News Release| California Forensic Science Institute; Cal State L.A.

December 6, 2011


Best-selling author, foundation chair, civic leader, sheriff commander to be honored at Cal State L.A. Dec. 9

CSFI Honoree Recognition Reception presents
Hall of Fame inductees, Distinguished Service awardee

What & Who:  The California Forensic Science Institute (CFSI) at Cal State L.A. will recognize four remarkable individuals for their contributions to forensic science and CFSI at its annual Honoree Recognition Reception.

                          This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are: (see biographies below)

  •             Best-selling crime writer Patricia Cornwell;
  •             Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation chairman Donald T. Sterling; and
  •             Former California Attorney General John K. Van de Kamp 
  •             Also, a Distinguished Service Award will be presented to:
  •             L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Commander Earl M. Shields

When:               Friday, Dec. 9, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Where:              Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center on the CSULA campus. The University is located at the intersection of 10 and 710 freeways.                           (Campus map and directions:  

Details:             The 2011 CFSI honorees will be introduced by L.A. County
                          Sheriff Lee Baca, L.A. Police Department Chief Charles L. Beck,
                          and L.A. County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

More:                The California Forensic Science Institute—coordinated by Executive Director Rose M. Ochi—is a partnership among Cal State L.A., L.A.County  Sheriff’s Department, and L.A. Police Department. It was created by CSULA President James W. Rosser to serve the Los Angeles Regional Crime Laboratory.

Info:                  For more information, call (323) 343-4815 or visit     

#  #  #

Patricia Cornwell Author B.A., English, Davidson College Cornwell’s international best-selling, award-winning books include the Scarpetta series and Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed.  She is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, a founding member of the National Forensic Academy, and a member of an advisory board for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City.  Cornwell is a founding member of CFSI board and was the keynote speaker at its inaugural meeting. She is also known for her many philanthropic contributions to causes that address criminal justice issues, as well as endowing college scholarships and promoting literacy.  She is active in supporting the CSULA Athletics Program and the Institute as well.

John Van de Kamp 28th Attorney General of California B.A., Government, Dartmouth College J.D., Stanford Law School Van de Kamp began his stellar career as an Assistant United States Attorney.  He was the first Public Defender of Los Angeles and served as District Attorney of Los Angeles County. Later, he was elected to serve as the Attorney General of California from 1983-91. During that period, he focused on environmental, consumer protection, developing DNA technologies anti-trust, and civil rights issues. His prowess as an outstanding leader in the criminal justice system earned him the appointment of Chair of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, which recommended key safeguards to prevent wrongful convictions and best practices for the forensic science field and public crime laboratories.

Donald T. Sterling Chairman, Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation B.A., History, Cal State L.A. J.D., Southwestern University School of Law Sterling has had a very successful career as an attorney and real estate developer. As the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, he has built a competitive team poised to better content in the NBA.  However, he is best known for his philanthropic endeavors.  The Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation donates millions of dollars to numerous charities, scholarships for underprivileged students, local high schools, and community organizations. Many of his efforts focus on helping the homeless, especially providing veterans with housing, rehabilitation and medical services. In addition, Sterling was the driving force in the formation of the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation, which supports community outreach programs, children’s charities and organizations.  He has also offered to support CFSI initiatives, including training of law enforcement personnel in forensic science areas.


Earl M. Shields Commander, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) A.A., Administration of Justice, Pasadena City College B.S., Criminal Justice, Cal State L.A. Commander Shields started his career with the L.A. Sheriff’s Department in 1981, and has served in a variety of areas, including custody, patrol and administration.  After being promoted to Captain in 2005, he was also assigned to the Scientific Services Bureau. This was a critical time for the LASD, L.A. Police Department, and Cal State L.A. in the development of the cooperative agreements, regarding the governance structure of the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center (HDFSC).  Commander Shields emerged as a leader in proposing innovative protocols and organizational structures that all parties could accept.  These exceptional working relationships serve as a national business model for intra-governmental cooperation.

#  #  #

 Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.