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About Lee College

Lee College is a public community college. It offers over 60 academic, technical education, and non-credit continuing education programs. It is based Baytown, Texas.

Lee College Headquarter Location

200 Lee Drive

Baytown, Texas, 77520,

United States

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Latest Lee College News

Forensic Professors Help Create Experiential Learning Opportunities for Local High School Students

May 9, 2022

May 09, 2022 As part of the program, students had the opportunity to interact with K9 handlers. Credit: UNH Over the course of two weeks, more than 30 students from Notre Dame High School (New Haven, Connecticut) learned from professionals about the important work they do to help keep the public safe and solve crimes. Students met SWAT, bomb squad, and K9 team members, as well as an alumnus who now serves as a judge. Students heard from Henry Lee, a renowned forensic scientist and professor emeritus at the University of New Haven, and Beth Merkin, J.D., a lecturer at the university who spent more than 30 years as a public defender. She discussed her own work, as well as the impact of  Gideon v. Wainwright , a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision ruling that indigent people accused of committing a crime must be provided a court-appointed attorney. Students also learned from several other Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences faculty members, including Angie Ambers, an associate professor of forensic science who discussed a body farm; Robert Sanders, LP.D., J.D., LLM, an associate professor of national security and a retired U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) Captain; and David San Pietro, an associate professor of forensic science, who engaged students in a discussion about DNA. The engaging student experience was exactly what Lisa Dadio, M.S., MSW, assistant dean of the Lee College and director of the  Center for Advanced Policing , envisioned when she organized the program. She began collaborating with Carmen Gunneson, a Spanish teacher at Notre Dame High School, before COVID, but they were forced to postpone the program the past two years because of the pandemic. Excited to offer the program this year, Dadio reached out to her colleagues and contacts at the university and beyond, and she says everyone she spoke with was eager to be a part of it. She looked forward to bringing professionals with diverse expertise and experience in a variety of fields to interact with the students. “We’ve provided so much knowledge on how many career opportunities there are available to students in the criminal justice and forensic science fields,” said Dadio. "Our students had a unique experience for two weeks. Their days were filled with experts sharing their knowledge and real-world experiences," said Gunneson. “My students’ common observation is that they never realized how comprehensive and interesting this field is,” she continued. “The speakers strongly encouraged them to set personal goals and to apply themselves now in high school. The range of topics was very diverse, and all the speakers successfully engaged our students.” One step closer to their dreams The hope was that, by engaging with professionals with varying areas of expertise, students would learn about the myriad opportunities within criminal justice and forensic science. While students may be familiar with positions such as a police officer and agencies such as the  Secret Service , they may not know about the work of bomb technicians, K9 handlers, or crime scene investigators. Organizers also hoped to educate students on the many concentrations within these fields, such as youth justice. “I was really able to learn and get a solid understanding of what certain people do and how it all comes together to solve crimes, especially from the University of New Haven professors,” said Matthew T., a Notre Dame student. “They went into great detail and made their presentations interactive and interesting.” For Bridget Brosnahan, a lecturer at the University and a crime scene detective for the city of New Haven with more than 20 years of experience in law enforcement, engaging with the students was an exciting opportunity to share her passion for her work. “Being asked to speak to a new generation of students who are interested in forensic science and law enforcement was not only honorable but rewarding,” she said. “They were attentive, engaged, and captivated by the stories I shared about what it’s like to be a crime scene investigator. I love nothing more than to share my knowledge and experience, with the hope they can walk away feeling like they are one step closer to their dreams.” As part of the program, students also visited the university and the West Haven Police Department. The program provided opportunities for students to interact with professionals and ask questions, learning about their day-to-day work and the impact they are having. “As educators, we want our students to not only learn and question what they learn but to become aware of career paths,” said Josep De Alcaraz-Fossoul, an assistant professor of forensic science whose research explores cutting-edge methods to estimate the age of fingerprints at crime scenes. “By being a part of this program, I hope students will get excited about what we do in forensic science, and build excitement from knowing that this line of work can help victims of crimes and their families in a tangible way – and to make our society safer.” Dadio says she has received incredible feedback from students and instructors, and she hopes to offer the program again next year. Her goal is to expand the program to enable students beyond Notre Dame High School to have a similarly meaningful experience. “This is the type of program we’re willing to do with any high school in Connecticut,” said Dadio. “All they have to do is contact me and I can work with them, whether it is a one-day, three-day, or five-day program. We love sharing our expertise with students.”

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