DEFIANCE, Ohio – Eight Defiance College students attended the annual international conference of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) held recently in Hershey, Pa.
HTCIA provides education and collaboration to members for the prevention and investigation of high tech crimes. In addition to law enforcement or private industry professionals comprising the organization’s membership, there are also several student chapters including one at Defiance College.
Attending the conference from DC were digital forensic science students Daniel Lam, San Francisco; Miranda Behner, Warren, Ohio; Chelsea Bell, Walbridge, Ohio; Alex Frandsen, Frankfort, Ill.; Beth Wesche, Bryan; Nick Mumaw, Wadsworth, Ohio; Steve Strahm, Toledo; and Matt Coons, Defiance. They were accompanied by Defiance College faculty member Tim Wedge.
Five of the Defiance students were selected as conference volunteers, helping with set up and registration and serving as ushers. Those students were Lam, Behner, Bell, Frandsen and Wesche.
Five students – Strahm, Mumaw, Frandsen, Coons and Wesche – also gave poster presentations during the event. Frandsen, Coons and Wesche reported on the role of digital forensic science in the investigation of human trafficking. Nick Mumaw presented on Defiance College’s Detectives of Defiance summer camp, and Strahm presented on the College’s nonprofit group, DCPC Solutions, which provides computer repair services to the community.
For the students, the conference offered numerous educational venues with lectures and labs. It also provided excellent networking opportunities. “We were able to talk to law enforcement officials, vendors of products, and experts within our field who gave good information about the routes we might want to go,” said Lam. He noted that Defiance College had the greatest number of students in attendance. “Our program is special because it incorporates the criminal justice aspect that other schools don’t. It’s good to see.”
Lam was asked to serve on a committee to organize student involvement for next year’s conference.
Both Mumaw and Behner said that they had many opportunities to talk with professionals in the field as well as students from other colleges. “I was able to network with so many people,” said Mumaw. He noted that many people expressed interest in the crime investigation camp that Defiance College holds every summer.
Behner said the conference reinforced her career choice. “Being there gave me the extra push that I needed to finish my degree and start my career in the digital forensics field,” she said.
The conference trip also included visits to Gettysburg National Military Park and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, PA.
Partial funding for the students’ expenses was provided by Defiance College’s Imagine Initiatives project created to provide domestic travel and learning opportunities related to students’ areas of study.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.