Hannah

GS:       Where are you from?

HN:      Kingsport, TN

GS:       What degree will you receive and when?

I will graduate in May with a Masters in Forensic Science

GS:       How long have you been at UAB?

I've been here almost two years.  I came to UAB after getting my bachelor's at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

GS:       What is your research?

My research is on using the microcrystal test to identify an adulterant that's mixed with cocaine. 

GS:       Why did you choose UAB for your graduate studies? 

I chose UAB because of the number of classes offered in different areas of forensic science.  I also did an internship with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences lab in town and I learned about the program from my co-workers there.

GS:       Have you received any awards or honors?

I am currently a graduate assistant for the department.

GS:       What has been your most rewarding experience at UAB?

The most rewarding part of being at UAB is the variety of classes in the areas of forensic science that the department offers.  I wasn't sure what area I wanted to work in so being exposed to many areas has helped me make career decisions.  I was also able to pursue an area of interest through my research.

GS:       Who was your greatest influence here at UAB and why?

My greatest influence would be Dr. Elizabeth Gardner.  I have been working as her graduate assistant the whole time I have been here and she gave me the opportunity to make my research the best it could be.  She has helped me anytime I had a problem or question I couldn't answer while collecting data and motivated me to send an article to a journal for publication.

GS:       What is your motivation in your academics/research?

The technique I am using in my research is an older technique, but I hope to be able to use it to identify crystal characteristics to link them to an adulterant, without using any other instrumentation and shed new light on an old method.  I am a detail-oriented person and my research requires attention to detail so that motivates me to put forth my best effort.

GS:       What are your plans after graduating and for the future?

I would like to pursue a career in drug chemistry and work for a state or federal lab analyzing drug evidence.  I am currently on the job search and have interviewed at a few agencies.

Hannah’s advice for other graduate students:

Don't sell yourself short.  Graduate school allows you a lot of freedom to explore your areas of interest. You learn you can do things you never thought you would. 

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