The Other NGS: Next Generation Scientists and How to Prepare them for the Workforce Workshop

Monday September 18th, 2023 // 8:30 am - 5:00 pm // Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center, Mineral Hall E

Early Registration$250.00
Standard Registration (after July 15)$295.00

Fee includes breakfast, lunch, breaks, and materials.


The COVID pandemic impacted all of us in different ways. In academia, student mental health moved to the forefront of education. Educators in forensic science programs struggled to find ways to deliver content and hands-on laboratory experiences in a remote format, with internships dissolving at most laboratory agencies, and other challenges, all while supporting our student’s well-being. These students are now graduating and preparing for the workforce; many of them are prepared academically but may not be ready to face the workplace and the day-to-day trauma that is encountered in a crime lab. Our experienced facilitators will create an interactive workshop, bringing all of us together to network, discuss best practices in the training of new hires and the onboarding process, and share ways to develop a more resilient workforce. The workshop will also offer attendees an opportunity to bring their own challenges and questions to the peer group for advice and solutions.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize the training challenges of the next generation student.
  • Learn strategies for incorporating teaching methods into your onboarding and training approach, specifically practical training exercises for your new hires.
  • Learn about well-being resources and strategies that can be incorporated into your own laboratory.
  • Learn strategies to develop a more resilient workforce.
  • Learn strategies to manage and lead the next generation student.
  • Interact with experienced laboratory administrators and forensic experts.
  • Learn common challenges faced by other workshop participants.


Intended Audience:

Technical leaders, trainers, managers, supervisors and those interested in creating a more resilient workforce in their DNA laboratory.



Pamela MarshallChair

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.

Submit Questions

John Collins

High-Stakes Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach at Critical Victories

John Collins is a High-Stakes Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach at Critical Victories, a company he founded to help people, teams, and organizations thrive in high-pressure environments where perfection is an expectation and failure is a ticket out the door.  He is also among the most respected forensic experts in the United States, recently publishing his first book on leadership and management in forensic science, which was released by Academic Press just last month. 

Submit Questions

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.

Submit Questions

Ray Wickenheiser

Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System

Dr. Ray Wickenheiser is currently the Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System, headquartered in Albany, New York. He is also a Past President of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) and the 2022 Briggs J. White Ward recipient . Ray has over 38 years of forensic science experience, with 21 of those as a Crime Lab Director in local and State Crime Laboratories. His areas of expertise include crime lab administration, quality management, forensic DNA, serology, hair and fiber trace evidence, physical matching and comparison, glass fracture analysis, forensic grain comparison and genetic genealogy. Ray is currently the Chair of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science.

Submit Questions