Designing and Building the Forensic Scientist Pipeline: From Academic Instruction and Outreach to Hiring, Onboarding, Training, and Mentorship

Monday September 23rd, 2024 // 8:30 am - 5:00 pm // JW Marriott Hill Country, Room Grand EF

Standard Registration$345.00

Fee includes breakfast, lunch, breaks and handouts.


Recruiting and hiring the best quality forensic scientist starts with developing a forensic mindset in students, providing current information for requirements for employment, and setting appropriate expectations. Post COVID low unemployment rates have decreased the availability of qualified candidates as many businesses and laboratories are now hiring. Recruiting the best candidates requires a pro-active approach, including designing and building a pipeline from academic institutions to the forensic laboratory. Once hired, young scientists must be effectively onboarded and trained, hand in hand with the new supervisors that must train and manage them.

Our experienced faculty will create and deliver an interactive workshop, combining their content, examples and exercises with discussions and networking, to share ways to design and build an effective forensic scientist pipeline. This workshop will also include a sharing and brainstorming session to bring real and specific shared challenges from workshop participants to the peer group for illustration, advice and solution generation.


Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn strategies for creating a forensic pipeline from academic institutions to your forensic laboratory to develop and recruit the best workforce.
  2. Learn about outreach programs and their key aspects for developing and identifying good forensic scientist candidates.
  3. Learn strategies for effective onboarding of new forensic scientist hires.
  4. Learn strategies for effective training and mentorship for new forensic scientists and supervisors.
  5. Interact with experienced laboratory administrators and forensic experts.
  6. Learn common challenges faced by other workshop participants.


Intended Audience:

This workshop is intended for technical leaders, trainers, managers, supervisors and those interested in recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training the best and brightest forensic workforce for their DNA laboratory. Some knowledge required.


Ray WickenheiserChair

Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System

Ray has over 40 years of experience working in the field of forensic science.  His areas of expertise include crime lab administration, quality management, conflict resolution, forensic DNA and mixture interpretation, serology, hair and fiber trace evidence, physical matching and comparison, glass fracture analysis, forensic grain comparison and forensic investigative genetic genealogy

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John Collins

Expertise Coach, Facilitator, and Author

John Collins is a leadership and expertise coach, facilitator, and author of 3 books on forensic science. His fourth book, The New Superior, was published in 2022.  John specializes in helping people, teams, and organizations in authoritative, high-responsibility occupations requiring high levels of expertise. About half of John’s clients work in forensic science.

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Pamela Marshall

Director, Duquesne University

Dr. Marshall has extensive graduate and undergraduate teaching experience in the forensic disciplines of serology, DNA, and microscopy. Her research interests include low copy number DNA, human and wildlife DNA identification challenges, nanoparticle technology, pressure cycling technology, and PCR enhancement.

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Julie Conover Sikorsky

Forensic Scientist Supervisor, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Julie Conover Sikorsky is a Forensic Scientist Supervisor, a.k.a. Forensic Biology Unit Manager, at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in West Palm Beach, Florida. She has been employed by the PBSO for over twenty years, first as a Senior Forensic Scientist, then as the manager of the FBU. Julie is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and ABC certified in molecular biology.

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