Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Can't Believe It, Either

Since this is still my end of the process, I thought I'd update you on the latest in the faculty. This is news I never thought I'd be able to share, because this speaker is so in demand in the forensic and educational community, I never ever thought we might see her in the writing community. I can't begin to tell you how lucky we are that she's joining us.

Let me begin by saying that she is one of my personal heroes. She is the first forensic nurse. She was one of the four people who compiled the statistics and wrote the seminal work, Serial Homicide: Patterns and Motives that led to the founding of the Behavioral Sciences Unit at the FBI, and the practice of profiling. Two of the other names on that study you might recognize are John Douglas and Robert Ressler. The same team also collaborated on the Crime Classification Manual of violent crimes.

Ann Burgess is not a member of the FBI. She is a nurse and an educator who helped found one of the first hospital-based crisis counseling programs in the world. Her work at Boston College has helped revolutionize studies in impacts of violence on children and communities, elderly abuse, cyber-stalking and internet sex crimes. She teaches courses in victimology, forensic science, crime and justice, and continues her research in response patterns of crime victims, forensic markers in the elderly, and stalking and battering.

As Jan Burke said, I'd be perfectly happy to pay the entire tuition for Forensic U just to sit at this woman's feet and soak in her wisdom. Not to mention her experience. The difficulty we're having is in trying to pick one subject from her wealth of knowledge and experience to present. My instinct is to to focus on profiling and stalking. But I'd be happy to hear any interests from you.

The very best part is that, while Ann is the surprise, she is by no means the only star in our pantheon(okay, I get a bit excited when I think of the people we have coming). We now have, in addition to Lee Lofland, DP Lyle, Jan Burke and I, eight active forensic experts coming to share their expertise, another three waiting for agency approval, and one, whom if I don't hear from him soon is going to be about six inches shorter(I can say that because he's a good buddy--and a helluvan expert).

And my feeling is that if you're serious about your research, you can save all that time you troll all the different conferences to be able to listen to one, maybe two experts. We have them all right here, from forensic pathology to bomb and arson to DNA. And not just people who've been in the industry, or who have studied it. People who are working in it right now, who know the current concerns, practices and proclivities.

Joanna will be updating the bios on all the faculty soon. Don't wait too long to sign up. We have a limited number of spaces available. I really hope to see you there. I'll be the one sitting at Ann Burgess's feet vying for room with Jan Burke.


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