Robert Allen, Ph.D.
Professor of Forensic Sciences
Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry.
Dr. Allen is the school head, a Professor of Forensic Sciences and the Director of the Human Identity Testing Laboratory. He has served as the Director of the H.A. Chapman Institute of Medical Genetics and as the Scientific Director of the American Red Cross. He earned his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Purdue University and completed postdoctoral work at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. Dr. Allen is widely published and active in numerous professional scientific organizations. The focus of his research is variability in human DNA.
Ronald R. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Forensic Sciences
Dr. Thrasher heads the Forensic Psychology track at the OSU Center for Health Sciences and is also a Visiting Assistant Professor for the OSU Department of Sociology and Adjunct Professor in the OSU Department of Psychology. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology at Oklahoma State University, where he also received a master’s degree in corrections and a bachelor’s degree with a double emphasis in biology and psychology. Dr. Thrasher obtained a Criminal Justice Diploma from the University of Virginia while attending the FBI National Academy, Quantico, VA. His areas of expertise include behavioral analysis of violent crime scenes, offender profiling, group deviant behavior, and violent serial criminal offenders. His writing appears in various publications, and he is a frequent presenter at national, regional, and state conferences. He is also involved in a number of community and professional organizations and currently serves as President of the Payne/Logan County Drug Court. His experience also includes 33 years with the Stillwater (OK) Police Department, where he ultimately retired as Deputy Chief of Police.
Jarrad R. Wagner, Ph.D.
Professor of Forensic Sciences
Forensic Toxicology and Trace Chemistry
Dr. Wagner teaches courses and mentors research students in the area of forensic toxicology and trace chemistry. Dr. Wagner formerly served as a Chemist for the FBI Laboratory, where he worked on crime scene investigations involving hazardous materials. His prior law enforcement experience also includes his time as a Forensic Scientist in the Toxicology section of the Orange County (CA) Sheriff-Coroner’s office and his service as a Reserve Police Officer in the City of Irvine, CA. Dr. Wagner holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from the University of California at Irvine. He has published several articles in scientific journals and has made presentations related to forensic science for professional institutes and trainings throughout the world.
John J. Frucci III, Ed.S.
Program Director, Master of Science in Arson and Explosives Investigation
A former bomb squad commander from Newark, New Jersey, Frucci has 20 years of experience in law enforcement. He began his career in 1993 as a sheriff's officer in the Essex County Sheriff's Office in Newark. Frucci has also worked as a detective in the fugitive squad and as a fire explosion investigator for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Arson Task Force. He was lead investigator for a seven-year investigation of the Seton Hall fire in 2000 that killed three and injured 58. Two suspects pleaded guilty and the investigation resulted in a book, documentary and an International Investigator of the Year Award for Frucci.
Frucci earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Rutgers University in 1997. He earned his master's degree in education administration in 2000 and his education specialist degree in education administration and supervision in 2006, both from Seton Hall University.
Tom Gersbeck, M.F.S.
IMPEX Military Liaison
Associate Adjunct Professor of Forensic Sciences
USMC, CWO-2 (Ret.)
After retiring from the Marine Corps as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer in 2001, Gersbeck joined the Federal Air Marshal Service and served as explosives branch chief of the National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program, technology officer with the Explosives Operations Division and as the Philadelphia Field Office explosives security specialist. Gersbeck served multiple tours in Afghanistan as the program manager of the Joint Asymmetric Threat Awareness and Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Mobile Training Teams and the triage laboratory lead in the RC-North and RC-East Combined Explosives Exploitation Cell, also working in the biometrics laboratory. Tom’s book, Practical Military Ordnance Identification, which is part of the “Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigation” series created by Vernon Geberth, was published in 2014. Gersbeck earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Park University in 1998 and a Master of Forensic Sciences degree in 2000 from National University. In 2015, Gersbeck was promoted to Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Jane Pritchard, B.S.
Director of Quality
Adjunct Instructor of Quality Assurance
Jane Pritchard serves as the Director of Quality for the School of Forensic Sciences. She is the FEPAC coordinator for the School, teaches in the graduate program, and is the Manager for the Human Identity Testing Laboratory, an AABB accredited DNA laboratory that performs paternity/relationship testing. She has certifications as a Medical Technologist and as a Certified Laboratory Specialist in Molecular Biology. Before joining the OSU staff, she served as the Operations Manager at the H. A. Chapman Institute of Medical Genetics. She chaired the National Credentialing Agency’s committee that established the certification examination for molecular biology technologists. She is a past President of the Association of Genetic Technologists and currently serves on the Relationship Testing Standards committee for the AABB. Ms. Pritchard received her B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of North Carolina.
Penelope Carr, B.S.
Program Coordinator, Arson and Explosives Investigation
918-561-8424 or 1-800-677-1972, ext. 8424
Before joining the department, Penelope was Resident Program Coordinator for the Department of Surgery at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Tulsa. She has also served as Director of Admissions at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and for both the College of Optometry and the Graduate and Professional Programs at Pacific University. Ms. Carr holds a B.S. degree from the University of Oregon.
Aaron T. Christensen, M.S.
Aaron T. Christensen joined the School of Forensic Sciences in the summer of 2016 as the Academic Coordinator for the Master of Science in Forensic Sciences and the Forensic Nursing programs. Aaron facilitates recruitment, admissions, matriculation, graduation, and alumni relations for the department. His background includes several years of higher education administration, most recently serving in the OSU Graduate College for eight years. Aaron earned an M.S. in International Studies and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish.
Coordinator, Human Identity Testing Laboratory
Phylis serves as the initial point of contact between the lab and clients from all over the world. She also meets with local clients for the Human Identity Testing Laboratory. Before joining Oklahoma State University, she served as the Coordinator for the Human Identity Testing Laboratory for the H. A. Chapman Institute of Medical Genetics.
Jun Fu, Ph.D.
Director Designee, Human Identity Testing Laboratory
Dr. Fu performs relationship testing, reviews and signs data reports for the Human Identity Testing Laboratory, and assists graduate students with research projects in the area of forensic biology. She previously directed clinical testing in the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory for the H. A. Chapman Institute for Medical Genetics. Dr. Fu holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. degree from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.