Student Experiences

Sydney Stansbury - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Sydney Stansbury

"For the last three weeks of my summer I spent time in Glasgow, Scotland at Glasgow Caledonian University. Their Forensics Summer Programme allowed me to have a closer look at how Scotland's forensic and criminal justice systems work. It was an absolutely amazing trip. Not only did we learn different methods, but part of our curriculum was to visit Police Scotland and Scotland's Fire Department training center! We not only got to see inside their operations, we also got the chance to see much of Scotland! We did a trip up to the highlands and Loch Ness, as well as a weekend trip to Edinburgh! As a forensic science program abroad, it was a fantastic experience!” - Sydney Stansbury (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI Option)

Carly Smith - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Carly Smith

“I had the amazing opportunity to intern with the Omaha Police Department for 10 weeks this summer.  I was assigned to work with the Auto Theft division, but also had the pleasure of getting to spend my last three weeks at OPD with the Forensic Division.  My time there was extremely beneficial, as I was able to learn about law enforcement from all different sides.  Some of the highlights of my internship included:

  • Observing several autopsies (my favorite part of the summer!)
  • Learning how to get into locked cars
  • Handling auto theft cases
  • Helping to locate and package evidence
  • Watching suspects getting questioned by the detectives
  • Shadowing Forensic Technicians at crime scenes (another favorite!)
  • Going on a ride-along with a patrol officer.
  • Touring the corrections facility, the 911 call center, and Able One (police helicopter)

The summer I spent with OPD was beyond exciting, and it was amazing to experience firsthand what I hope to do one day.  This summer very much confirmed my passion for forensic science and goals for my future career.” - Carly Smith (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI Option)

Jamie Roth - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Jamie Roth

“For almost one year, I have been studying entomology through an internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Through this internship I have:

  • Grown and observed stable fly population growth rates
  • Completed RNA extractions
  • Created a database of past research data that will be used for future research projects

This internship has been an amazing opportunity for me to combine my love for science and agriculture with the hope that this research can benefit future farmers.  Prairieland Dairy, specifically, has allowed us to do research and collect data at their facility to help their livestock.  Working for the USDA has given me hands-on knowledge that I would never have received in a classroom, and access to amazing mentors and future career opportunities.  It has solidified my decision to build a career working in a laboratory, and has shown me that science is what I am meant to do in life.” - Jamie Roth (Junior Forensic Science Major pursuing the Forensic Biology Option)

Mallory Einfalt - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Mallory Einfalt

“This summer I participated in a field school taught by Dr. Karl Reinhard, Dr. Deb Meier, Dr. Johnica Morrow, and Dr. Dario Piombino-Mascali in the small town of Santa Lucia del Mela, Sicily. The broad range of lecture topics as well as the hands on experiences in different crypts and catacombs allowed me to truly grasp the cultural and religious context around mummy studies with a newfound knowledge regarding the changing conservation issues surrounding these ancient people. I was able to get a head start in the courses of taphonomy and human remains through visually examining a set of mummies to discern characteristics such as what pathologies they may have suffered or their status in life based on funerary bundles. A summary of my three weeks abroad include:

  • Examining mummies in crypts and catacombs across northern Sicily 
  • Touring churches, castles, and museums guided by priests and historians
  • Learning Italian through lessons taught by a local journalist 
  • Participating in culture nights including the eggplant festival and the Lady of Snow procession
  • Relaxing on gorgeous beaches with clear, blue water
  • Hiking the cobblestone pathways and vertical steps up and down the mountain daily 
  • Experiencing the Catholic faith in another country
  • Interacting with the locals about Sicilian and American culture

I could not have chosen a better opportunity for my first experience abroad. The people were hospitable, the food was delicious, and the scenery was breathtaking with mountains on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. Going through a UNL-based course allowed me to grow close to upperclassmen in the Forensic Science major who were able to give me insight into future courses. I was also able to start relationships with professors whose classes I will be taking these next two years. Small-town Sicily gave me true insight into the Sicilian culture, an island that will forever hold a special place in my heart!” - Mallory Einfalt (Junior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI Option)

Kaitlyn Rosploch - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Kaitlyn Rosploch

"This past summer I worked for the Estee Lauder Companies experimenting with how sunscreens work. I was trained on various laboratory equipment including the Lab Sphere and Solar Simulator which analyze the UV ray absorbance properties of a sunscreen. From this information, I was able to determine key raw materials that change the effectiveness of a sunscreen. I also researched and learned about the regulations on sunscreens by the FDA." -Kaitlyn Rosploch (Junior Forensic Science and Biochemistry Double-Major pursuing the Forensic Biology option)

Hiyam Hesso - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Hiyam Hesso

“This summer a couple other UNL students and I traveled to Glasgow, Scotland for a Forensic Science and Criminal Justice program at Glasgow Caledonian University. The program focused on Scotland’s forensic science and criminal justice programs. We touched on the differences between our systems here in the US and theirs. We went on many field trips like the Scottish fire and rescue, Police Scotland, Her Majesty’s Prison Cornton Vale, and the High Court. The differences were very eye opening and I learned a lot about how we can better our Criminal Justice system here in the U.S.

Apart from the academic field trips and the informative lectures and labs, we participated in many cultural activities.  We had the opportunity to visit Loch Ness, The Kelpies, The Glengoyne Distillery, and the Sterling Castle.

Glasgow is an amazing city and I plan to visit again. The people of Scotland are very kind and the program leaders made our experience one we will never forget. The program only lasted three weeks but they ensured we always had something fun to do. I highly recommend this program to anyone who might be interested.” –Hiyam Hesso (Sophomore Forensic Science Major pursuing the Forensic Biology option)

Samantha Hayek - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Samantha Hayek

“This summer I spent about two weeks in a small town called Santa Lucia del Mela in Sicily studying mummies! The program was led by UNL faculty Dr. Karl Reinhard, Dr. Deb Meier, Dr. Johnica Morrow, and also by Dr. Dario Piombino-Mascali. All of the faculty who taught during this program have had tons of experience in so many areas of study and research that overlap for both Forensic Science and the mummy studies that it was incredible learning from them. Dario is very well-versed and experienced in the mummy world and being able to meet and learn from someone who has experienced so much was so awesome! 

Highlights from the trip: 

  • Studying and seeing various mummies as well as being able to see so many in multiple crypts and catacombs
  • Seeing the beautiful architecture of the churches and country and learning the history behind some of the towns and buildings
  • Experiencing the Sicilian culture through food, festivals, and interaction with locals
  • Seeing the landscape -- Mountains and beaches!! 

It was so rewarding and enjoyable to be able to experience the culture of another country while learning about some of the history, art, food, and of course their views on mummification. Everyone we interacted with was so nice and welcoming. They would make sure that we knew what kind of cultural events were happening in the town and even once they reserved our group a table in the square so we would be able to see the Lady of the Snow Procession and the firework display. Also learning from some of the best people in the field was great too, everyone brought such a unique perspective on things, even the students who were with us! This was such a great experience and a great way to sum up my career as an undergraduate student. It really allowed me to apply a lot of what I've learned to the observations and studying of the mummies that we did. It was the perfect first-out-of-country trip and really got me interested in the mummy studies field.  I can't wait to learn and see more! ” –Samantha Hayek (Recent Forensic Science CSI Option Graduate)

Alex Fernholz - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Glasgow

“I spent three weeks studying forensic science at Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow, Scotland. While studying we covered topics including:

  • The legal and criminal justice system of Scotland
  • The work of a crime scene officer in Scotland
  • Fingerprint, firearm, and footwear examination

This program was filled with many academic field trips as well as cultural ones. The academic field trips were all in relevance to what someone in the forensic science field might experience on the job. We went to the: Glasgow Sheriff Court, Glasgow Police Museum, High Court of Justiciary, Glasgow City Chambers, Her Majesty’s Prison Cornton Vale, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue, and Glasgow Scientific Services. It was really interesting to visit all these places and compare them to the way things are done in the United States.

Aside from the academic field trips, we went on many cultural field trips too. These included the highlands, Loch Ness, Stirling Castle, The Kelpies, The Falkirk Wheel, The Burrell Collection, and Glengoyne Distillery.

This program was an amazing experience. When visiting Glasgow, you will see the saying ‘People Make Glasgow’ posted everywhere. In concluding my trip, I found that this saying could not be more true. The weather is not the best, but the friendly people and their warm welcome made for an amazing experience. One in which I hope to be fortunate enough to go back and experience again.” –Alexandra Fernholz (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

Amy Douglas - Summer 2016

UNL Forensic Science - Amy Douglas

"This past summer I participated in an internship with Homeland Security Investigations at their Kansas City office. HSI is the main investigative branch of ICE/DHS, and a lot of their work includes immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism, and combating the illegal movement of people and trade.
As an intern I was able to gain valuable first-hand experience regarding what it is like to work for the government as a Special Agent. As a HSI intern, my duties and experiences included:

  • Shadowing Special Agents
  • Going out on surveillance
  • Attending gun range training
  • Interviewing forensic scientists, CBP officers, evidence technicians, CFAs, and more
  • Assisting agents with their casework
  • Attending mission briefings

This internship was very eye opening for me. Not only did it allow me to gain a true idea for what it is like to work for the federal government, but it also demonstrated how many career opportunities there are avaliable. Many of the agents were very supportive and willing to include me in their daily work and routines. My supervisor was also extremely helpful and resourceful in providing me points of contact and setting me up with agents.

I have really enjoyed my time with HSI, and I would strongly recommend this internship for anyone interested in working for the government, becoming a special agent, or even if you have an interest in law enforcement." -Amy Douglas (Junior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

Breane Morris - Summer 2016

“For roughly two weeks this summer a few other forensic science students and I attended a UNL study abroad program led by instructors Dr. Reinhard, Dr. Meier, and Dr. Morrow in Italy. We spent these two weeks in a small town called Santa Lucia del Mela, which is located in Sicily. The goal of this study abroad field school was to study and examine mummies and learn about the decomposition/preservation processes. Once there, we received lectures from the UNL faculty, as well as from Dr. Dario Piombino-Mascali, who has done extensive work in the field of mummy studies. Some highlights of this trip include:UNL Forensic Science - Breane Morris

  • Seeing many mummies located in various church crypts
  • Experiencing a brand new culture (and food)
  • 'Field trips' to neighboring villages
  • Spending time on beautiful beaches
  • Gaining knowledge and insight about mummies
  • Interacting with the local people

The amount of new things I was able to do on this trip was astounding. I tried new foods, saw amazing art and architecture, and got to see things from a completely new perspective. The locals in the village were all very kind to us and interested in what we were doing with the mummy studies, since it is an important cultural aspect for them. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget. Italy was a beautiful place that I hope I can experience again someday soon." -Breane Morris (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

For more about Breane's experience abroad click here

Harvey Liu - Summer 2015

“On the street, there aren’t any simulations or scripted events. Everything is real and even the trainings are just as realistic. While there are no guarantees of comfort or excitement of any kind, I always enjoy the good times to share our stories, learn professional knowledge and have fun with my officer partners, so I decided to body armor up and ride out to the street again!

Cook County Sheriff is the 2nd largest Sheriff’s department in Illinois State of US, which operates in Chicago City and the surrounding Cook County areas. As one of the two Law Enforcement interns in the Sheriff’s Police, I spent my summer in the field (operation or training) as I rotated through 24 different Police, Court, and Jail units within the Sheriff’s Department. I switched between day & night full-time shifts constantly and each day’s shift began at a different time between 5am to 3pm. Some highlighted experiences were:

  • SWAT, EOD & K9 trainingUNL Forensic Science - Harvey Liu
  • Helicopter Patrol
  • Hell week in the Police Academy
  • 911 Dispatch
  • Circuit Courts
  • Evidence Technician
  • Jail Intelligence/Investigation
  • Gun/Gang/Fugitive Unit
  • Autopsy in ME office

Being a Law Enforcement intern in field operations is both physically & mentally challenging, which comes after a series of competitive selections. Surely none of the above is easy, but the valuable experiences that you could earn will expand your life horizons more than you could imagine!"    -Harvey Liu (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

Lauren Peck - Summer 2015

“This past summer I spent my time as an intern with the Boulder County Sheriffs Office in Colorado. It was by far the most exciting job I have ever had and I learned more than I ever expected to. I spent eight weeks riding along with deputies from every unit, sitting in labs with detectives, and even training with the incoming class from the police academy. I was able to gain first-hand knowledge about all aspects of the law enforcement field. Some of my favorite things during my time with the Boulder County Sheriffs Office include:

UNL Forensic Science - Lauren Peck

  • K-9 ride-along
  • Shadowed a death investigator
  • Shadowed computer forensic investigatiors
  • Night shift at the prison
  • Night shift with DUI deputies
  • Viewed an autopsy
  • Trained with SWAT
  • Active shooter training
  • Worked on an active case
  • Ride-along with a mountain deputy
  • Attended the Mini Academy

My internship was life changing for me.  This experience has reaffirmed my passion for what I do and what direction I want to take my career.” –Lauren Peck (Junior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI Option)

Kaitlyn Rosploch - Summer 2015

UNL Forensic Science - Kaitlyn Rosploch

"This past summer I received an internship with The Estée Lauder Companies Research and Development Headquarters. For my internship, I worked in Color Development which allowed me to work with all types of Make-up including foundation, moisturizer, concealer, blush, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm.
My project for the summer was to make a blush and lipstick in one. The idea was to stray from the traditional wax based version and create a liquid version because this is less commonly seen on the market. After ten weeks of doing experimentation on the bench and running stability tests on all of the samples I made, I finally came up with a moisturizing blush, a lip stain that lasts for at least 12 hours, and a lip balm textured lipstick that can be used on your cheeks as well.
I loved my summer and the support I had through my mentor and manager to be creative and technical at the same time. If I received the opportunity to go back in the future, I would." -Kaitlyn Rosploch (Junior Forensic Science and Biochemistry Double-Major pursuing the Forensic Biology option)

Kate McCroskey - Summer 2014

UNL Forensic Science - Kate McCroskey

"I learned more than I could have ever expected during my internship at the Homicide Branch of the  Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. I was able to gain first hand knowledge about all aspects of the forensics field, including ones I would not have known existed otherwise. During my internship, I experienced the following:

  • Rode in a helicopter over Washington, D.C.
  • Met with federal Secret Service agents
  • Watched the President of the United States switch from Air Force One to Marine One
  • Observed murder trials
  • Attended ride alongs
  • Assisted during investigations, and so much more

My internship was a pivotal point in my college experience, and I know that I would not have the same outlook and passion on Forensic Science without it." -Kate McCroskey (Junior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

Harvey Liu - Summer 2014

UNL Forensic Science - Harvey Liu"Are you interested in experiencing how law enforcement operates in real life? Is it possible for UNL students to work alongside police officers at crime scenes? Of course! I’m Harvey Liu, a senior Forensic Science major at UNL, and I got to be a Criminal Investigation Division Intern for the Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia.

As a MPD Detective aide, I was assigned to the Third District HQ Detectives Unit, the infamous district for robbery, burglary, assault and illegal firearms/narcotics in DC.  Every day I went out with detectives to investigate criminal cases, obtain warrants and respond to active crime scenes. That meant going lights and sirens! When I was in station, I performed administrative work such as crime data log/analysis. I also rotated regularly to experience different specialized units. Those experiences included:

  • Investigating dead bodies with the Homicide Unit & Medical Examiner
  • Visiting the Forensics Laboratory with CSID
  • A 50 mile-per-hour boat ride with the Harbor Patrol unit
  • Searching a building with the K-9 Dog unit
  • Riding a horse with the Horse Mounted unit
  • Executing arrest warrants with the Warrant Squad
  • Booking suspects with the Cell Block unit
  • Training with Police Academy recruits
  • Hospitalizing an intoxicated person off the station platform with the Metro Police
  • Lining up behind the tactical team for a search warrant with VICE unit
  • Flying above the capital with the Air Support Unit

The MPD internship was a very rare and valuable opportunity to allow such meaningful and abundant experiences outside the office. About 80% of my total internship was spent out on the street, regardless of hot or raining weather, day or night. But it all came with long hours and hard work. So are you ready to ride in the cruiser to the front line of law enforcement as the radio calls you to serve and protect?" -Harvey Liu (Senior Forensic Science Major pursuing the CSI option)

Emily Spack - Summer 2014

UNL Forensic Science - Emily Spack

After graduating in May, Emily Spack, a Forensic Science major at UNL had the opportunity to work as a research assistant with Dr. Emily Hammerl, a Research Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Forensic Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Hammerl and Spack’s work took them to St. Valery, a city in Northern France, where they examined juvenile dentition in a French collection of remains.  Spack used a Digitizer to measure distances between landmarks on bones to eventually create a 3D image of each bone.  They also used a 3D laser scanner and a handheld dental x-ray as alternative methods of collecting images of the remains for further study.