Texas Tech University

Institute for Forensic Science

 
 
 
APA_2016Ethan TalkingEvidenceFingerprintingPolicia NacionalPrada Lab at ConferenceRadfordResearch FacilityResearch FacilityShoe Prints

We are happy to announce as of August 1, 2018, the Institute for Forensic Science will be located with the rest of the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the Reese Technology Center:

Mailing address: Box 47406, Lubbock, TX 79409-7406

Physical address: 1207 Gilbert Drive, Lubbock, TX 79416

Phone: 806-885-4567

Fax: 806-885-4577


Don't forget: Applications for Spring 2019 admission due September 30th!

Mission Statement

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.

Location

The Institute for Forensic Science is located with the Reese Technology Center at 1207 South Gilbert Drive in Lubbock. IFS-offered trainings (unless otherwise noted) will be held at the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Academy at 712 Broadway in Lubbock.

Institute News and Student Achievements

  • May 8, 2018: Two of our students placed first place in their sections at the recent TTU Graduate Student Research Poster Competition. Ms. Kashmiere McGee won first place in the human sciences section, and Mr. Ethan Dodson won first place in the psychological sciences section. Congrats, Kash and Ethan!
  • April 30, 2018: THESIS PROSPECTUS DEFENSE. Natalie Gomez will present her thesis prospectus entitled "Detection of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) on Dry Blood Cloth Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS)" on May 7, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 3:30 PM. Thesis committee includes Todd Anderson, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola Prada, Ph.D., and Megan Thoen, Ph.D.
  • April 20, 2018: Forensic Science Society event. FSS hosted a night of fun at 4ore Golf for students, faculty/staff, and their partners! The FSS page has more pictures of the fun!
    Photo of the group at the FSS event at 4ore Golf
  • April 20, 2018: THESIS PROSPECTUS DEFENSES. We have several students defending their thesis prospectus papers before the end of the semester. Everyone is welcome to attend these presentations!
    • Kiana Holbrook will present her thesis prospectus entitled "The Instrumental Evaluation of Blood Decomposition Volatiles on Various Substrates and their Relationship to Presumptive Test Methods" on April 24, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 9:30 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Jaclyn Canas, Ph.D., and Steve Presley, Ph.D.
    • Jennifer Raymer will present her thesis prospectus entitled "Evaluation of Decomposition Residual Odor Using Sus Scrofa as a Sampling Model" on May 1, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 10:00 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Nathaniel Hall, Ph.D., and Steve Presley, Ph.D.
    • Katie Blanar will present her thesis prospectus entitled "The Use of Entomological Samples as Potential Odor Biomarker for Decomposition Stages" on May 2, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 10:00 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Celine Goddard, Ph.D., and Alexandra Protopropova, Ph.D.
    • Kierstyn Evans will present her thesis prospectus entitled "Determining the Confidence of Fingerprint Examiners at Various Steps in the ACE-V Method" on May 7, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 9:00 AM. Thesis committee includes Megan Thoen, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola Prada, Ph.D., and Miranda Scolari, Ph.D.
    • Preston McCullough will present his thesis prospectus entitled "An Investigation into Jail Programming Participation and Recidivism" on May 7, 2018 in Psychological Sciences, room 301 at 1:00 PM. Thesis committee includes Megan Thoen, Ph.D. (Chair), Robert Morgan, Ph.D., Adam Schmidt, Ph.D., and Kathy Sperry, Ph.D.
  • April 2, 2018: INTERNSHIP PAPER PRESENTATIONS.Valaree Meili will be presenting her internhip paper entitled, "Time to Step Up: Lubbock County Detention Center working towards strengthening rehabilitation programs and lower recidivism rates," on April 6, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 1:00 PM. Paper committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola Prada, Ph.D., and Col. Dave Lewis, M.A.

    Ethan Dodson will be presenting his internship paper entitled, "Religious Material Coordination in Incarceration," on April 6, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 3:00 PM. Paper committee includes Megan Thoen, Ph.D. (Chair), John Howe, Ph.D., and Kathy Sperry, Ph.D.

    Everyone is welcome to join!
  • March 22, 2018: THESIS DEFENSE. Kashmiere McGee will be defending her thesis entitled "Human Skeletal Remains: Perspectives for Narcotrafficking Group Identifications through Modus Operandi from San Joaquin de Flores, Heredia, Costa Rica" on March 30, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 10:00 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Kathy Sperry, Ph.D., and Georgina Pacheco, M.S.
  • March 9, 2018: Dr. Megan Thoen and undergradute student Esteisy Escalera presented two posters at the annual conference of the American-Psychology and Law Society in Memphis, TN. The posters were entitled, "A Study of New Correctional Officers: Observations of Wellness and Job Satisfaction" (authors: M. Thoen, T. Blanco-Alvarez, P. McCullough, and L. E. Dodson of the Institute for Forensic Science, and E. Escalera of the Dept. of Psychological Sciences) and "Forensic Evaluations Via Telecommunication: Legal Perspectives of Advantages and Disadvantages" (authors: M. Thoen and E. Escalera, and A. Batastini and M. Pike of the University of Southern Mississippi).
    This is a photo of Dr. Thoen and Esteisy Escalera presenting their research at AP-LS.
    This is a photo of Dr. Thoen and Esteisy Escalera presenting their research at AP-LS.
  • March 8, 2018: THESIS DEFENSES. Lauren Alejandro will be defending her thesis entitled "The Evaluation of Canine Training Aids Over Time on Working Dog Performance" on March 22, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 10:00 AM. Thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (Chair), Nathaniel Hall, Ph.D., and Megan Thoen, Ph.D.

    Jaxon Ward will be defending his thesis entitled "Weather and Its Effects on Homicide Rate and Injury Type in Harris County, Texas" on March 21, 2018 at the Institute for Forensic Sciences, room 121 at 9:30 AM. Thesis committee includes Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. (Chair), Paola Prada, Ph.D., and Megan Thoen, Ph.D.

    Everyone is welcome to join!

  • February 22-23, 2018: Three of our students presented their work at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting.

This is a picture of student Kasg McGee presenting her research at AAFS.

"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.

This is a photo of student Lauren Alejandro presenting her research at AAFS.

"Narcotic Age and Working Dog Performance: Instrumental Perspectives on Training Aid Lifespan" - Lauren Alejandro, B.S., and Paola A. Prada, Ph.D.

This is a photo of student Ethan Dodson presenting his research at AAFS.

"Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention Programming Among United States Police Agencies" - Ethan Dodson, B.A., Megan A. Thoen, Ph.D., Brandy Pina-Watson, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Trejos-Castillo, Ph.D.

  • January 26, 2018: THESIS PROSPECTUS PRESENTATION. Thy Nguyen will be presenting her thesis prospectus on February 1, 2018, in the IFS classroom (Rm. 121) at 3:00p. Her thesis is entitled, "A Novel Method for the Creation of Canine Explosive Detection Training Aids Using an Olfactometer." Her thesis committee includes Paola Prada, Ph.D. (chair), Nathaniel Hall, Ph.D., and Kathy Sperry, Ph.D. Everyone is welcome to attend!
  • January 16, 2018: Dr. Paola Prada is now the graduate program director for forensic science! We look forward to her guidance and leadership!
  • 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.

Picture of a tour group from South Plains College

  • 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.
    Evidence on table - Photo credit: TC Update/The CattlemanCow head with crime scene tape - Photo credit: TC Update/The CattlemanFingerprinting - Photo credit: John Weast
  • 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, WA. Congratulations!
    • "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

 This is a picture of Dr. Prada and three students from her lab presenting their research posters at the 6th International Conference on Forensic Research and Technology in Houston, Texas.

  • 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.

    This is a picture of Dr. Paola A. Prada and law enforcement personnell at the International Forensic Odorology Seminar
  • May 3, 2017: Congratulations to Amanda Patrick and Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo, the 2017 Hillcrest Foundation Forensic Science Scholarship recipients!
  • Older news can be found in our News Archive

Institute for Forensic Science

  • Address

    Mailing address: Box 47406, Lubbock, TX 79409-7406 | Physical address: 1207 South Gilbert Dr., Lubbock, TX 79416
  • Phone

    806.885.4567
  • Email

    ifs@ttu.edu