga teacher training with no interest in becoming a teacher only furthering the understanding of her own practice.  She earned her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teacher Training Certificate from Vertical Soul Yoga in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

During her teacher training, she learned about an organization that taught yoga principles to first responders.  Intrigued at the prospect of bringing the power of yoga to a “non-traditional” group, Kortney took the Yoga for First Responder (YFFR) training in 2018 at the Chicago Police Department Academy earning Level 2 Instructor.  This training coincided with the Leadership in Training program that she was taking at AzDPS.  Her final project for this program was bringing YFFR and mental resilience to her Department.

 

Since that time, Kortney has taught academy classes at Phoenix Regional Police Academy, Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy, and the Arizona DPS Lateral Recruit Academy.  She has spoken to criminal justice students on the importance of this organization to the career success of first responders.  Command level members from Az DPS Criminal Intelligence Bureau participated in a YFFR class for a portion of their annual training.  Kortney volunteer teaches a once-a-week YFFR class to her local agency, Flagstaff Police Department. 

 

Kortney recognizes the combination of yoga and law enforcement, while unusual to the outside view, is a perfect combination to build mental, physical, and emotional resilience in first responders.  YFFR is a tool to learn to process the inevitable stress of the career.  The importance of mental health is growing within the first responder community.  Like other academy training, YFFR is a job specific application to reach the goal of enhancing optimal levels of job performance from decision making to tactical skills.

 

Questioned Documents

Examining Documents Requiring a Multi-Faceted Approach

A Hands-on, One-Day (Part I morning/Part II afternoon) Workshop

Instructor: Todd W. Welch, D-ABFDE, Forensic Document Examiner, Michigan State Police (Retired)

 Riley, Welch, LaPorte & Associates

Monday, November 1st – Full Day

 

Abstract: This workshop will focus on disputed documents that by their nature or components are complex and require a combination of examination techniques.  The evidence derived from microscopic, infra-red, indentation and other testing will be considered in the context of questions raised about a document’s integrity and authenticity. There will be a lecture format followed by hands-on analysis of various single and multi-page documents; working within groups. Equipment will be available for use by the participants.  An open discussion of the results will conclude the session.

 

Bio: Available soon.

 

Identification and Collection of Questioned Document Evidence at Crime Scenes

Instructor: Mark Goff

Tuesday, November 2nd – Full Day

 

Abstract: The intended audience for this workshop is crime scene responders and forensic document examiners.

The educational objective is to provide attendees with the knowledge, skills and abilities to assess and collect a wide variety of crime scenes and search venues for potential evidence of value for forensic document examination and collect it in a manner that preserves the integrity of the evidence for examination. 

 

When responding to crime scenes or searching scenes for evidence, many crime scene responders have not had much exposure to the wide range of examination types conducted by forensic document examiners. This can result in evidence that can assist in an investigation being overlooked.  This workshop is structured to provide examples of the types of cases where QD evidence may be present, strategies for the proper collection and packaging of the evidence collected, and potential sources of comparison evidence.  The participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of forensic document examiners, collaborate with other crime scene responders and forensic document examiners, and conduct hands on evidence collection for unique cases.

During the course of the workshop, the participants will be introduced to a draft standard for On-Scene Collection and Preservation of Document Evidence currently in development and have the opportunity to provide input.

 

Bio: Mark has been a forensic document examiner and crime scene responder at the Michigan State Police Lansing Forensic Laboratory for the last 12 years, where he has technical responsibility for the QD discipline and is a unit supervisor over the QD and trace evidence units.

He is a certified diplomate with the ABFDE, a member of the ASB, and an affiliate member of the OSAC QD subcommittee.  He is also a Member of AAFS QD section, the ASQDE, and a member of MAFS where he was previously the Questioned Document Section Chair.  Mark has given multiple workshops and presentations in the area of questioned documents for regional and national and international forensic science organizations.

 

Prior to entering the forensic science field, Mark worked for 10 years as a Michigan State Police Trooper at the Brighton and Niles Posts and he served in the United State Army Reserve as an MP, including 3 overseas deployments, and as adjunct faculty of military science at Michigan State University, where he and retired in 2015 with 24 years of service.

 

In his personal life he is married to a forensic scientist for the Michigan State Police who specializes in DNA, and has 2 little girls who specialize in hugs and beating him at card games of all types.

 

Latent Prints

Palm Print Searching and Comparison

Instructor: Marcus Montooth

Wednesday, November 3rd – Full Day

 

Abstract: This practical heavy workshop will start by going over the anatomy of palms and general features of the friction ridges and creases. Searching clues will be used to discuss different latent prints and their possible orientation and locations. Students will use the anatomy, general features, and searching clues to locate increasingly smaller areas of palm prints. Lastly, all will be put to work to search actual latent prints. Students should bring a loop and magnifier.

 

Bio: Marcus obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Evansville in 2001, and has been employed as a Forensic Scientist with the Indiana State Police since 2003.  He is an IAI Certified Latent Print Examiner, an ASCLD/LAB Certified Technical Assessor, an Indiana Law Enforcement Academy Certified Instructor, and an adjunct professor at the University of Evansville teaching Introduction to Forensic Science.  He has presented on various latent print topics for the International Association for Identification (IAI), Indiana Division of the IAI, Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists (MAFS), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

 

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