Women, Science and the Uniform

Cadet swabs for DNAEleven Cadets will fall in this month for the annual Biometric and Forensic Internship at the National Forensic Science Technology Center. For the first time in the Largo, Florida based program’s eight year history, females will outnumber their male counterparts; a growing trend in the forensic science community.

A recent survey of accredited collegiate forensic science programs found women comprise nearly 80% of students[1]. The seven female Cadets arriving at NFSTC are in a unique cross section of military and forensic science. “These Cadets are really making their mark in what was traditionally a male dominated career field just a decade ago,” Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC’s CEO, explains.

Lothridge says the trend in the year’s ROTC class could be felt in the organization’s other military trainings. “It is an exciting time to see more women not only interested in STEM fields in general, but building careers in forensic science. We are honored to help guide the next generation of Army leaders.”

2015 Cadets at IED Awareness“I am most excited to see how the forensic field works with the military,” says Jordan Erisman, University of Tampa ROTC Cadet. “I had never really thought there was much overlap between the two until I started looking into the internship at NFSTC.”

The 19-year-old Forensic Science student plans to join the Army’s Chemical Corps or Military Intelligence after graduation. “This opportunity directly correlates with my career aspirations of working in a forensic laboratory.”

When Cadet Stormy Lindsay graduates from the University of South Florida, she will join more than 39,000 other female officers in military[2]. “This internship fits perfectly with my current track of becoming a military police officer, once commissioned,” Lindsay explains. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the forensic field correlates to our nation’s success on the battlefield.”

When the Cadets graduate, they will also have new military career opportunities available to them. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense opened all positions to women, including infantry and special operations.

Since 2009, NFSTC has offered the Biometric and Forensic Internship to up-to 12 Cadets at no cost to them or command. The two weeks focuses cutting-edge biometric and forensic identification and collection techniques. In addition, the ROTC Cadets build skills such as leadership, decision-making, and prioritizing actions under pressure.

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their donations for the 2016 internship:

Sponsors:

  • John Allison, NFSTC Board Member
  • James Cali, NFSTC Board Member
  • Suzanne and Gary Grant
  • John and Diana Ives
  • Carol Koch
  • Laura and Kevin Lothridge
  • Mitchell Morrisey, NFSTC Board President
  • Chris Vivian

In-kind Donors

  • Lynn Peavey
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Net Bio
  • Eagle 32
  • Global SOF
  • Tampa Bay Yacht Charters
  • John Boscia
  • Training Team Solutions

NFSTC will host a photo gallery that captures the cadets in action throughout the two-week course on Facebook, so log on and follow along!

[1] Houck, Max M. “Is Forensic Science a Gateway for Women in Science?” Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal 1.1 (2009): 65-69. Web.

[2] “Women in the Military.” Women’s History Month 2016. Department of Defense, Mar. 2016. Web. 12 July 2016.

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