New forensic association launches this fall

Starting this month, the St. Edward’s community members interested in forensic science can become part of a new campus organization: The Forensic Association Committed to Truth (FACT).

This association welcomes students from all backgrounds who share a common interest in forensic science.

“The people who are interested in forensic science, but who have majored in something else can also be part of that organization,” Raeanne Johnson, public relations officer of FACT, said.

Given the broad nature of the forensic field, FACT adopted a constitution that allows diverse students in the association.

“Forensic science in general is the ‘application of science to legal matters’ and its application can be very broad,” Casie Parish-Fisher, Director of the Forensic Science Program at St. Edward’s University and advisor of this organization, said.

The Forensic Association Committed to Truth posted their constitution and profile on the Student Life website, Collegiate Link. Its stated purpose stresses community service, information and networking.

“FACT, as an organization, wants to help students build stronger resumes by presenting training, exposing students to people who currently work in the field, and wants to give people an opportunity to serve the community as a whole,” Parish-Fisher said.

FACT wants to take advantage of volunteering opportunities so that students can make an impact on the community, and they can share a common interest in a field, which entails helping others.

“Being involved in the community and understanding and accepting people and their situations and needs fold directly into the law enforcement, and ultimately, the forensic science world…It is important for students to understand that helping and serving is part of being a public servant, which you are when you work in this field,” Parish-Fisher said.

“Ultimately we want to make an impact on the community with the volunteer work,” Austin Duncan, president of FACT, senior and currently researching in the field of forensic chemistry, said.

It is important to have volunteering on a resume for forensics jobs.

“It is also a great resume builder and helps to give an individual a broader perspective,” Parish-Fisher said.

“A big thing that makes a person stand out is the number of volunteer hours they have done,” Duncan said.

Since becoming more knowledgeable, experienced and competent in the forensic field is one of the goals of FACT, learning opportunities will be proposed to students.

“We want our meetings to be informative, helpful, and hopefully get people talking about the truths and fallacies surrounding the world of forensic science,” Parish-Fisher said.

Networking is also one of the goals of FACT, which intends to gather alumni, students and guests to build relations based on their common field of study or work.

“Additional training exercises, community work and meeting people within the field are all ways to boost resumes and experience,” Parish-Fisher said.

The forensic science department, which has recently undergone changes splitting the degree and giving students the possibility to choose between two tracks, laboratory or field forensics, sees the launching of this new association with a great enthusiasm.

“I’m glad that we got it going and we are planning on having our first membership meeting within the next couple weeks and we had our first officer meeting [on October 2nd],” Duncan said.

Now that FACT is launched, students and alumni interested in forensic science have a way to connect.

“Hopefully, they join to make friends, gain connections and are happy to work within a very active organization,” Parish-Fisher said.