What is Your Favorite Part of Your Job?

Bringing justice for victims? Advancing new technologies? Read below to see what our ISHI 27 speakers say they enjoy most about their job then join the discussion on our Facebook or Twitter pages to let us know what your favorite part of being a forensic scientist is.






“I started my job 3 months ago at SNA International.  It is very different transitioning from a laboratory setting to a small business, so I have a huge learning curve to adjust to before I can determine my favorite thing about my job.”

Alice Chung, SNA International




rock-harmon“My favorite thing is that I don’t have a job because I’m retired. Almost everything I do is pro bono, so I’m free to do whatever I choose. Most of my work efforts involve familial searching or probabilistic genotyping. I really enjoy meeting new people at smaller meetings.”

Rockne HarmonAlameda County District Attorney’s Office (retired)




nicole-novroski“I love that there is always something new to learn.  I am really passionate about learning new things, and I consider myself very fortunate to work in a field that is always changing and growing with new technologies, capabilities and ideas.”

Nicole Novroski, University of North Texas Health Science Center






“My favorite thing about research is exploring the unknown.  With research, you almost always never know what is going to be the result.  Certainly, there are outcomes that you hope for, but you can never truly know the result until the end.  With the unknown, there are no limits and that is what makes research most exciting.”

Rachel Wiley, University of North Texas Health Science Center






“Every new case is exciting because I either solve the case for the law enforcement or help a family to be reunited (parentage and kinship cases).  Overall I get a good feeling that I made a difference in somebody’s life.”

Hristina Lekova, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office





“I enjoy the personal interactions with talented forensic scientists across the globe.  I appreciate learning about the similarities and differences in forensic testing methods, applicable laws, and adjudication of criminal matters in different countries.”

Julie French, GE Healthcare






“My job requires a lot of multitasking.  It never gets boring.”

Kendra Felipe-Ortega, University of North Texas Health Science Center






“My favorite thing about my job is the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues. They are always super motivated and inspire me daily.”

Tatiana Perez, NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner





“The challenges, it is fun for me to try to determine why a sample isn’t working. I like the cold cases that aren’t straight forward and require figuring out what hasn’t already been done and trying new things.”

Rachel Oefelein, DNA Labs International





“At heart, I am a scientist and collaborator, so there’s nothing better than hypothesizing and devising with colleagues new ideas and concepts. As an academic in Duke Initiative for Science and Society, I have the freedom to explore the research questions that interest me most. The intersection of science and policy is full of unanswered questions across many fields of science, and since science is always ahead of policy, there is always more to explore.”

Sara Katsanis, Duke University





“As a prosecutor, you have both the opportunity and the obligation to simply do what is right, whether that means prosecuting a case or declining to file charges. That gives you a certain professional freedom that most attorneys will never enjoy.”

Ted Hunt, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Jackson County Missouri






“I enjoy the challenge associated with determining and then implementing methods and procedures that simplify the signal obtained from samples originating from complex environments.”

Catherine Grgicak, Boston University School of Medicine






“My favorite thing is my ability to interact with so many scientists in the field and t see the impact our grant funding has on solving cases.”

Chuck Heurich, National Institute of Justice