BGSU taking a bite out of crime with forensic science

By DAVID DUPONT
BG Independent News
Crime is paying off for Bowling Green State University, or at least the science of investigating crime.
On Friday, the university’s Board of Trustees approved a new bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science. It’s the latest offering in forensic science, including a master’s degree.
Five years ago, Provost Rodney Rogers said, BGSU had no students studying forensic science. Then the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation announced it would locate a new crime lab on campus, and that initiated the creation of programs related to the lab.
Now the university has about 250 students studying forensics in some form. That includes forensic specializations in chemistry, biology and computer science.
Rogers said that the university is looking to boost that number even more.
As it is, he said, BGSU now has one of the strongest programs in the country.
Betty Montgomery, a former state Attorney General, who was instrumental in getting a BCI lab located in Bowling Green, said the university needs to get that message out through major media. Having a new lab on campus is an example of the university engaging with society.
Jon Sprague, the director of the Center for the Future of Forensic Sciences, told the trustees about some of the research being done through the auspices of the center. That research involves both faculty and students across disciplines.
That includes research into how double pane glass changes the trajectory of a bullet, which involved physics, and an analysis into how to optimize the process of dealing with a backlog of rape kits, which requires advanced data analysis
Greg Grecco, a junior in neuroscience, spoke about his research into how components of designer drugs effect hyperthermia in users.
The work being done in the university, Sprague said, benefits both BGSU and BCI.
The degree in forensic science as one of three new degrees approved by the trustees.
Also approved were:
• Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. The major, Rogers said, is designed for students who may want to go into science related fields, including health professions, who don’t need the daunting math and upper level courses.
• Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law. The disciplines have much in common, Rogers said, and the major would bring together strengths BGSU already has. The major is viewed as good preparation for public policy positions. Rogers said it would be a good major for students interested in studying law.

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