Forensics Spotlight: Why We Do What We Do – J.K’s Story

Forensics Spotlight: A Day in The Life: Forensic DNA Analyst I

Sorenson ForensicsEducation:

B.S in Forensics and Investigative Sciences from Texas A&M University

M.S in Forensic Genetics from the University of North Texas Health Science Center

What do you do in your job?

I analyze and interpret DNA evidence from criminal cases. Mostly I’m looking at the DNA collected with sexual-assault kits but sometimes I also work with the DNA evidence from other types of cases like homicide, burglary, car-jacking or gun possession.

What motivated you to choose a career in forensics, and what keeps you motivated now?

What initially drew me to forensics was the thought of being the first person to ever see the results of something previously unknown. Now, my motivation is helping to bring justice to victims and their families by being a part of the effort to clear the backlog of sexual-assault kits in our country.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The thing I enjoy most is the amazing group of people I work with. I feel extremely lucky that I get to work with such an intelligent and driven group of people. They make doing something I love even more fantastic and rewarding. In them, I’ve found not only great colleagues and role models but also great friends.

What do you envision for the future of forensics?

I see private DNA labs—like Sorenson Forensics—continuing to play a vital role in ending the sexual- assault kit backlog in America. I see improvement in the efficiency and standard work in crime labs across the country through the implementation of practices like Lean Six Sigma. And finally, I see the ability to obtain more usable genetic information from degraded and/or cold-case samples as the technologies and chemistries advance in the field (next-generation kit chemistries, for example).

What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in forensics?

“Be bold and take risks. We can do anything men can do and often times we do it even better.” – J.K

The scientists at Sorenson Forensics are experienced, dedicated professionals who are committed to using their knowledge of DNA science to uncover truth. In this Forensics Spotlight series,  get an intimate look at what we do here and what keeps us excited about and engaged in this fascinating field. Because our employees deal regularly with confidential crime-solving work, we are identifying them only by their initials. 

Sorenson Forensics is a leading provider of advanced forensic casework and DNA testing services to federal, state and local crime laboratories. We also assist officers of the court in individual criminal cases and offer comprehensive forensic DNA services to private-industry clients.  Contact us to see what we can do for you, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or @ForensicLabPros on Twitter.

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