Institute for Forensic Science
The Institute for Forensic Science at Texas Tech University is committed to the production and dissemination of interdisciplinary forensic science research through a unique multidisciplinary program that provides outstanding education, research, and professional training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at TTU, and local and regional law enforcement. The Institute is a comprehensive teaching, training, and research organization in all aspects of forensic science. The Institute is committed to providing outstanding service to the university, profession, and community. We are committed to supporting local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies through the sharing of ideas, problem-solving, and empiricism promoting prosocial values and contributing to safer communities.
The Institute for Forensic Science is located at 4434 South Loop 289 in Lubbock. We are on the South side of Lubbock on the access road between Quaker and Slide. To get directions from your location, click here.
- January 16, 2018: Dr. Paola Prada is now the graduate program director for forensic science! We look forward to her guidance and leadership in 2018.
- January 1, 2018: Students Lauren Alejandro and Kashmiere McGee had posters accepted for the Young Scientist
Forum poster session for the upcoming American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference
in Seattle, WA. Congratulations!
- "Narcotic Age and Working Dog Performance: Instrumental Perspectives on Training Aid Lifespan" - Lauren Alejandro, B.S., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D.
- "Human Skeletal Evidence: Perspectives for Narcotrafficking Group Identifications Through Modus Operandi From the Medico-Legal Department, San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia, Costa Rica" - Kashmiere N. McGee, B.A., Georgina Pacheco, M.S., Paola A. Prada, Ph.D., and Kathy Sperry, Ph.D.
- December 1, 2017: CHANGE IN APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR FALL 2018 ADMISSION. Applications for Fall 2018 admission will begin to be reviewed on February 1, 2018, and will continue until March 18, 2018.
- November 17, 2017: Dr. Thoen was appointed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board - Criminal Justice Advisory Field of Study Committee.
- November 15, 2017: THESIS DEFENSE. Silas Kemboi will be defending his thesis entitled "Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group" on December 1, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 9:30 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Spencer Bradshaw, Ph.D., and Megan Thoen, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
- October 27, 2017: Part of the mission of the Institute for Forensic Science is outreach to the local community and educating others on forensic science. We recently hosted a group from South Plains College. If your class/group is interested in a tour, please contact Dr. Morgan.
- October 26, 2017: Our student group, the Forensic Science Society, assisted with the TTU National Ranching
Heritage Center's Junior Rough Riders Fall Corral. The event was for children in 1st-5th
grade and they were tasked with becoming honorary crime solvers to determine the thief
who stole the NRHC's wooden cow herd. The event also included participation from the
Lubbock Police Department, and the Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. For more
pictures, visit the FSS webpage.
- October 10, 2017: Two forensic science students and faculty had their poster presentation submissions
accepted for the upcoming American Academy of Forensic Sciences conference in Seattle,
- "Narcotic Age and Working Dog Performance: Instrumental Perspectives on Training Aid Lifespan" by Lauren Alejandro and Dr. Paola Prada
- "Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention Programming Among United States Police Agencies" by Ethan Dodson, Dr. Megan Thoen, Dr. Brandy Pina-Watson (TTU Dept. of Psychological Sciences), and Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo (TTU Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies)
- September 19, 2017: Dr. Prada and three members from her research group successfully presented research
posters summarizing current thesis projects at the 6th International Conference on
Forensic Research and Technology in Houston, Texas. Dr. Prada was also the plenary
guest speaker giving a presentation entitled: "Forensic Odorology: A silent and forgotten
trace evidence source in criminal investigations". Student poster presentations included:
- "Evaluation of K9 narcotic training aid age: an insight into the "instrumental sniff" of common drugs" by Lauren Alejandro
- "Forensic Advantages of Safe Sex: Odor Profiling Condom Brands using HS-SPME-GC/MS" by Amanda Patrick
- "Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group" by Silas Kemboi
- September 8, 2017: Effective immediately, we are now the Institute for Forensic Science, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University. This merger allows for to better position the Institute going forward with regard to space and resources, as well as greater opportunities for graduate student funding and faculty lines. The Department of Environmental Toxicology also is home to the Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH).
- August 12, 2017: Stemming from her Master's thesis, program alumna Sarah Shutic and members of her
thesis committee recently published "Forensic identification of pharmaceuticals via
portable x-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy" in Forensic Science
International. The article is available online:
Shutic, S., S. Chakraborty, B. Li, D.C. Weindorf, K. Sperry, and D. Casadonte. 2017. Forensic identification of pharmaceuticals via portable X-ray fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Forensic Science International 279:22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.08.008
- August 12, 2017: Congratulations to our latest graduate-- Nicholas Knowlton. We wish you the best of luck!
- June 27, 2017: Dr. Robert Morgan, IFS director, was just announced as this year's Leadership in Education Award recipient from the American Psychological Association's Div. 18 (Psychologists in Public Service). This annual award "recognizes an educator with an outstanding record of teaching or training at any level of education — from high school to postgraduate continuing education. This person promotes learning and, in so doing, enhances the field of public service psychology." Congrats, Dr. Morgan!
- May 19, 2017: Congratulations to our latest graduates-- Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez, Courtney Brown, Rebecca Camacho, John-William Knight, Cheyenne Robinson, Sarah Shutic, and Breanna Turner. We wish you all the best of luck!
- May 4, 2017: During the week of April 17-21st, 2017, Dr. Paola Prada was the plenary guest speaker
at the 2nd International Forensic Odorology Seminar hosted in Villa Regina, Argentina.
Dr. Prada had the opportunity to train law enforcement personnel in canine detection
disciplines such as narcotics and human odor.
- May 3, 2017: Congratulations to Amanda Patrick and Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo, the 2017 Hillcrest Foundation Forensic Science Scholarship recipients!
- April 10, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. John-William Knight will be defending his paper entitled "Suicide Differences in Gender" on April 13th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 10:00 AM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Col. David Lewis, M.A., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
- April 10, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. Breanna Turner will be defending her paper entitled "Through the Eyes of CSIs: Fingerprints and Bias-Ability" on April 13th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 3:00 PM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Martina Klein, Ph.D., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
- April 6, 2017: Dr. Prada's team proposal, "A multidimensional approach to assess olfaction in dogs with application to explosives detection," has been selected as one of the seven projects to be funded in Round 2 of the Seed Grants for Interdisciplinary Research at Texas Tech.
- April 4, 2017: PAPER DEFENSE. Cheyenne Robinson will be defending her paper entitled "The Impact of Police Officer Training Techniques on Officers' Perceptions and Responses to Situations in the Field" on April 7th, 2017 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 122 at 2:00 PM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola A. Prada, Ph.D., and Ralph Ferguson, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to join!
- March 30, 2017: Student Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez presented a poster of her thesis data at the 16th Annual
TTU Graduate School Poster Competition on March 24. She was awarded first place in
her category for her poster. Congratulations, Tatiana!
- March 18, 2017: Dr. Thoen presented a poster entitled "Impact of Changing Shift Schedules on Officer
Wellness and Job Satisfaction" at the 2017 Annual Conference of the American Psychology-Law
Association in Seattle, WA. Co-authors on the poster included Andy Young, Ed.D. (Lubbock
Christian University, Department of Behavioral Sciences), Ethan Dodson (graduate student,
Forensic Sciences), Chaise Edwards (lab alumni), Bailea Coffel (undergrad, Psychological
Sciences), Braden Anderson (lab alumni), Breanna Turner (graduate student, Forensic
Sciences), Preston McCullough (undergrad, Psychological Sciences), and Tatiana Blanco-Alvarez
(graduate student, Forensic Sciences).
- March 3, 2017: Dr. Paola Prada has been designated as a full member to the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE). COFSE's goal is to help develop and achieve the highest academic standards and to develop excellence among students seeking a career in the forensic science discipline.
- March 2, 2017: Student Amanda Patrick was the winner of the IFS Spring 2017 Research Award for her proposed project "Condom odor profiling with HS-SPME and Temperature Effect on Condom Fingerprint Development". The Institute for Forensic Science offers research funding to two students annually to promote our mission of quality and ethical research methodology within the forensic discipline. Congratulations, Amanda!
- Older news can be found in our News Archive