Instructor Biographies


Yvette Gonzalez Yvette Gonzalez

Gonzalez has been employed in crime scene investigations for approximately 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography from Columbia College and an Associate of Arts degree in Administration of Justice from Los Angeles City College.  Her law enforcement career began as a Forensic Specialist at a local police department, a position she held for approximately four years; she later became employed in the same role by one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country. This has been her home for the past eight years. For the past four years, however, she has co-led the Major Crime Scene training program, cultivating the curriculum to the latest accreditation standards.  In regards to experience, she has processed approximately 400 major crime scenes, including homicides, deputy/officer-involved shootings, assaults with deadly weapons, sexual assaults, and robberies.  Yvette is an active member of the International Association for Identification, the Southern California Association of Fingerprint Officers, the International Crime Scene Investigators Association, and the California Homicide Investigators Association. She stays current in the field by enrolling in relevant national training classes taught by professionals within specific disciplines.


Erika Ramadan Erika Ramadan

Ramadan began her law enforcement career in 2008 as a federal agent with the United States Border Patrol. While she learned vital investigative skills as an agent, her true passion lay in forensic science. In 2010, she accepted a forensic specialist position at a large law enforcement agency in Los Angeles, where she remained for thirteen years. During this time, she responded to hundreds of crime scenes, mostly homicides and deputy/officer-involved shootings, and lifted and compared thousands of fingerprints as a latent print examiner. From 2013-2017, she taught a crime scene investigation training program at this agency to newly hired forensic specialists; this program encompassed both classroom and hands-on instruction and real-world training at actual crime scenes. As her career evolved, she focused on inspiring and educating new hires via her role as a supervising forensic specialist. In 2023, she accepted the Property and Crime Laboratory Manager position at another law enforcement agency, where she manages the property and evidence unit and the crime lab. She received a Master of Forensic Science degree with a concentration in Crime Scene Investigation from George Washington University in 2007. Previously, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in criminology and anthropology with a minor in biology from the University of Miami. She continues her training to stay relevant in forensic science and teach the latest techniques. She is certified by the International Association for Identification as a crime scene investigator, most recently recertifying in 2023. Her love for forensic science is palpable, and she enjoys giving back to the community as an instructor for the crime scene investigation track within the forensic specialist certificate program at California State University, Los Angeles.


Maria C. Ruggiero Maria C. Ruggiero


Ruggiero is a Law Enforcement and forensic Specialist with Thales, where she provides training on Thales' biometric products utilized by law enforcement customers.  Maria has worked in forensic science since 1990, performing latent print comparisons and processing crime scenes.  She has managed training programs in friction ridge comparisons and crime scene investigations.  Maria holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s Degree in Negotiation and Conflict Management, both from California State University, Dominguez Hills.  She is a Technical Assessor for the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

From 2008-2011 Maria, served as a member of the Expert Working Group on Human Factors in Latent Print Analysis, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice.  From 2010 through 2013, she was selected as a member of the Scientific Working Group on Friction Ridge Analysis, Study and Technology (SWGFAST).  As the SWGs transitioned into the Organization for Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) in 2014, Maria continued her membership in the Friction Ridge Subcommittee.  She assisted with developing the proposed Training Standard for Latent Print Examiners and served on the Executive Board as Secretary from 2017 through 2019.  Maria’s term ended on October 1st, 2019. However, she remains an affiliate member of the OSAC Friction Ridge Subcommittee.


Sonya Villa Sonya Villa

Villa is a Supervising Forensic Identification Specialist with a large law enforcement agency in southern California, where she oversees the CSI/Latent Print Section.  She has worked in Law Enforcement for 24 years and the forensic science discipline for 18 years.  Sonya has completed numerous specialized training courses and has extensive experience as a Latent Print Examiner and Crime Scene Investigator.  She is a court-qualified expert witness in CSI and the friction ridge discipline.  Sonya was the lead course instructor for her agency’s Latent Print Comparison Training Program from 2011-2016.  

Sonya holds an Associate of Science degree in Administration of Justice and a Certificate in Forensic Identification. She is an active member of the International Association for Identification, the International Biometric Association, and the Southern California Association of Fingerprint Officers. In 2017, Sonya completed the West Virginia University Custom Forensic Management Academy.


Donna Thomas Donna Thomas

Thomas is a newly retired Forensic Identification Specialist II of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. She has worked in forensic science since 2007, documenting and processing essential crime scenes. In 2014, she was promoted to Forensic Identification Specialist, which entailed the processing and documentation of major crime scenes as well as conducting latent print comparisons. Donna was responsible for training new employees in the Identification section of the Scientific Services Bureau in Basic Latent Print Investigation and Friction Ridge Comparison. She has been with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 35-plus years, starting her career as a Sheriff’s Communication Operator and 911 Dispatcher.

Donna holds a Master of Arts in Legal Studies and Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensics from American Military University. Additionally, she holds two Associates degrees, one in Administration to Justice and the other in Social Behavior from Citrus Community College. She is a technical assessor for the ANAB accreditation board. She is a member of the California Division of the International Association of Identification Donna has also presented workshops at the International Association of Identification yearly conference in 2021 and the California Division conference in 2022.   She is also the Forensic and Criminal Justice Instructor affiliated with the UCLA campus summer program, where she provides an overview of several disciplines to high-achieving college-bound students


Regina Mamou Regina Mamou

Mamou is a photography instructor, art lecturer, and visual artist with over 15 years of experience. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Fulbright fellowship to Amman, Jordan. Regina has instructed and lectured for organizations such as the Photographic Arts Council Los Angeles, the Art Institute of Chicago, Atlas Obscura, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, and Art Muse Los Angeles. She is on the board of Fellows of Contemporary Art and Art Muse Academy, which actively promote and fund contemporary artists and art-related professionals. Regina is the artist-in-residence at the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Los Angeles.

Regina is particularly interested in creating courses and curricula for diverse adult audiences. She specializes in digital and analog photography, including medium and large formats. Her classes approach cameras, lenses, and filters by building solid foundational skills in photographic practices. In addition, through her professional and educational background, Regina promotes rigorous research in the technical aspects of photography.

Tony Nguyen portrait

Tony Nguyen is a Supervising Forensic Identification Specialist with a large law enforcement agency in southern California. Since 2005, he has worked as a Crime Scene Investigator and has accumulated extensive forensic experience.  Tony is actively involved in teaching and training and has been a guest speaker at numerous law enforcement agencies and forensic conferences across the United States and Mexico.  Additionally, he holds certification in Crime Scene Investigation Forensic Photography & Imaging through the International Association for Identification (IAI).
Tony is deeply engaged with the latent print and forensic photography community and is dedicated to sharing his expertise with current professionals and those aspiring to enter the field.


Paige Williams photo

 Paige Williams

Williams joined the School of Criminal Justice and Criminalistics, California State University, Los Angeles, in March 2017 as the office manager overseeing administrative tasks and procedures. She has extensive experience in purchasing, planning, coordinating, and contract administration. She plays a vital role in the administration of daily operations of the school’s front office and forensic science academic laboratories. Paige is also the school’s liaison with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department within the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.

Previously, she was the office manager for the California State University, San Bernardino University Police/Parking and Enforcement Services. Paige holds an associate's degree in Business, Humanities, Social and Behavioral Science and a bachelor's degree in Psychology. She is pursuing a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in addiction.