HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Spending quality time with some of the world's most highly regarded forensic scientists like Dr. Henry Lee is just one way students at The University of Southern Mississippi catch a glimpse inside the real world of forensics.
A group of students recently returned from the fourth annual Forensic Science Seminar at Sea. The Caribbean trip, designed exclusively by Southern Miss, introduces Southern Miss students to world-renowned scientists who present on various topics within the field of forensics. Lee attends Seminar at Sea each year to give a lecture on high-profile forensic science. He is famous for his involvement as a key expert in the O.J. Simpson trial, Laci Peterson and the JonBenét Ramsey murders.
Other Forensic Science Seminar at Sea guest lecturers and topics include forensic odontology by Dr. Robert Barsley, footwear impression evidence by John Byrd, forensic pediatric medicine by Dr. Mary E. Case, computer forensics by Dr. David Dampier, blood stain patterns by Grant Dr. Graham, alternative light sources by Michael J. Grimm and Rodney A. Schenck, courtroom testimony by Ron Smith and forensic anthropology by Dr. Doug Ubelaker.
Students aboard Seminar at Sea are not limited to just hearing these experts speak, they are given the opportunity to interact with them as well.
"The students have 24/7 access to these scientists," said Dean Bertram, coordinator for Forensic Science Seminar at Sea. “Lecturers attend for the entire time with their families.”
And learning while mingling with famous forensic scientists is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, said senior criminal justice major Van Tuggle of Hot Coffee.
“We had Dr. Lee for a whole week. Not many can say that,” Tuggle said.
Jessica Welborn of Laurel said Seminar at Sea enhanced her outlook of the forensic science profession.
“What I learned there made me feel like I was more than just a student with a declared major,” she said. “It made me feel like I was a part of a field that reaches to improve life in a scope that is too broad to describe with words, numbers or ideas.”
Students who participate in the cruise also receive three credits for the trip and do not pay additional tuition for credit if already full-time students.
Forensic Science Seminar at Sea is scheduled again for Spring Break 2009.
To find out more about this opportunity and others offered through the Forensic Science Program, call Tara McCrink-Burcham at 601.266.5910.
Dr. Henry Lee, world-renowned forensic scientist known for his work in high-profile cases, takes a moment to talk with Southern Miss student Rebekah Arrington of Hattiesburg during the recent Forensic Science Seminar at Sea trip. (Southern Miss photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.