For Immediate Release—Thursday, July 12, 2007

Mary E. McCrank
Media Relations Officer
(585) 245-5516

Media Advisory

SUNY Geneseo Holds Crime Scene Investigation Camp

60 youths from Rochester City Schools on campus July 16-27

WHAT: 60 seventh- and eighth graders from the Rochester City Schools will investigate an art "theft" during SUNY Geneseo's inaugural Rochester Young Scholars Academy, slated to become an annual program run by Geneseo. During the two-week forensic Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Camp, students will role-play as crime scene investigators and learn the science of forensics. They will administer the crime scene; interview "suspects" and "witnesses;" conduct research using the college's library, museum and Web sources; develop a case against one of the "suspects;" and present their argument in court before a "judge" and "jury."

The "theft": Four valuable paintings from the Work Projects Administration (WPA) era were "stolen" on Wednesday, June 27, during a "reception" held in the Hunt Room in the MacVittie College Union. Attendees of the "reception" left behind a variety of "evidence" from which DNA can be lifted—lipstick, hats, umbrellas, fingerprints on drinking glasses and jewelry. The CSI campers will learn to identify evidence, discover the processes of sketching and digital photography, and think critically to connect clues through contextual and cultural hints. [Fact: the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts cares for a local collection of about 200 WPA paintings created during the Great Depression as part of work relief program in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.]

WHO:  60 students from Rochester City Schools/CSI campers. SUNY Geneseo faculty and staff, and community members, will play the 20 "suspects" and "witnesses." A small team of faculty and staff will teach the program's course components in arts integration, communications and public speaking, forensics and critical thinking.

The CSI Camp is run by SUNY Geneseo's Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education in the Shear School of Education and funded by the district's Rochester Children's Zone and the Rochester After School Academy.

WHEN: Weekdays Friday, July 16 - July 27; students stay overnight in the residence halls. All campers have signed media release forms and filming is allowed. Media opportunities include an induction ceremony from 5-6 p.m. on July 16, a trial from 8 a.m.-noon on Friday, July 27 at Sturges Auditorium, and a graduation ceremony from 6-7:30 p.m. on July 27.

WHERE: Various locations on the SUNY Geneseo campus.

PROGRAM CONTACT: Susan Preston Norman, academy organizer, can be reached at (585) 489-5173 during camp, (585) 245-5129 in advance or at

For more information and schedule details, visit: