~ By Taylor Blaire Mosher, COSS media assistant

~ Photos by Chris Cruz

Criminology students and faculty at Fresno State may now conduct research using computers equipped with specialized software to address a variety of research questions related to cognitive science experiments.

Research includes eyewitness identifications, content analysis of interviews with offenders and studies on the protocols that law enforcement officers use during witness and suspect interrogation.

The forensic behavioral lab in the Science II building room 148, 150 and 152 opened on Sept. 15 with roughly 30 faculty and staff members in attendance, including Victor E. Bulldog.

The opening ceremony included speeches from Dr. Candice Skrapec and Dr. Peter English, both professors in the department, Dr. Emma Hughes, the department chair, and Dr. Michelle DenBeste, interim dean of the College of Social Sciences. After the opening remarks, Skrapec and English cut the crime scene tape, which served as ribbon, that crossed the neighboring laboratory doorways, officially opening the two labs.

Following the ribbon-cutting, those in attendance were invited to check out the labs, meet with Victor E. and enjoy free refreshments. The evening concluded with a presentation by criminology professor Dr. Allen Azizian entitled “Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders: Mental Disorders and Predisposition to Sexual Offending.”

“We are anticipating a buzz of activity from graduate students working on their thesis, McNair students developing their research projects and undergraduate research assistants working with faculty mentors on research,” said Skrapec.

A smaller “running room” will be used to conduct research on actual participants/subjects but given that much of the data worked on is confidential, access to the lab is restricted.

All faculty in the Criminology Department can use the facility for research projects that they and/or their designated students are conducting.

It is anticipated that students conducting group projects, graduate students and honors students working on projects in their classes will find “a seat” in the lab.

For photos from the opening ceremony, flip through our slideshow below.

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