Course taught primarily online. Students will attend an introductory class on campus and access instructional materials upon returning home at hours that suit their own schedules. This instruction may include lectures recorded by their professor, podcasts, documentaries, and discussion posts. Readings and assignments will be available via AU's Blackboard platform. Professors remain accessible to student questions for 30 days after the on-campus segment.
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: Hillary Mellinger is a rising third-year doctoral student in the Department of Justice, Law and Criminology at American University. She also holds an MA in political science from George Mason University, and a dual BA in international relations and modern languages from Beloit College. The focus of her research is on immigration and asylum policies, comparative judicial systems, and criminal/international law. She was previously employed as a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative at the Tahirih Justice Center, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence to access justice.