Current job: Crime Lab Technician for the South Bend Police Department.
Major: Biology with Forensic Science Track
Minor: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Greenwood, IN
High School: Center Grove High School
Current Residence: Noblesville, IN
Why did you choose SJC?
I chose SJC for the track and field program and also for the small school atmosphere. I knew that if I wanted to major in Biology, I would need small class sizes and the ability to get help easily outside of class whenever necessary.
As a student, what was your experience like at SJC?
SJC was a great experience. I ran cross country and did steeplechase for the track and field team. It was awesome to be involved in sports at SJC. They helped me stay focused and also do well in school. I also gained friendships that will last a lifetime, and I am very thankful for that.
What did you appreciate most about SJC’s Department of Biology?
I really appreciated how all of the professors in the Biology and Chemistry departments were always willing to help me when I needed it. If I was ever uncertain about a subject we were focusing on in class, the professors were always willing to meet with me on their own time to help me out.
I chose the Forensics Science Track after taking Intro to Forensic Science my freshman year. The class was taught by Dr. Neal Haskell, which right away made me confident that it was going to be in an excellent class. I came to SJC freshman year undecided on a major, but as soon as I took that class, I knew that Forensic Science was the field for me.
Tell us about your internship.
At the lab, I worked with another intern on a project, where we used different methods of detecting blood under multiple layers of paint. So, let’s say a crime takes place and the criminal decides to paint over blood that may have gotten on a wall. There are different methods, both chemical and mechanical, in which a CSI can detect blood under the paint.The Department of Biology, specifically Dr. Haskell and Joel Haskell, helped me get an internship with the Johnson County Criminalistics Laboratory in Olathe, Kansas, the summer after my senior year. Dr. Haskell and Joel knew the supervisor of the CSI section at the crime lab, and the supervisor was willing to take me on as an intern. It was one of the coolest experiences I will ever have.
I also had the opportunity to attend multiple crime scenes. Being able to intern for the crime lab and going to crime scenes helped solidify that I want to pursue Crime Scene Investigation as a career. Everything about it fascinates me, and no case is exactly the same, which to me makes for an exciting career.
How did the Core Program integrate with your major?
The Core Program allowed me to grow as a writer and speaker. Writing crime scene reports and testifying in court will be essential to my career, so the skills I learned in Core will definitely be helpful in the future.
What advice would give to a student looking to major in Biology?
I would tell them to make sure they always stay focused on their goals. School is really tough, especially for science majors, and if you do not stay focused, you will have a really rough time. Also, take advantage of the small school atmosphere, meaning take advantage of the small class sizes and the ability to talk to your professors outside of class. They are all very willing to help. Make sure you show interest in class, and even if you are a quiet person, at least stay attentive.
Now that you are out of school, how will the Core Program be useful in your future?
Core will be very useful in my future because as a CSI, I will be asked to write lab reports and also testify in court. It is important that I am a good writer and speaker.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to take the GRE again so I can apply to graduate school. I am looking to apply to graduate school at IUPUI of Indianapolis, IN; Arcadia University of Glenside, PA; and Marshall University of Huntington, WV.
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