Hello again! Meet Catyana Skory Falsetti, a Forensic Artist/Consultant. It’s always a pleasure to connect with women from various forensic specialties and the feedback we receive from our visitors are always positive. We want to continue to inspire ALL women and girls who are interested in pursuing forensic careers. Are you a forensic artist? Catyana created the first online discussion group for forensic artists in 2009 on LinkedIn where established professionals world wide can share ideas, experiences and explore topics. She also offers articles and other reference information relevant to those in the field.
The group also has people from other fields who support forensic art en devours like forensic anthropologists, odontologists and psychologists. Since there are so few professionals working in the field, they are often not near one another so this forum allows a discussion that is inclusive of those in the field that offers an easy way to communicate. We asked Catyana the following questions.
What is your profession?
Forensic Artist and Consultant – I have worked at the full time forensic artist for the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Ft. Lauderdale and before that worked as a Crime Scene Specialist (Investigator) for the Prince William County Police Department and an Investigator for the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office and the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office In Houston, TX where I did also perform forensic art duties. I have been working in the field for 12 years.
What inspiration did you have to enter your profession?
I have always been an artistic person, coming from a family of artists. I had an interest in museums, detective stories, history and anthropology growing up. I wanted to use my my skills and interests to help others. I read a novel that included a facial reconstruction and was inspired to follow that path.
What classes do you have to take in high-school and/or college to prepare for your profession?
I studied fine art in college for a few years then changed my major to history and anthropology. I then got my Master’s Degree in Forensic Sciences from the George Washington University where my major paper was about forensic facial reconstructions. This allowed me to get my foot in the door into the field, after an internship in the Boston Medical Examiner’s Office. It still took me almost two years to get into the field officially after graduating.
Did you have a mentor?
I questioned anthropologists and others in the field but had no mentor in the field. My former boss and Captain at Prince William County saw my potential and encouraged me to grow my skills. My former boss and Captain at the Broward Sheriff’s Office was also very encouraging.
Is there anything you want to tell the readers of AWIFS (words of encouragement, challenges, hobbies, special interests, etc.)?
That the field of forensics requires not only excellent subject matter knowledge, but also flexibility and determination. That if you are interested in forensic art as a career it takes determination and a willingness to move. There are only 55 full time forensic artist positions in the USA and that it requires taking the time to prove yourself, determination, constantly growing your skills. Also, know that there is always more to learn and to be open and patient.
Thank you Catyana !
If you are a female forensic scientist and you want to be featured in our blog series, “Women in Forensics”, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on twitter @womeninforensic (#womeninforensics) . We will share your blog post with our followers on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn. Share your publicized blog link with your colleagues, family and friends. Our goal is to INSPIRE women and girls who want to pursue a career in forensics. So don’t be shy, show us what you’re working with!