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b2ap3_thumbnail_CSI-Resized.jpgThe Waynesburg University Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and the Office of Admissions will host the spring Mock Crime Scene Workshop Saturday, March 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The Mock Crime Scene Workshop provides high school students the opportunity to analyze crime scenes and collect and process evidence alongside Waynesburg University students and faculty, as well as experts in the field. 

Students will attend technical workshops in the morning and then apply what they've learned in mock crime scenes or active response scenarios in the afternoon. Workshops related to arrest techniques, interview and interrogation practices and a firearms training simulator will also be offered.

“The goal of the event is to provide the high school students with a better perspective of what careers in law enforcement and forensic science are really like,” said Michael Cipoletti, assistant professor of forensic science. “Hopefully we are helping students determine if criminal justice or forensics is a viable option for them to pursue as a major course of study.”

Under the instruction of University students, faculty and representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police, by the end of the day, students will be able to apply the principles and techniques learned to a challenging crime scene. 

To register, or for more information, contact the Office of Admissions at 800-225-7393.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_CSI-Resized.jpgOn October 21, 2013, Waynesburg University students enrolled in instructor of criminal justice James Tanda’s terrorism class welcomed Edward Bender, a visiting guest speaker from the National Center for Explosives Training and Research in Huntsville, Ala. During his Waynesburg University presentation, Bender touched on many historic cases with first-hand accounts and details not found in history books.

The Waynesburg University Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and the Office of Admissions hosted the annual Mock Crime Scene Workshop Saturday, Oct. 19. The event afforded high school students the opportunity to analyze crime scenes and collect and process evidence alongside experts in various criminal justice and forensic science areas.

Waynesburg University hosted its annual Crime Scene Investigation summer camp Sunday, June 16, through Friday, June 21, 2013, on the campus of Waynesburg University. Participants gained valuable insight into the field of forensic science through experiential learning and strategically planned activities.

James Tanda was a Supervisory Special Agent for the Department of Justice and joined Waynesburg University in January, 2013, as an Instructor of Criminal Justice.  He received his B.A. degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is an AFT Certified Explosives Specialist.

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On October 21, 2013, Waynesburg University students enrolled in instructor of criminal justice James Tanda’s terrorism class welcomed Edward Bender, a visiting guest speaker from the National Center for Explosives Training and Research in Huntsville, Ala.

More than 100 Waynesburg University students from classes including terrorism, criminal investigations, criminal justice, forensic science, criminalistics, criminal law, white collar crime, interview & interrogation and private security attended Bender’s instructional presentation involving crime scene investigation, laboratory analysis, evidence collection and case studies globally spanning the last 25 years.

“Waynesburg students could see that expertise come through with detailed and animated descriptions of Bender’s firsthand accounts of examining the World Trade Center truck bomb and the Oklahoma City federal building bombing,” said Tanda.

Tanda and Bender worked closely together for more than 22 years in the field on bomb scenes and in explosives investigative training environments. They continue to stay close to the explosives law enforcement community as they are both contracted subject matter experts at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research.

Bender earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College in 1979.  His career in forensic chemistry began that same year in the Instrumental Analysis Section of the FBI Laboratory with an emphasis on explosives and trace evidence examination. He continued his career at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Laboratory in 1990, specializing in the chemical analysis of explosives, explosive effects and trace evidence.  After 34 years of service to the Department of Justice as an expert in his field, Bender retired from ATF’s Washington National Laboratory in 2012.

Although Bender worked on hundreds of criminal investigations at the federal, state and international levels, some of his more notable investigations included the bombing of the Embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, the attempted assassination of president Ronald Reagan, the “Unibomber" serial bombing case, the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1996 TWA Flight 800 investigations.

During his Waynesburg University presentation, Bender touched on many of these historic cases with first-hand accounts and details not found in history books.

Bender has 26 peer reviewed scientific publications including contributions to three books. He has taught numerous post-blast investigation courses and has given lectures in nearly every state in the country.  He has also taught explosives investigations throughout the world including international law enforcement academies in Africa, Hungary and Thailand.

He currently teaches more than 20 classes a year for the homemade explosives course at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research as well as a pipe bomb analysis course at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa, Ontario, and the Western Regional CPC in Chilliwack, British Colombia. 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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CSI Camp Students in HAZMAT suits

Hello All!

I'm back! So as I promised in my last blog entry, here's an update for the past day or so.

On Wednesday, the campers started off their day with a little burial excavation - dirt, sunshine, skeletons, and shovels (What more do you need?!) After being taken through the steps of how to excavate a burial site, the students were split into teams, and allowed to uncover their own sites, figuring out what happened to the body in the ground (insert second disclaimer here - no real bodies were used!)

After the excavation, the campers were given some free time while we had a cookout. They played some games and enjoyed the amazing weather that we have had this week.

It was after the fun and sun that the real work began though, as the students had to put on their HAZMAT suits (also known as hazardous materials suits - picture giant ghostbuster looking outfits, minus the air tanks and fancy equipment) and begin processing arson scenes. The students were required to use everything that they learned from the ATF and the Pennsylvania State Trooper/Fire Marshal that they talked to earlier this week. The campers really seemed to enjoy that, and having taken a class this past semester on responding to biological and chemical weapons, I could definitely relate to them - for class, we had to wear the suits, and while they were super hot inside, it was pretty awesome to walk around in crime scenes covered head to toe in the suits. Plus they look pretty ridiculous in a totally awesome way.

On Thursday we spent most of the day at the FBI CJIS Division in Clarksburg, WV. Without giving everything away, we were able to tour some of the facility, speak with FBI profilers, learn about biometrics (and seeing where exactly your fingerprints go when you get entered into the system ), watch the bomb squad dogs sniff out explosives, and learn about some of the hardships that officers face in the line of duty. We even got to go to the gift store too and stock up on our FBI souvenirs - parents, if you are lucky, maybe your camper brought you something back!

CSI Camp arson scene processing

Last, but certainly not least, we spent the past 2 hours listening to Dr. Cyril Wecht, a world reknowned forensic pathologist. Dr. Wecht has completed over 18,000 autopsies, and has consulted on major cases.

I would just like to take a minute to thank our presenters! We are so fortunate to have professionals from such diverse backgrounds and fields represented at CSI camp.

Stay tuned for more!

-Caiti

Caiti Fillipi is a student blogger and the Waynesburg University CSI Camp coordinator. She is a junior in Forensic Science.


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measuring a crime scene at the CSI house
Hi everyone! My name is Caiti Filippi, and I am writing to you as the Coordinator for this year's CSI Camp! To give you a little bit of background about me, I am a senior from Huntingtown, MD, and I am studying Criminal Justice here at Waynesburg University. This is my 5th year with Waynesburg's CSI Camp - my first two years I was a camper, my third year a camp counselor, and last year I helped out behind the scenes. This year, as coordinator, I have had not only a bigger role behind the scenes, but I have helped our Camp Director (Mike Cipoletti) plan the camp from start to finish, which has been so cool! To go from being a camper to now helping organize the entire week has been pretty awesome to say the least, but enough about me! I want to give you an inside look at some of the things that we have been doing this past week, but first a little background on this years camp. We have 54 campers from a variety of states, including:

• Pennsylvania
• Ohio
• Maryland
• Virginia
• Michigan
• and even ones from Florida and Arizona! How cool is that?!


In addition to the campers, we have 20 camp counselors who are all current Waynesburg University students, majoring in Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Forensic Accounting, and Computer Forensics. I just want to say how awesome our camp staff is - we could not run this camp without them!

And now for the good stuff - crime scenes, arson investigations, profiling, cybercrimes, surveillances, and search warrant executions! Those are just a handful of things that we have done the past few days here, and we are nowhere near done yet!

The campers arrived on Sunday, and while they were given a small idea of what to expect for the week, I don't think they had any clue just how much we had planned for them. After the first few hours of move-ins, introductions, and getting to know each other, we jumped into the swing of things by kicking things off with scavenger hunts, movies, and ice cream socials - the campers really seemed to enjoy the first night and were so excited to get started the next day!
The second day of camp was definitely jam-packed with activities and presenters, and the students loved it! We brought in so many professionals including, an expert in forensic psychology (Waynesburg University professor Dr. Keith Reider), an FBI agent from the FBI-CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) division in Clarksburg, WV, and agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF for short) - Pittsburgh Division, just to name a few. The campers were able to learn how to properly process crime scenes, how to conduct arson investigations, how to profile suspects (including what it takes to profile serial killers - scary stuff!), and how to determine the different types of explosives used... this was just all in one day!


Day 3 (which is probably my favorite day of camp) was definitely active to say the least. The night before, myself and two other counselors showed the campers what it means to conduct a surveillance, and gave them some tips for successfully following other suspects. Yesterday was the campers turn to give it a try, and see how hard it is to follow someone for a few hours without them even knowing. As I am sure they can tell you, it is not an easy task! Here at Waynesburg University, students in criminal justice and the forensics have to participate in surveillances as a part of a class that we must take in order to graduate - so we decided to give the campers a taste of what that is like for us, and we ask University students to act as role players (aka drug dealers) and be followed around by the campers for a few hours. The role players make fake drug deals, and the campers are asked to move in, make arrests, and conduct interviews in order to collect enough info for a search warrant. When all is said and done, at the end of yesterday, fake drugs were sold, arrests were made, search warrants were executed, doors were kicked down, and evidence was collected - all in all, a pretty awesome day!


If that sounds exciting, wait until you hear what the campers are doing today. Burial excavations!!! We set up scenes for the campers to dig up, using the proper techniques shown to them so that they can uncover remains and figure out what happened to that person. Before I continue, let me just insert a major disclaimer here and say that no real bodies were used in this!! (Just in case you were concerned about that - I know I would be!) We use fake skeletons, and bury it with evidence, so that the campers have to fit the pieces together and solve the puzzle.
That is all I have for now, but feel free to ask any questions, and stay tuned for more updates throughout the camp!


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