CURRENT GRADUATE STUDENTS
B.A. Anthropology, Minor Sociology
State University of New York at Geneseo (Geneseo, NY)
It wasn’t until my first osteology class that I discovered my love for anthropology and more specifically, its application in forensic science. I attended the State University of New York at Geneseo and completed my undergraduate degree in anthropology and a minor in sociology, I was able to attend a field school in Transylvania, Romania and gained experience in identifying fragmented medieval remains and creating detailed analyses of biological profiles. During this time, I realized my passion for forensic anthropology. After a two-year hiatus, I returned to school to earn my degree in forensic anthropology. After completion of the certificate at Mercyhurst, I intend on earning my master’s degree in physical anthropology and plan to pursue a career as a medicolegal death investigator.
B.A. Health Fitness and Promotion, Minor Public Health and Promotion
B.S. Anthropology with a Certificate in Native American Studies
Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, MI)
A.D. Criminal Justice
Grand Rapids Comm. College (Grand Rapids, MI)
Firefighter I & II, Medical First Responder
Plainfield Fire Academy (Grand Rapids, MI)
I have an interesting background to say the least. Growing up on a farm in rural Central Michigan, I couldn’t wait to leave so I joined the U.S. Marine Corps and left two weeks after my 18th Birthday. I spent five years in the Corps and after getting out I returned home to earn my BA from CMU. After earning my BA, I began working as a substance abuse educator for Kent County Health Department in Grand Rapids, MI. At first it was an exciting job, but it became redundant pretty fast. I really missed the regimented lifestyle of the Military, so I joined the National Guard in 1998. I retired from the National Guard in July of 2014 after 21+ years and one tour in Iraq. At this time, I worked at the Health Department alongside my National Guard role. In 2001, I decided to go back to school and become a Police Officer. I went through the Police Academy at Grand Rapids Community College and graduated the Academy in August of 2002. In November of 2002 I was hired by Sparta Police Department in Sparta, MI and began working for them in January of 2003. I continued working for them until March of 2015 when a neck injury forced me out of the job. After a subsequent surgery in June of 2015, I knew I could no longer be a police officer but, I wanted and needed to do something. It was at this point that I began to look at schools where I could earn a degree in Anthropology. Ultimately, I decided on CMU and I returned to my Alma Mater in the fall of 2016 to earn my BS in Anthropology with the intention of moving on to an MS in Forensic Anthropology. That decision led me here to Mercyhurst and I could not be happier to be here, among the best.
B.A. Anthropology, Minor Art History
Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY)
When I was a little kid, I wanted to become a paleontologist and study dinosaur bones, but when I read an article about the Kennewick man in fourth grade, I switched my interest from dinosaur to human bones. I received my B.A in Anthropology with a minor in Art History from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. While at Hartwick, I was active in the anthropology department, eventually becoming President of the Anthropology Club. I also TA’d for a course meant to introduce freshmen to human osteology, became a faculty scholar during my second year, and did a semester abroad in Italy my senior year. I even managed to find time to become a licensed DJ and host a radio show during my free time. Somehow, I managed to graduate a year early magna cum laude. At Mercyhurst I intend to use what I learn here to make a difference.
B.A. Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology Concentration
Certificate of Forensic Studies
University of Montana (Missoula, MT)
My enthusiasm and drive to be a forensic anthropologist began when I was in 5th grade when I connected with a substitute teacher that was close friends with Dr. Diane France, a successful forensic anthropologist. Wholeheartedly inspired, I pursued my dream by moving to Missoula, MT where I earned my bachelor’s degree in anthropology at the University of Montana in May 2018. Dabbling outside of anthropology, I was fortunate to acquire microbial ecology experience as a laboratory assistant with the Holben Microbial Ecology Laboratory from 2015 to 2018. In the spring of 2017, I worked in tandem with Dr. Ashley Kendell and fellow graduate students on evaluating cold cases sent in by the Missoula County Coroner’s Office. The following summer I attended the Slavia Field School in Mortuary Archaeology in Drawsko, Poland, and gained experience in archaeological excavation and osteological analysis. This unique experience not only taught me that I enjoyed being in both the field and the laboratory, but also solidified my forensic anthropological interests, which led me here to Mercyhurst University. My research interests include skeletal trauma, pathology, mass disaster recoveries, and skeletal identification.
B.A. Anthropology and Global Studies, Global Health Concentration
University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC)
I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I earned a B.A. in Anthropology with a second major in Global Studies with a concentration in global health. While studying Anthropology, I discovered a love for Forensic Anthropology and spent my senior year working in UNC’s bioarchaeology lab and completed an internship with the Winston-Salem Police Department in North Carolina. While at Mercyhurst, I look forward to gaining more hands-on experience in Forensic Anthropology and plan to pursue a PhD in Forensic Anthropology.
B.S. Anthropological Science
PG.Dip. Forensic Science
University of Auckland (Auckland, New Zealand)
Coming from New Zealand, I attended the University of Auckland where I gained a Bachelor of Science in Anthropological Science and a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Science. While there, I took part in a one-year exchange to the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as a field school at Great Mercury Island, a site of significant Māori occupation in New Zealand. Before I came to the United States, I also worked as a Teaching Assistant and an Assistant Research Fellow for the University of Otago (looking at the CSI Effect on Education, specifically in a New Zealand context). I decided to come to the United States so that I could get a more focused Forensic Anthropology degree and I chose Mercyhurst for the combination of both theory and field work available to graduate students. My interests predominantly lie in human rights investigations and mass disaster recoveries and after earning my master’s degree at Mercyhurst, I would like to work within these specialties before pursuing a PhD in the subject.
B.S. Anthropology, Biological Anthropology Concentration
Tulane University (New Orleans, LA)
I earned my bachelor’s degrees with a minor in Sociology at Tulane University. During that time, I attended a field school at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. There, I was the Forensics Team Excavation Leader during a 6-week mock forensic investigation, where I oversaw chain-of-custody and the excavation of the remains. The field school concluded with a lab portion and the creation of a report. After earning my Certificate at Mercyhurst University, I plan on completing a master’s degree and a PhD in Biological Anthropology with applied forensics. The dog’s name is Lily
B.A. Anthropology, Minor Sociology
Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA)
I earned my B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Sociology from Louisiana State University (LSU). During my time at LSU, I had the opportunity to work in both the Digital Imaging and Visualization in Archaeology (DIVA) Lab, where I learned 3D imaging technologies and artifact preservation, and the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Lab. As a student worker for FACES, I worked with the donated collection, participated in forensic casework, and in 2016, assisted in the efforts to identify burials disturbed by the historic flooding in Baton Rouge that summer. I spent the summer of 2017 as an intern at the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) in San Marcos, TX where I gained experience in the curation of research collections at the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF). I was also a member of LSU’s Ogden Honors College and as part of the honors program, I conducted a research project that culminated in an honors thesis. For my thesis, I compared tooth wear in a contemporary non-US population to the same in a contemporary US population to determine the validity of tooth wear as an indicator of geographic region of origin. While at Mercyhurst, I hope to develop my skills and pursue my interests in forensic archaeology, trauma, skeletal identification, skeletal variation, investigation of human rights atrocities, and mass disaster recovery. Ultimately, my goal is to earn my PhD and pursue a career where I will be able to combine academia, research, and casework.
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
I attended The University of San Diego where I earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Biology. At the beginning of my undergrad I took a course in biological anthropology and I fell in love with the discipline. I completed a senior thesis researching the morphology of the hominin Homo naledi. In this research, I identified features on the hand fossils that related to precision grip and compared them to modern humans to understand their capabilities. This research involved using new imaging technology as well as 3D printing and I hope to integrate this technology in my future research. I have also interned at a zooarchaeology laboratory at the San Diego Natural History Museum and performed field work at a paleontological site near Choteau, MT. These experiences confirmed my interests in human osteology and my desire to apply my skills to forensic anthropology. My interests are primarily in juvenile osteology, trauma, and skeletal identification. In the future, I plan to pursue a PhD and conduct research to further the field.
B.A. Anthropology, Minor Museum Studies
The College at Brockport, SUNY (Brockport, NY)
I earned my B.A. in Anthropology, minoring in Museum Studies from The SUNY College at Brockport, where I spent time in Petra, Jordan conducting excavations that introduced me to the field of bioarchaeology. This opportunity gave me the chance to work with skeletal remains which I found myself fascinated with. While I originally trained as a paramedic, I made the decision that I wanted a career that worked with skeletal remains and decided to go down the forensic route. This has resulted in where I am currently - completing my Graduate Certificate in Forensic Anthropology at Mercyhurst University.
University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)
I have wanted to pursue a career in anthropology and forensic science since eighth grade, so at the University of San Diego I earned my B.A. in Anthropology (concentrating on biological anthropology) with a minor in Biology. During my undergraduate years, I conducted an independent study analyzing and casting tooth marks and fracture patterns on animal remains. Moreover, I attended a few Mercyhurst summer short courses, which gave me more experience with archaeological excavation and fragmentary osteology. I learned about Mercyhurst in high school and have always wanted to be a part of this graduate program. After obtaining my master’s degree, I would like to work as a medicolegal death investigator and eventually go back to school to earn a PhD.
B.S. in Forensic Science, Forensic Biology Concentration
B.S. in Biology, Minor Sociology
West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
I graduated from West Virginia University in 2015 with dual degrees in Forensic Biology and Biology. I went to WVU because I wanted to pursue a career in forensics to give a voice back to the dead and let them tell their story. I interned at the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office in Phoenix, AZ during the summer of 2014, where I was able to assist with autopsies and fingerprinting decedents. I completed two capstone projects involving how varying levels of decay affect variation on soil microbial communities and determining change in percent reflectance of blow fly pupae using video spectral comparator. After graduating, I worked in CVS pharmacy as a pharmacy technician and completed the medical post baccalaureate program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. My interests for research include post mortem interval, trauma and the relationship between soft tissue and bone. After completing the master’s program here at Mercyhurst, I would like to pursue either a PhD in Anatomy or an MD degree to become a medical examiner.
B.A. Anthropology, Archaeology Concentration
Clarion University of Pennsylvania (Clarion, PA)
I earned my bachelor's degree in Anthropology with a minor in History at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. My undergraduate education focused on archaeology and GIS, where I was able to participate in an excavation at the Allegheny National Forest. I conducted research on landscape usage by examining the Allegheny National Forest through GIS and Remote Sensing software using data obtained from the field course. My undergraduate education sparked a passion for bioarchaeology, specifically Eurasian bioarchaeology. Much of my independent research has studied the Pazyryk culture and skeletal trauma related to equestrianism. I was able to complete an internship at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History curating human remains, further compounding interests in skeletal trauma and biomechanics. Additionally, I was able to participate in the Bezlawki bioarchaeological field school in Poland excavating a medieval cemetery. My research interests include bioarchaeology, biomechanics, and skeletal trauma.
B.S. Forensic Science, B.A. Criminal Justice Administration, Minor Chemistry
University of Findlay (Findlay, OH)
B.S. Biology, Minor Anthropology
Cleveland State University (Cleveland, OH)
I attended The University of Findlay, where I earned a B.S. in Forensic Science, a B.A. in Criminal Justice Administration, and a minor in Chemistry. It was there that my passion for applying science to legal and criminal investigations was ignited. I completed my honors thesis researching the CSI effect in courtrooms in Ohio in 2011. Then, I spent some time traveling and working for a non-profit organization that assisted victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Knowing I wanted to pursue a career in Forensic Anthropology, I continued my undergraduate training and earned a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Anthropology at Cleveland State University. During this time I also worked at a law firm in Cleveland, OH – first as a legal assistant and later as a paralegal – in medical and pharmaceutical product liability tort. At Mercyhurst I intend to apply my varied experiences in forensics, science, criminal justice, and law to my interests in taphonomy, skeletal variation, human rights investigations, and mass disaster recovery.
B.A. Anthropology, Minor Biology
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
During my high school years I was introduced to forensic anthropology via a forensic science class my school was fortunate enough to have and I have been interested in forensics, especially forensic anthropology, ever since. I completed my undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University in anthropology with a minor in biology. I was able to attend a field school in Nazca, Peru and gained experience in archaeological excavation and survey, and skeletal analyses. For my senior project I presented on “The Role of NAGPRA in Applied Archaeology”. During my undergraduate career my focus was in bioarchaeology, but I never forgot my love of forensics and after a 2 year hiatus to focus on working I came back to school to earn my degree in forensic anthropology. After earning my Masters degree at Mercyhurst University I plan to pursue a career as a medicolegal death investigator.
Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, MI)
I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Central Michigan University where I was also in the Honors Program. As a part of the honors program, I conducted multiple research projects including an Honors Thesis. My thesis research involved a comparison of Homo naledi dental and mandibular specimens to those of Homo sapien to determine if it was possible for them to represent the variability of a single species. During the summer, I was also a volunteer with the Sparrow Forensic Pathology Services where I worked with the county medical examiners to conduct autopsies. In my final undergraduate semester, I completed a study abroad internship in Santiago, Chile at the Servicio Medico Legal, where I worked with the forensic odontologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists to identify human rights victims from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. This internship firmly solidified my interest in the field of forensic anthropology, leading me to this program here at Mercyhurst. My research interests include forensic archaeology, trauma, and skeletal identification. Ultimately, my goal is to utilize this masters degree to pursue a career as a Medico-Legal Death Investigator.