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b2ap3_thumbnail_9-20-CF_Best-Value-CJ.pngWaynesburg University's criminal justice program was recently nationally recognized as a best value in the 2017 College Factual "Best Colleges Nationwide" rankings published by USA Today. The criminal justice program placed in the top 10 percent, ranking No. 25 out of 373 similar school programs in the nation and ranked No. 1 in the state of Pennsylvania.

"We are thrilled to have the Criminal Justice Administration Program recognized as a best value, particularly being number one in Pennsylvania," said Adam Jack, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and associate professor of criminal justice. "The hands-on nature of our program, paired with the recognition of a cost effective education, will certainly set us apart from other schools."

College Factual measures a variety of factors in determining top ranked colleges by major, such as early career and mid-career earnings; major focus and market share; post-graduate resources; related major focus, breadth and concentration; accreditation; and overall school quality.

Additionally, Waynesburg University earned the distinction as a "Best College for the Money," ranking No. 147 out of the 1,208 schools identified across the nation by College Factual.

In recent months, the University has also been recognized as a best value by U.S. News & World Report, College Factual, The Economist, The Brookings Institute and Educate to Career.

For more information about Waynesburg University's criminal justice program, visit

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or

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Officials from The People’s Police Academy in Vietnam and the Political General Department will travel to Pittsburgh Tuesday, Sept. 27 to Friday, Sept. 30, to visit Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC) and Waynesburg University for the first Public Security and Leadership United States Conference.

The four-day conference will include an in-depth study of criminal justice education and training, security operations, and emergency prevention and response. Additional topics include terrorism, human trafficking, and firearms and explosives.

PTC and Waynesburg University faculty have prepared customized training requested by the delegation in the following areas: criminal procedures in the United States; use of force; traffic stops; cameras and protection; terrorism prevention; crime scene investigation and fingerprinting; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) bomb and arson response; ATF explosives detection; K-9 demonstrations; laser shot simulated firearms demonstrations; criminal investigation; firearms and explosives; forensic laboratory services; patriot training; and lethal weapons training.

Additionally, the delegation will participate in training with Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 911 EOC Center – Allegheny County, Mobile Command Center, Mobile Crime Lab, Heinz Field Terrorism Team, Pennsylvania State Police Airborne Law Enforcement, the National Response Team and the City of Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay.

According to PTC President Greg DeFeo, this event is a mutual opportunity for academic and cultural advancement.

“That Pittsburgh Technical College and our School of Criminal Justice have been selected to provide training for our contemporaries in public safety and education is an incredible honor for us. Everyone at PTC - students, faculty and our administrative team alike - are eager to host a memorable visit,” said DeFeo.

James Tanda, instructor of criminal justice at Waynesburg University, is responsible for coordinating the events held on Waynesburg’s main campus.

“This training demonstrates and accomplishes Waynesburg University’s willingness to partner with other colleges in the region in a productive, educational environment,” said Tanda. “Waynesburg will provide instruction from our criminal justice faculty on investigations, crime scene analysis and forensic laboratory examination.”

Details, logistics and translation for the visit have been coordinated by Susan Amorose, president at the American English Institute and chief global officer for the American Scholar Group.

The Vietnamese delegation will consist of government officials, teaching professionals and executive leadership of Vietnamese police and fire organizations.

About Pittsburgh Technical College

Offering career-focused education since 1946, Pittsburgh Technical College is located on a 180-acre campus in North Fayette, west of Pittsburgh.  PTC awards associate and bachelor’s degrees and certificates in more than 30 programs in areas such as business, criminal justice, hospitality, design, healthcare, nursing, information technology, trades technology, and energy and electronics technology.  PTC also offers program through PTC Online and culinary programs through the American Academy of Culinary Arts, AACA.  PTC’s campus offers on-campus resident halls, student activities, intramural sports, and community service programs.

PTC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For the sixth consecutive year, PTC was recognized by its employees as one of the region’s Top Places to Work in a 2016 study commissioned by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, is designated a Military Friendly School for the seventh consecutive year, and is selected a STEM Jobs Approved College for 2015.

For information about PTC, visit, or PTC’s School of Criminal Justice, visit

About Waynesburg University

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

For more information about Waynesburg University’s criminal justice program, visit

About the American English Institute

American English Institute seeks to establish the standard for American English by functioning both as an accreditation body that instills the correct pedagogy for educators and as an educator of the language. Guiding students from beginning to advanced levels, the institute fosters proficiency in all the linguistic domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

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 Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations or 724-852-7675

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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

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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

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

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