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Pittsburgh, June 10, 2009 – High school students who are fascinated with forensics and criminalistics may want to investigate a three-credit course at La Roche College this summer. “CSI: La Roche” will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, June 22, through Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. The course is open to all high school students who are entering their junior or senior year and who have a minimum “B” grade in both Biology I and Chemistry I.

Throughout the week’s course, students will investigate a mock crime scene, collect and analyze evidence from both biology and chemistry viewpoints, and present their findings at a mock grand jury indictment. They also will work directly with state-of-the-art laboratory procedures such as spectroscopy and chromatography, as well as DNA profiling instruments.

“It’s helpful for students who have an interest in forensic science and criminalistics to learn more about these areas and find out if they really want to pursue a degree and, ultimately, a career within them,” said Larry Likar, J.D., M.A., chairman of the Department of Justice, Law & Security at La Roche.

The La Roche course was developed based on discussions with experts at the FBI’s Quantico, Va., crime lab facility and Allegheny County’s crime lab facility. Likar and Robert Mitchell, M.A., assistant professor, were supervisory agents with the FBI and bring with them 50+ years in criminal investigation. Together with counterparts in biology and chemistry – Gail Rowe, Ph.D., and Roberta Hartman, Ph.D., respectively – they developed this course to guide students in hands-on experiences with the same high-tech instrumentation used by law enforcement, biologists and chemists in today’s modern forensic laboratories. Mitchell, Rowe and, this year, chemistry professor Hubert MacDonald, Ph.D., will lead the class.

Attendance is limited to 12 students so that every participant has the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. There is a fee involved to cover the cost of materials and course credits, which will transfer to La Roche and several area colleges and universities. For those students who would like to stay on campus for the week, La Roche residence hall rooms will be available.

To learn more about CSI: La Roche , visit for an overview, student testimonials, a question-and-answer guide, photographs from past years, faculty biographies, and a downloadable application form. Questions may be directed to Cheryl Stewart-Miller at 412-536-1792 or

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