Madonna University is one of the only 35 institutions in the world to achieve accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and has the only FEPAC Accredited undergraduate program in Michigan.
Madonna University is one of the only 35 institutions in the world to achieve accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and has the only FEPAC Accredited undergraduate program in Michigan.Through a focus on career preparation, the Forensic Science Program follows the mission of Madonna University by supporting a liberal arts education that instills humanistic values, intellectual inquiry, a respect for diversity, and a commitment to serving others. This mission is based on the Franciscan values of respect for the dignity of each person, peace and justice, reverence for creation, and education for truth and service.Students in the Forensic Science Program earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science with a minor in Chemistry to fulfill the requirements of FEPAC accreditation. As the only accredited undergraduate program in the State of Michigan, Forensic Science at Madonna University meets the standards that are being demanded by employers under the Department of Justice’s newly introduced endeavor to improve forensic science nationwide through a partnership between the National Commission on Forensic Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The emphasis on applied learning provides a skill set that benefits both those that seek immediate employment in the field, or those that decide to pursue graduate or professional school.Forensic science coursework is presented by specialists with experience that can assist students in mastering techniques and building confidence so that they are prepared not just theoretically but also with “good lab hands” that are essential for the performance of standard operating protocols within a highly regulated environment. Because the field of forensic science contains a myriad of different sub-disciplines and specialties, coursework is focused on exploring techniques at the experiential level so that students can decide which avenue they wish to pursue when making the next step in their journey to success. By engaging in independent projects for research and development within the Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility, students at the undergraduate level may gain a level of skill development that is most often reserved for those in graduate level programs.The ultimate goal is to prepare each student to embark on a career dedicated to serving justice and their community through the application of science in law enforcement.
Brandon began his career with the Michigan State Police as a Forensic Technician, but was soon promoted to a position as Forensic Scientist in the Biology Unit and has since been qualified in numerous courts as an expert in Body Fluid Identification, DNA Analysis, and Bloodstain Pattern Interpretation. In April of 2013, he was promoted to the position of Lab Manager in the Biology Unit of the Michigan State Police Northville Crime Laboratory.
Stephanie completed her Master’s of Science in Forensic Science at Syracuse University (’15) and is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Molecular Genetics and Genomics at Wayne State University’s Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.Stephanie was awarded an Earhart Scholarship while attending Madonna University and participated in Title III Faculty-Student Collaborative Research as part of her ancient DNA research focusing on the extraction, amplification, and analysis of DNA from individuals recovered from the historic Spring Street Presbyterian Church cemetery vaults in New York City. She is a Student Affiliate of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, has represented Madonna University by presenting her research at state and national conferences, and won first place in the undergraduate category at our annual Research Day. Stephanie credits the faculty of the Forensic Science Program at Madonna University for helping to develop her inner scientist.
Welcome to Madonna University’s College of Natural and Social Sciences. Our Forensic Science degree program has earned a reputation for excellence and our graduates are in high demand. Our undergraduate forensics program has a two-stage admissions process. Before you can be admitted to our Forensic Science major, you must first be accepted into Pre-Forensics. To learn more about Stage One admission requirements, see the Stage 1 link below.Once you are accepted as a pre-forensics student you must meet the following requirements. See the Stage 2 link below to learn more.Whether you are transferring to Madonna or coming directly from high school, we would be happy to walk you through the necessary steps to becoming a Madonna University student. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 734-432-5339 or email@example.com.
Forensic Science Program facilities are housed in the beautiful Gold Certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Franciscan Center for Science and Media at Madonna University. This new, 60,000 square foot facility opened in fall 2009 and provides state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories where students and faculty design and carry out innovative research projects.
Laboratory internships allow students to acquire new skills, as well as network with and assess potential employers in an interactive professional setting. While many forensic laboratories offer internships, the number of placements is often limited and highly competitive. Students interested in internship opportunities are strongly encouraged to contact their faculty advisor and initiate the application process at the beginning of their third year.
Students at Madonna have numerous opportunities to give back to their community. However, students in the Forensic Science program get the opportunity to put their forensics skills and their Felician Values into action through Forensic Science Community Outreach. Our outreach programs focus on initiatives which help to restore justice to the less fortunate and often forgotten members of society.
The purpose of the Madonna University Forensic Science Society is to encourage interaction and networking between Madonna University students, alumni, and forensic science organizations within the local area. The MUFSS also hosts get-togethers, learning activities and opportunities for members to put their skills and Felician Values into service for the community. Students are eligible (and encouraged) to join once they are accepted and enrolled at Madonna.
The Forensic Science Program fosters professional relationships that provide opportunities for faculty and students to present and publish the research data generated within the Madonna University Forensic Science Research Facility. Students have also been able to participate with faculty members on long term research funded through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). Funding is available for students to help cover the costs of publication and travel to professional functions to present research.
Madonna University FSAT Ranking - Spring Sitting*
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Following the 2004 release of the National Institute of Justice’s report on the state of forensic science educational institutions in the United States, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) sponsored the development of the Forensic Science Education Programs Education Commission (FEPAC), to implement the recommendations of the NIJ’s Technical Working Group on Forensic Science Education (TWG-ED). Madonna University is one of only 35 institutions in the world to achieve accreditation through the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC) and has the only FEPAC Accredited undergraduate program in Michigan.
If you would like to donate to the Forensic Science Department for research, please contact Dr. Jodi Lynn Barta, Director of the Forensic Science Program at 734-432-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forensic Sciences Department
Dr. Jodi Lynn Barta, Chair
Dean of Students
Dr. Christine Benson, Dean
College of Natural and Social Sciences
Tara Kane, Interim Dean
Learn to recover DNA profiles from evidence items used in the biology division of crime laboratories.
Gain additional knowledge in crime scene practice through Madonna’s Criminal Justice program.
Ph.D. McMaster University
B.Sc. University of Western Ontario
Franciscan Center S217-T
Dr. Jodi Lynn Barta, PhD, is professor and chair of Forensic Science at Madonna University, and director of the FEPAC accredited undergraduate program in Forensic Science. She is a forensic anthropologist with a degree in molecular genetics that specializes in the extraction of DNA from ancient and forensic biological materials.
She has over 15 years of experience in extracting and amplifying DNA from low copy number and degraded human and animal remains. As an experienced forensic consultant she has worked in conjunction with police agencies and the coroner’s office on the analysis of forensic cases including; aging, sexing, and personal biology to assist in the identification of recovered human remains.
She is an NIJ funded researcher involved in research to understand the behavior of DNA molecules during extraction and to optimize protocols for obtaining DNA from biofluids lifted using Zar-Pro™ Fluorescent Blood Lifters (US Patent 8,025,852 B2). Her published research topics include methodological improvements for the extraction of ancient and forensic DNA, recovering bloody impressions from difficult substrates, including from human skin, defining methods to create consistent and reproducible fingerprint impressions deposited in biological fluids on a variety of substrates, ancient DNA analysis of Roman cemetery populations, and ancient DNA analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from paleopathological skeletal remains.
M.S. George Washington University
B.S. Wayne State University
Franciscan Center S217-Q
Mike Kusluski is an Assistant Professor in the Forensic Science Program at Madonna University. He received his B.S. in Applied Physics from Wayne State University and a Master of Forensic Sciences degree from George Washington University. His forensic laboratory career with the Michigan State Police, Detroit Police Department and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation includes experience in Firearms & Tool Marks Examination, Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, Controlled Substances Analysis and Crime Scene Investigation. He was also an adjunct faculty member of Wayne State University, teaching forensic science courses for 16 years. He is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts (IABPA) as well as a board-certified Fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics (F-ABC).
His research interests include shooting incident reconstruction, gunshot residue analysis and bloodstain pattern analysis. Before transitioning into Forensic Science, Mr. Kusluski worked as a scientist, engineer and laboratory supervisor in the private sector. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Ph.D. Wayne State University
B.S. University of Michigan
Franciscan Center S217-F
Dr. Nowicki joined the Madonna Biology Department as an Assistant Professor in January 2017. She teaches Human Anatomy & Physiology, General Biology, Cell Biology, Population Genetics, and several special topics courses including Advanced Human Physiology and Evolution. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. in Biology at Wayne State University.
Before coming to Madonna, she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY) where she taught courses in biology and animal diversity. She then worked as a Field Biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Toledo examining chemical and biological impacts on the Great Lakes food web and the implications for human health. Dr. Nowicki continues to work with colleagues within the academic and government sectors to examine the effects of environmental contaminants on human health, and volunteers with community organizations such as the Friends of the Rouge River and the Detroit River Front Conservancy. She is a strong advocate of student research, experiential learning, and community outreach.
Dr. Nowicki is also the faculty advisor for the Biological and Health Sciences Club which sponsors many events including professional school application workshops, children’s hospital outreach, medical campus visits, and tours of the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.
M.S. National University
B.S. Madonna University
B.H.S. Ferris State University
Ms. Jessica Zarate, MS is currently an assistant professor in the FEPAC accredited undergraduate Forensic Science Program at Madonna University teaching forensic science coursework including impression and pattern evidence. She was a Michigan certified police officer for eight years and is the inventor of the Zar-Pro™ Fluorescent Blood Lifters (US Patent 8,025,852 B2).
She has worked in impression analysis, for over 9 years, including during her time as a Police Officer with the Northville City Police Department when she collaborated with Michigan State Police Northville Forensic Science Laboratory, Latent Print Unit with research and development in the area of impression enhancement.
Her research work is focused within the impression evidence discipline, publishing on a fluorogenic method for lifting, enhancing, and preserving bloody impression evidence, recovering bloody impressions from difficult substrates, including from human skin, and defining methods to create consistent and reproducible fingerprint impressions deposited in biological fluids on a variety of substrates.