Course Description: This introductory course, designed for students who are interested in learning the fundamentals of using science to solve crime, provides a basic overview of the crime scene investigation process, and the issues involved in the presentation of forensic evidence in court. Students learn about the identification, documentation, and collection of physical evidence, including fingerprints, shoe impressions, hair and fibers, firearms evidence, and questioned documents. The class discusses the impact of television and other media on the field of forensic science.
Professor: Maya Barak is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology at American University. With a BA in social anthropology from the University of Michigan and an MA in criminology and criminal justice from Eastern Michigan University, her research brings together the topics of law, deviance, immigration, and power utilizing interdisciplinary approaches that span the fields of criminology and criminal justice, law and society, sociology, and anthropology. She has taught and assisted a variety of courses, including Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice, Social and Cultural Change, Criminal Wrongs in Human Rights, The Holocaust, Western Legal Traditions, and a senior writing seminar in Criminology. Prior to joining the JLC community, Maya was a labor and immigrant rights community organizer in southeast Michigan, where she partnered with the United States Census, as well as a data analyst for the Washtenaw County Juvenile Court. This is Maya's third summer teaching Forensics for NSLC.