October 2, 2023

Lincoln University has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an HBCU Undergraduate Center for Forensic Science. The goal of the center is to promote diversity in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) while providing students with the foundational skills necessary to excel in forensic science graduate programs and/or crime laboratories.

One of the core elements of the center will be to integrate STEM based curriculum in forensic chemistry and forensic biology to compliment Lincoln University’s highly successful existing criminal justice program. In addition to infrastructure development including laboratory modernization, enhancement of library resources, and faculty development, the new center will also provide internships, interdisciplinary research, and networking opportunities to the students.

The new Center for Forensic Science is being structured with the aim of attaining national accreditation from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences FEPAC committee (Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission). A Memorandum of Understanding with the Center for Forensic Science Research & Education (CFSRE) at Willow Grove, PA is in place in support of these efforts to provide mentoring and student internship opportunities. A portfolio of articulation agreements with institutions having nationally accredited forensic science master’s programs is also being established to provide Lincoln University students a pathway to postgraduate education.

“It is an honor and a privilege to undertake the establishment of this Center of Forensic Science at our nation’s first degree granting HBCU for the purpose of promoting diversity, encouraging STEM education, and preparing the next generation of young men and women to fulfill an active role in the criminal justice system.” said Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Gluodenis at the department of Chemistry & Physics. Dr. Gluodenis is the principal investigator on this award, and he has over 20 years of experience in forensic science and remains active as a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Diversity Committee of the Society of Forensic Toxicology and the Continuing Education Committee of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, among others.

Forensic Science, the application of specialized knowledge to questions of law, is a central pillar in fostering justice, democratic values, and respect for human rights. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has set the ‘Cultivation of a Diverse, Highly Skilled Forensic Science Workforce’ as a key priority in their 20222-26 strategic plan.

The long-term vision of the HBCU Undergraduate Center for Forensic Science at Lincoln University is to become a comprehensive education, research and resource center incorporating all major disciplines related to forensic science including, but not limited to, crime scene investigation, forensic chemistry & biology, digital forensics, forensic psychology, forensic anthropology, and forensic accounting.