Did I think I would be where I am today, in the field of forensic science, when I started at Cedar Crest College? Not at all!
Would I say that the Master's of Science in Forensic Science program has prepared me to be in the profession I am in today? Absolutely!
Currently, I am employed as a forensic pathology assistant and while the forensic science program may not have taught us how to perform an autopsy, it has provided me with the tools needed, in and out of the class room, to become a well-rounded forensic scientist and to perform my job well.
As a forensic pathology assistant, I am thankful that I attended a generalist forensic science program. The courses in the Master's of Science in Forensic Science program allowed me to get a taste of numerous fields within Forensic Science, which I apply to almost every autopsy I perform. This ranges from photography, collection and preservation of evidence (trace evidence, evidence needed for a homicide investigation, collecting samples for a sexual assault kit, projectile fragments, etc.), collection of toxicological specimens for analysis, understanding the rate of human decomposition, understanding the patterns that may be produced by a projectile or other object, collecting samples for DNA analysis and even peer review of autopsy reports. While my job does not require analyzing the evidence collected, I have the knowledge to know why specific evidence is collected and how it will affect the investigation.
Besides the course work, this program has taught me how to work and communicate with other professionals on a daily basis. This job requires that I work as a team with other assistants and forensic pathologists as well as various investigating agencies (i.e. Coroners and State or Local police agencies) on any given case. Through laboratory work and the ability to present and network at many conferences, I have the skills to effectively discuss the importance of an autopsy and its evidence as well as build professional relationships with those who are involved in the case.
I am very proud of the forensic scientist I have become. The Master's of Science in Forensic Science program at Cedar Crest College has truly helped shape me into a well trusted professional.