“Women in Forensics”- Forensic Serology

by Antoinette Thwaites on June 17, 2013

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Meet Neisha Rose, M.S,  a forensic scientist who specializes in serology.  If you’ve been following this blog series, then you know that our goal is to highlight the accomplishments of women forensic science professionals. They INSPIRE us all because women in forensics rock! Read the interview below.

What is your profession?

I am a forensic scientist who specializes in serology and fire debris analysis. As a forensic scientist, I analyze various types of physical evidence (weapons, clothing, airbags, bedding, condoms, sexual assault kits, etc.) for the presence of semen, blood, saliva and ignitable liquids involving crimes such as homicides, sexual assaults, home invasions, robberies, hit and runs and arsons. I am also an adjunct professor where I teach forensic serology to graduate students aspiring to become forensic scientists.

What inspiration did you have to enter your profession?

As a young girl, I was very intrigued by investigative work, forensic science and solving mysteries. I loved solving puzzles, one of my favorite authors was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote Sherlock Holmes and one of my favorite movies was the Bone Collector with Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The field of criminal investigation has always been extremely fascinating to me. It is very remarkable how a single drop of blood approximately the size of a pencil point can link a suspect to the scene of a crime.

What classes do you need to take in high-school and/or college to prepare for your profession?

The field of forensic science has become very competitive due to the popularity of shows such as CSI. In other words, everyone wants to be a forensic scientist! Therefore, it is very important for students to gain as much experience as possible.  I encourage students to get involved with internships and mentorships. For students aspiring to become forensic scientists specializing in serology and DNA, I urge them to major in a natural science such as biology, chemistry or biochemistry with major coursework in molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry and statistics. For students interested in fire debris analysis, it is important to have classes in general chemistry, organic chemistry and analytical chemistry in addition to a degree in a natural science.

Did you have a mentor?

            Unfortunately, I did not have a mentor. I just sort of found my way and luckily I ended up working in a profession that I absolutely love.

Is there anything you want to tell the readers of AWIFS (words of encouragement, challenges, hobbies, special interests, etc.)?

A career in forensic science is incredibly fulfilling and exciting, but at the same time, it can be quite challenging. In addition to analyzing numerous items of evidence, forensic scientists are required to testify as expert witnesses in a court of law. A person working in this field must be strong-willed, have a strong stomach and the ability to remain unbiased regardless of the circumstances of the case.  We just state the facts!

Thank you for sharing Neisha Rose!

If you’re a woman in forensic science and you want to be featured in our blog series, “Women in Forensics, email us at info@awifs.org. We will share your blog post with our followers on twitter and facebook. You can 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!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana Gilmore July 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This interview is great! It sounds almost like I could have said it myself! I am a forensic serologist and I just finished with training in DNA analysis! I was hoping to also read about where Neisha works and where she went to school. Maybe in a follow up post? Thanks!

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Aubrey August 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Great interview, thank you.

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Nisah Brown August 5, 2013 at 7:35 am

I agree with Dana , I am a junior biochemistry major planning to attend grad school for forensic science. I am still trying to decide what to specialize in, more information on background education would be great.

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