Loyola University Chicago

Forensic Science Program

Archived Seminars

The Forensic Science Program at Loyola aims to introduce students to a broad range of forensic-related topics and prepare them for careers in a variety of settings.  We host a Forensic Expert Seminar Series to expand student exposure beyond their coursework.  Speakers are experts in their respective forensic disciplines and related fields.  Topics range from forensic research to case studies, from expert witness testimony to opioid deaths and other current events.  See below for a selection of past seminars. 

To request further information please email Wendy Gruhl




Jillian A. Baker & Claire Dragovich

Chemistry Supervisor and Drug Chemistry Technical Leader & Laboratory Director and Quality Manager | DuPage County Forensic Science Center | Wheaton, IL

Topic: Inside the DuPage County Forensic Science Center


Jeff Tarr & Nicholas Schlereth

Special Agents | US Secret Service | Chicago Field Office | Chicago, IL

Topic: Criminal Investigations and Mission Support


Mary McMillin

Loyola University Chicago Forensic Science Alum!

Research Specialist | University of Chicago | DFI Host-Microbe Metabolomics Facility | Chicago, IL

Topic: An Overview of Mass Spectrometry-based Metabolomics for the Gut Microbiome


Fredericka M. Laux

Senior Forensic Chemist | Drug Enforcement Administration, North Central Laboratory | Chicago, IL

Topic: Current Trends in Clandestine Drug Laboratory Investigations: Challenges for Forensic Chemists and Special Agents




Todd Reeves

Technical Surveillance Specialist | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives | Chicago, IL

Topic: Forensic Photography in the Digital Age


Kasey Kaufmann

Loyola University Chicago Forensic Science Alum!

Wyoming Department of Public Safety | Wyoming, MI

Topic: Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation - No, It's Not Like TV


Delia Avram

Loyola University Chicago Forensic Science Alum!

Cook County Medical Examiner's Office | Chicago, IL

Topic: What a Medical Examiner's Office is Like - Cook County Edition




Kevin Latman, MS

US Defense Threat Reduction Agency | Washington, DC

Topic: From Forensics to Force Protection: Careers in National Security


Anne Grauer, PhD

Professor and Chair | Anthropology Department | Loyola University Chicago | Chicago, IL

Topic: Dead Bodies Do Tell Tales



Brendan Max

Chief,  Forensic Science Division at Cook County Public Defender Office | Chicago, IL

Topic: Forensic Evidence in the Criminal Justice System: Where are We and Where do We Need to Go?



Amy Racines

Loyola University Chicago Forensic Science Alum!

Positive Certifying Scientist | U.S. Drug Testing Laboratories | Des Plaines, IL

Topic: Toxicology Analysis in the Private Sector



Jim Crotty

Group Supervisor | Drug Enforcement Administration Chicago Field Division | Chicago, IL

Topic:  DEA Investigations into Drug Cryptomarket Operations


Amy Watroba

Assistant State’s Attorney - Forensic Science Unit | Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office | Chicago, IL

Topic:  Forensic Science and the Law:  Deconvoluting the Mixture


Nelson A. Santos, MPA

Deputy Assistant Administrator | US Drug Enforcement Administration – Washington, DC

Topic: The DEA Laboratory System



Deborah Zvosec, PhD

Research Associate - Hennepin County Medical Center and Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation | Minneapolis, MN

Topic: Drug-facilitated Sexual Assault:  A Case-based Presentation of Clinical, Toxicological and Legal Perspectives


Michael L. Van Linn, PhD

Drug Science Specialist - Diversion Control | U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington, D.C.

Topic: DEA's Regulatory Response to the Evolving New Psychoactive Substance Market



Ponni Arunkumar, MD

Interim Chief Medical Examiner | Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office | Chicago, IL

Topic: Forensic Pathology and the Recent Rise in Opioid Overdose Deaths in Cook County


Kara Stefanson

DNA Resource Specialist - Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office | Chicago, IL

Topic: Forensic Biology and DNA Analysis


Laura A. Ciolino, PhD

Forensic Chemist – US Food and Drug Administration Forensic Chemistry Center | Cincinnati, OH

Topic: Marijuana Substitutes: Plant Materials Laced with Synthetic Cannabinoids


Will Taylor

DEA Special Agent

Topic: Clandestine Drug Laboratory Investigations: From Methamphetamine to Fentanyl and the Associated Challenges for Forensic Chemists and Law Enforcement


Patrick J. O’Dea

Field Intelligence Manager – US Drug Enforcement Administration | Chicago, IL

Topic: DEA Analysis Punching Above Our Weight: Managing Increased Responsibilities with Diminishing Resources


John T. Dziedzic

Director - Federal Bureau of Investigation Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory | Chicago, IL

Topic: Digital Evidence Forensics and the Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Program



Kevin J. Powers, J.D.

DEA Division Counsel

Topic: Forensic Chemists and Expert Testimony in Criminal Trials





 *Updated 24 Jan 2024