News - G.U. Forensics Conference Returns In April Following 2018 Success

G.U. Forensics Conference Returns In April Following 2018 Success

by Rachel Heston-Davis G.U. Forensics Conference Returns In April Following 2018 Success

Following the success of last year’s program, Greenville University will once again host the G.U. Forensics Conference, April 5-6, 2019, featuring presentations on timely topics in forensic science and criminal justice. The conference is hosted by the Departments of Biology, Chemistry and Criminal Justice,

This year’s conference will address the role of forensic science in investigating and prosecuting sexual assault.

Theme: Sexual Assault

“April is sexual assault awareness month,” says Michael Laughlin, criminal justice department chair. “Sexual assault is a pervasive problem on campuses within the U.S.” According to, nearly 1 out of every 4 undergraduate females and about 5 percent of undergraduate men experience some type of sexual assault.

“How campus staff, law enforcement, the courts, corrections and social workers all respond to sexual assault and rape are important, and the focus on forensics with this conference can help to ensure that those of us within the criminal justice system and the sciences put our best foot forward when trying to provide justice to the survivors of these heinous crimes,” Laughlin adds.


The conference begins with keynote speakers on Friday evening, April 5. Peter Smerick, retired FBI profiler and forensic scientist, presents “Inside the Mind of a Rapist” at 7 p.m. Russell and Myra Strand, of Strand Holistic Innovative Forensic Techniques, present “Trauma Informed Response and Care” at 8 p.m.

Saturday will feature several sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. including group presentations, break-out sessions, panel discussions and opportunities for connection among participants.

Several additional presenters bring their expertise to this event.

  • Dr. Gary Cumberland is a retired forensic pathologist and medical examiner.
  • Debbie and Rob Smith, of H-E-A-R-T Inc. (Hope Exists After Rape Trauma), were instrumental in getting CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) through the Debbie Smith Act.
  • Troy Stabenow, assistant federal public defender in western Missouri and professor at the University of Missouri Law School, speaks on computer crimes.


College and university students, area high school students and their parents, law enforcement personnel, attorneys, judges and the public are invited to register. The University offers SILEC education credit for law enforcement) and MCLE education credit for attorneys as part of this event.

Registration is $10 for high school or college students, $20 for an adult accompanying a student and $30 for all others. Space is limited. Register online by March 29.


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You can support inspired learning at the 2019 conference by making a gift on the registration page, or by visiting the regular giving page and writing “Forensics Conference” in the designation line.

This story was published on February 13, 2019

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