Alumni Spotlight

FSL Grads Achieve Bigger Goals

Curious where you could end up with a Master's in Forensic Science and Law? Hear from some of our recent alumni about their experiences as FSL students and how their education and research experience has enabled them to advance their careers.

Olivia Goodwin

Olivia Goodwin

M.S. Forensic Science and Law, 2017
B.S. Biology, 2016

I currently work as a Forensic Specialist III (DNA Analyst) at the Kansas City Police Crime Laboratory in Kansas City, Missouri. My job duties in the Biology/DNA section at the laboratory include screening evidence, developing known and unknown genetic profiles, making comparisons, testifying in court, and educating students in the local community about forensic science.

Duquesne University's accredited Forensic Science and Law program provided me numerous opportunities to be able to succeed in my current forensics field. The diversity of the classes allowed me to determine my niche and excel in it, and the smaller class sizes provided additional support in the more challenging classes. The research aspect of this program - although vigorous - taught me critical thinking skills, time management, and how to communicate technical aspects in simpler jargon.

A combination of my internships, independent research in current technologies such as probabilistic genotyping, and professional relationships with the FSL professors and adjunct faculty gave me a competitive edge when applying for positions right out of school. I cannot thank these teachers enough for their time and encouragement, leading me to my dream job.

Brea Hogan

Brea Hogan

M.S. Forensic Science and Law, 2018
B.A. Biochemistry, 2017

Brea Hogan is a Ph.D. Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She is currently working in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to develop materials for radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) that are currently used for NASA missions such as Voyager 1 & 2, Curiosity and the Mars 2020 Rover. Improving the efficiency of these materials is necessary to increase the overall lifetime of NASA missions.

Hogan says that the Forensic Science and Law program's smaller classroom sizes enabled her to develop personal communications with professors and peers, and her communication skills flourished. She received extensive research opportunities and was able to successfully synthesize semiconductors that can be used as latent fingerprint powders which enhance the presence of friction ridges compared to commercially available options.

In her own words: "I really appreciate how the program advocates students to participate in summer research, which was how I was able to land internships at JPL. Even though my current research does not directly impact the forensic science field, I continually use the skills I cultivated in the Forensic Science and Law program throughout my doctoral studies."

McKenna Lohr

McKenna Lohr

M.S. Forensic Science and Law, 2019
B.S. Biology, 2018

McKenna Lohr is a Ph.D. Student in Anthropology at the University of Kansas with a concentration in Biological Anthropology. She is interested in utilizing anthropological genetic techniques to characterize population structure of contemporary Arctic populations to understand how these populations have changed over time and how genetic characteristics of these populations may have contributed to the peopling of the Americas.

Lohr's experience in the Forensic Science and Law program at Duquesne University gave her a well rounded education in the natural sciences and extensive experience working in the lab. Through the independent research she conducted as a student, Lohr became interested in how genetic information collected from human remains at archaeological sites could be used to inform about individual and population-specific characteristics of a site. This interest encouraged her to apply to doctoral programs in biological anthropology to gain further training in anthropological genetics techniques and to further explore ideas and questions related to population genetics. Lohr hopes to complete her doctoral studies with a goal of becoming a future educator for the next generation of biological anthropologists.