Ventures Summer 2017 - Page 23

ALUMNA PROFILE Using Forensic Expertise to Help Loved Ones The most challenging aspect of the 10-year career of forensic trace analyst Carrie Wise (Bachelor of Science in Biology ‘05, Master of Forensic Science ‘07), is overcoming the emotions stirred up by extremely troubling cases. However, Wise, who specializes in this area at a local lab, says that she combats these hurdles by staying objective while doing her best to deliver justice to the victims and their families. “It is normal as a human to go through distressing emotions, but there is always a job to be done, and finding the right balance is key.” In contrast, the most fulfilling aspect of her job is using Carrie Wise ’05 ’07M analytical techniques to validate her hypothesis, she says, because she enjoys seeing the scientific method solve the story based solely on facts. Dean, Chemistry, Math, and Physical Sciences. From her first To be a successful forensic scientist, Wise says, “You year in the Forensic Science program, it was absolutely clear to have to be passionate and love what you do. You need Wise that this was she wanted to do. During her rotations and to be willing to give yourself to the process, and ensure visits to different labs, she got a feel for the forensics field and that you have a mind that questions everything.” was instantly enamored by the day-to-day work. Faculty members This curiosity serves her well when combing through in the program, who were all current or previous practitioners in evidence and microscopic details. Documentation is the field, used their professional experience to teach her what another crucial element of the job at which one must would be expected from her in the field. One case that cemented excel to ensure that all evidence is recorded. Carrie’s desire to work with trace evidence came from a visit Wise, who is also an Adjunct Faculty Instructor for the to a local crime lab where debris included paint, drywall, and School of Graduate and Professional Studies, teaching animal hairs. “The knowledge that so much information could the Trace and Crime Scene Investigation courses, was a be extracted from these tiny items completely enthralled me.” member of the first class of Stevenson’s Forensic Science A mother of two, Wise cites her family as inspiration because graduate program. At a young age, Wise knew that she they remind her to change, try new things, and be the best wanted to give back to the community, and she says that person she can be. The victims and their families also serve as an her current career is the best avenue through which she inspiration to her. “I always remind myself that each victim was can achieve that goal. someone’s baby. There are people who love and care for them.” While attending Stevenson, Wise found her interest in forensics sparked by Ellen Roskes, Ph.D., Associate With the heartfelt goal of bring