Capella University Ph.D student presents at symposium hosted by the FBI

Donna Brandelli, a Ph.D student at Capella University (, an accredited online university, presented at the National Crime Lab Directors Symposium in Atlanta. The symposium, which is hosted each year by the FBI, was attended by municipal, county, state and federal crime lab directors from across the country. Brandelli, a forensic identification specialist with the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department, presented on research she had conducted on the durability of fingerprints particularly on the permanence of friction ridge skin.

“We essentially showed that fingerprints do not change over time. They are permanent and unique,” she said.

Brandelli conducted the research, which the FBI commissioned, with five other specialists around the country. During her presentation, she discussed the benefits of the partnership, as well as the different technologies used. The research is the first phase of a planned long-term study. The fingerprints being analyzed will continue to be gathered over a period of several years with the expectation that they will remain unchanged over time, other than minor changes due to trauma.

For her doctoral dissertation at Capella, Brandelli plans to study whether jurors today believe the portrayal of forensics shown on television crime dramas is based on reality. She plans on completing the human services online degree program at Capella with an emphasis in criminal justice in 2007. Nearly 45 percent of Capella’s 16,000 online degree students are pursuing Ph.Ds.

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited* online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services, and psychology, and Bachelor’s Degree programs in business and information technology. Within those areas, Capella offers 76 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 16 certificate specializations. The online university currently serves 16,000 students from all 50 states and 63 countries. It is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

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