Hello Hello!

Hello readers! My name is Shebna Garcon and I will be graduating this December with a Masters in Chemistry. This summer, I am interning at the Montgomery Country Police Department’s Forensic Services Section (MCPD FSS) or in other words Montgomery County’s Crime Lab.

Before I start yapping all about the internship, let me give you a little background information about myself. I double-majored in Biochemistry and Psychology at American University and graduated in 2008. In order to keep both of my degree fields open, I work in the psychology field as a clinical research coordinator while working on my Masters in Chemistry at AU. I originally wanted to focus on Forensic Chemistry, but the advisor for that was on sabbatical from last summer to this one. So instead I concentrated on Environmental Chemistry. It’s very interesting and I actually enjoyed my thesis research (however not really enjoying having to write my thesis).

So since I was not able to focus my research on Forensic Chemistry, I settled for an internship at the MCPD FSS. I started a couple weeks ago and I already love it there. Unfortunately I’m only there one day a week, but I’ve already learned so much in that time.

The first day we did the usual first day stuff.  I met my supervisor, got a tour of the facilities, was introduced to people, etc. My supervisor is actually in charge of the Firearms Unit in the crime lab. Having Chemistry degree himself, he explained to me what he did to get to where he is now and how Chemistry is used in regards to firearms. Simply put he gets an unknown bullet, firearm, etc and has to figure out what type of firearm it came from or what type of firearm it is.  He wears a lab coat and gloves, has to use reagents, and observes different parts of a firearm under a microscope. So just in case you were wondering, Chemistry is actually involved in the Firearms Unit! (I wasn’t so sure myself at first!)

My favorite part of my first day is when my supervisor gave me a nice pep talk about the career choices available in the field. He encouraged me to consider going into Forensics, especially since there are not a lot of minorities, let alone female minorities in the field. Since that talk, I have really considered going into Forensics, and I am actually applying for a second Masters degree in Forensic Science focusing on DNA analysis.

Well I’ll leave it at that for now and save some info for my next post! I’m excited to blog about my experiences at MCPD FSS and I hope you enjoy reading about them!