Forensic scientist, tutor, adviser and mentor Tatiana T. Scott ’10M uses her skills in areas other than the laboratory. After noting a disparity in the field of forensic science, she recently launched a website dedicated to dispelling common misconceptions and guiding future students.
Scott notes that many students seem confused about the discipline, whether it is due to popular CSI shows that have glamorized and generalized the field or just the lack of a central location from which to gain information on the long list of careers opportunities.
“Many students say they want to be a forensic scientist just like CSI,” says Scott. “Well, that’s great, but to be a forensic scientist means that you can be a forensic biologist, a forensic pathologist, or a forensic anthropologist—there’s more to the field than what the show CSI depicts.”
Determined to take an active approach to the issue, Scott created a website, Forensic Nexus, devoted to informing prospective current and prospective students about the discipline and to help them hone their skills and interest in order to determine what type of scientist they want to be. The site includes information on forensic disciplines, academic programs, professional organizations, recommended reading, related job listings, access to tutoring, mentoring, and current news and events in the field via the blog.
“It wasn’t until I got real laboratory experience that I realized I enjoy and excel in the branch of forensic toxicology,” says Scott. She emerged from Arcadia’s program with a sense of direction after two internship experiences— the guaranteed internal internship with Fredric Rieders Family Renaissance Foundation and an additional paid internship with DrugScan Inc., in Warminster, Pa.
“Arcadia makes you well-rounded,” she says. “You’re getting training in all three branches of forensic science—biology, chemistry and toxicology—which is why I chose the program in the first place.” Scott hopes Forensic Nexus will be of particular benefit to students who are not fortunate enough to have a hands-on education in every branch of forensics.
In addition to her role as an educator, Scott is a Forensic Technologist at Bendiner and Schlesigner Inc., in Brooklyn, N.Y., a full-service independent diagnostic laboratory offering comprehensive clinical and toxicology services. She performs drug screenings on bodily fluids, interprets data, and endorses presumptive positive results for gas chromatography and mass spectrometry confirmation.
In the future, Scott hopes to grow F.A.C.T.S. by recruiting other professionals that add experience in other disciplines.