“When students go into the field and work with homicide detectives in real crime scene scenarios, it adds a whole other level of learning. Additional funding is critical for these kinds of student experiences.”
TU offers something special and unique to students studying forensic anthropology—real-world learning. No other regional university, specializing in forensics, regularly takes students in the field in search of human remains or associated evidence. Because TU students are routinely in the field with investigators, they know the importance of teamwork and are learning from each other and from professionals.
“Students are very excited by the opportunity to go out on these cases,” according to Dana Kollmann, clinical associate professor, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice and former crime scene investigator with Baltimore County Police. “It’s an experience they can’t find at other universities, including graduate schools. My students tell me that the experiential opportunities are the reason they got the job,” says Kollmann.
The services of the Forensic Science Student Organization at TU are regularly requested by law enforcement, to assist in the search for human remains and associated evidence. It’s these kinds of experiences that land students jobs in the very competitive field of forensic sciences. “When I look at where our students are working, they are landing jobs with major metro police depts sometimes with undergraduate degrees,” according to Kollmann. Our alumni get jobs because of the experiences they had in and out of the classroom. Their applications have something that other students who have had only classroom learning do not have. But for this kind of learning to be possible, support for travel, lodging, equipment and equipment repairs is critical. “We can’t do this work if we don’t have financial support,” says Kollmann.