Marshall University Forensic Science Program to Graduate 100th Student
At the same time the scientific world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA as the storehouse of genetic information, the MU Forensic Science Program is celebrating the graduation of its 100th Master's degreed student.
The graduation of the seventh class of the forensic science academic program brings the number of graduates to 101.
The Class of 2003 also includes Bjorgvin (Ben) Sigurdsson, a detective inspector for the police department of Reykjarik, the capitol city of Iceland. "I chose the MU forensic program because its crime scene study and hands on experience made it unique, and I couldn't get that educational experience anywhere else," Sigurdsson said. "It's been a good experience."
International alumni of the master's level academic program are from Romania and Canada.
Alumni of the Forensic Science Program have found jobs in various areas of forensic science. Twenty-five graduates are employed in high-tech jobs in West Virginia, including five at the CODIS Laboratories at the MU Forensic Science Center. Three alumni are employed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), three are at the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and one works for the Secret Service. Other alumni are employed by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Since the academic program began eight years ago with a focus on DNA testing and drug analysis, it has evolved into a multi-disciplinary program.
Classroom training in high-tech laboratories and summer internships at the FSC provide a unique opportunity for students through gaining experience crucial to their ability to perform as forensic scientists.
Also, the addition of the distance learning laboratory and classroom in the FSC facilitated training for criminalists in West Virginia and other states, including Alabama and Ohio.