Ian Tebbett, program director for UF's Forensic Science Distance Learning program has won the prestigious Irving Award from the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC).
Dr. Tebbett, who is in his second term on ADEC's board of directors, initiated ADEC's research and development marketing project.
From left: Janet Poley, President/CEO of ADEC; Ian Tebbett, ADEC Board of Directors; Bobby Moser, Vice Chair, ADEC
Under Dr. Tebbett's guidance, UF launched two online MS programs: the Forensic Science program in 1999, and the Pharmaceutical Chemistry program in 2009. Under his leadership, the Forensic Science program has grown to be the largest of its kind, with more than 500 graduates and almost 1,000 students enrolled for the Spring 2011 session.
For more information about ADEC, visit- http://adec.edu/.
Press release contributed by: Linda Homewood
UF pharmacy professor recognized as an outstanding leader in distance learning
May 5, 2010
ATTENTION EDITOR: Photo available at UF News and Communications
For media inquiries contact Linda Homewood at 352-273-6873 or email email@example.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. As the University of Florida Forensic Science master's program reaches its 10th year, its director is being recognized for his leadership in advancing distance learning through online technology in higher education.
Ian Tebbett, Ph.D., a UF professor of toxicology in the UF College of Pharmacy, today is receiving an award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning from the U. S. Distance Learning Association.
The USDLA 2010 International Distance Learning Awards are being presented at a national conference in St. Louis. Tebbett is among four educators in the higher education category who have been named for their outstanding leadership internationally.
The online forensic science program, established in fall 2000 with two courses and 20 students, has now grown into five master's degrees with more than 900 enrollments, making the program the largest of its kind in the world, said UF College of Pharmacy Dean William Riffee, Ph.D.
The USDLA, a nonprofit association founded in 1987, describes distance learning as lifelong learning that utilizes technologies to help students acquire knowledge and skills through mediated instruction.
Through distance learning, education and training we can provide access to the world's best award-winning opportunities for school children, connect higher education students globally and transform the lives and careers of working adults, said Reggie Smith III, USDLA president.
In 2006, Tebbett and Riffee traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the highest national honor offered from the American Distance Education Consortium. ADEC, whose membership is made up from 65 state universities and land-grant colleges, also presented the college an Award of Excellence in Distance Education for the forensic program.
Tebbett, who founded the college's online master's program, is proud that through distance education he has been able to teach students from every state, and from 33 other countries.
It goes to show The Gator Nation is truly everywhere, Tebbett said.
Contributed by: Linda Homewood
The best way to prepare lawyers and judges in forensic science evidence is through scientific courses, reports the National Research Council, citing the University of Florida forensic continuing legal education course for offering attorneys a way to learn what they need to know.
Released in February, the congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council, "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward," has found serious deficiencies in the nation's forensic science system and has called for major reforms.
"The report shows a national need for educating judges and lawyers in scientific principles and methods in criminal investigations and civil litigation," said Ian Tebbett, Ph.D., a UF College of Pharmacy professor and director of its forensic science online program.
"Lawyers and judges often have insufficient training and background in scientific methodology, and they often fail to fully comprehend the approaches employed by different forensic science disciplines and the reliability of forensic science evidence that is offered in trial," according to the NRC report.
In the section on education and training in forensic science, the report states, "Another avenue for education would be courses taught by forensic science education programs, but geared to continuing education participants rather than full-time students. The University of Florida, for example, offers a distance learning, continuing education course for Florida lawyers that is certified by The Florida Bar Association and that covers a variety of forensic science topics."
The UF forensic science course for lawyers is approved by the Florida Bar for 30 hours of CLE credit, including five hours of ethics credits and 25 hours of criminal trial credits. Offered online by UF's forensic science program at Forensic Science for Lawyers, the course is taught by Bernard A. Raum, J.D., MFS, a former prosecutor and adjunct professor of forensic evidence at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. The two-part course consists of 19 modules that address topics ranging from forensic anthropology and toxicology, biological evidence and crime scene investigations to DNA, ethics, fingerprints and competency of counsel.
"The Congressional report emphasizes the national importance of strengthening forensic science education in the United States and through a joint effort, the UF colleges of pharmacy and law are on the right track," said Tebbett. This example is one facet of a much larger effort of the UF forensic science online master's programs that educates forensic students worldwide, he said.
“The University of Florida is in Gainesville. The Gator Nation is everywhere” proclaims a current campaign of the nation’s fourth largest university. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the University of Florida Forensic Science Distance Education Program.
Founded just seven years ago, the Forensic Science Program today has over 400 students from 28 countries enrolled in its growing list of accredited master’s degree and certificate offerings. The program’s students are literally spread around the globe, logging in to do coursework from Antarctica to Hong Kong and many places in between. Gainesville, Florida may be the physical location of the program, but the program’s students really are everywhere.
As one might imagine, the program has proven a particularly attractive match for working professionals who are looking to further their education and hone their skills, but that work during the day. Given that the program is based online, students can complete their coursework in the evenings and on the weekends. More traditional students also appreciate this flexibility.
Another group that has embraced the University of Florida’s distance education program is the U.S. military. The Forensic Science Program currently has students enrolled from every branch of the armed services, including military personnel serving in Iraq. Thanks to the Internet, continuing one’s education is only a few clicks away.
“I still can’t believe I’ve been able to take 10 semester hours of forensic science credit, while in Iraq,” explained Kathleen A. Johnson, Battalion Operations Sergeant and CID Special Agent for the U.S. Army at Camp Victory, Iraq. “Modern technology and Internet access is an amazing thing.”
Johnson is winding down her military career and plans to either teach criminal justice classes to military college students or work in a crime lab. Either way, an advanced degree in forensic science should prove valuable.
Recent Forensic Science Program alumnus, Major Sean “Knute” Adcock of the U.S. Air Force, has already benefited from his degree. Adcock credits his master’s degree in Forensic DNA and Serology with advancing his career and landing him a plum new job assignment.
“In the quarter in which I graduated I won company grade officer for the entire Kadena Air Base (in Okinawa, Japan),” said Adcock, who explained that this award is given to the top officer out of over 1,000 on the base. “I'm also quite certain that getting my master’s degree helped me to get the C-40 assignment.”
Adcock was recently assigned to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany where he now flies the C-40, a variant of the 737 Boeing business jet. In this new position, Adcock provides VIP transport for U.S. and Allied leaders.
James Carrillo, a current student in the master’s in Forensic Science track, recently separated from the U.S. Air Force and now works in the private sector. He credits the program with giving him the knowledge and credibility to land a job in lab management.
“Having an advanced degree will always provide you with more credibility when seeking a job. Now that I’m separated from the Air Force, my master’s degree has given me the opportunity to work in a lab management position,” Carrillo said.
Mobilized military reserve personnel have also found the Forensic Science Program an ideal setting for furthering their education and applying what they’ve learned out in the field. In early 2006, First Lieutenant Nicole Duett of the U.S. Army was mobilized to Fort Lewis, Washington. Duett serves as the Mobilization Officer of the Western Region Medical Command.
“This program allows me to get my degree from a school that I know has a fantastic reputation…The classes are very interesting. Even though I work in an office setting, I do have to deal with some medical aspects and sometimes I can extract part of the class and apply it to my work,” said Duett.
Duett pointed out that, not only are her classmates located around the globe, but some of her professors are located abroad as well. Program faculty members Dr. David Harrison and Dr. Alex Graham are both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Program instructor Alicia Lusiardo teaches from Montevideo, Uruguay.
Partner schools with the University of Florida Forensic Science Program include The University of Edinburgh, CESUMAR and Freevale in Brazil, Silpakorn University in Thailand and The University of Canberra and The Canberra Institute of Technology in Australia. The University of Florida is jointly launching with Canberra a certificate program in Environmental Forensics in the spring of 2008.
“Our programs have earned a well-respected international reputation through our growing student enrollments and through partnering and assisting universities and governments in South America, Europe and Asia in education, workshops and training,” said Dr. Ian Tebbett, Forensic Science Program Director.
Working professionals wishing to advance their careers in forensic science no longer have an excuse for not pursuing their educational goals. The global classroom is only a few clicks away.
The University of Florida Forensic Science Program offers master’s degrees and graduate certificates in six areas of forensic studies with coursework completed entirely online from any location. The only time master’s students must come to the campus in Gainesville, Florida is for final exams. Program details, tuition and admission requirements are available at www.forensicscience.ufl.edu. Questions may also be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.