Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Our graduates have gone on to many different professions or academic pursuits, such as: professional schools (ie. dentristry, law, medicine), police agencies (eg. RCMP, Peel Police), lab work (eg. Centre of Forensic Sciences), and academic teaching/research. Below are some interviews with our graduates.

Be sure to check out the UTM Forensic Science's Linked In page to network with past graduates of the program, to see what they are doing now, and where they have worked.

Click or Scroll below to read each alumni story!

Adrian Chow Agata Gapinska Cameron Power Cherry Pun Clayton Asano Daniella Stoewner Heather Merk Jessica Lam Rachel Rudolf Rebekah Jacques Rahul Gandotra Sandeep Randhawa 


 

Interviews with our Graduates

 

 Daniella Stoewner, HBSc (Specialty in Forensic Anthropology)Daniella Stoewner
Daniella on scene with FARO 3D capture technology.

Daniella is now a 3D Forensic Technologist at ai2-3D Forensics based in Vaughan, Ontario. The company is contracted to assist in casework by reconstructing criminal events in 3D for forensic scientists, law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and other relevant bodies across North America. They also provide training and support for the use of laser scanners, hand scanners, photogrammetry, and related software. ai2-3D is also involved with ongoing research in areas such as laser scanning technology, bullet trajectory analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, and forensic pattern analysis.

Why did you choose to pursue forensic science? 
My passion for science and its applicability in creating a better society. The field of forensics is so broad that I knew I would not be limited or constrained in what I studied, and I knew that I would be able to help others in the process.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to come back to UTM to co-teach the fourth year FSC406 course, Introduction to 3D Crime Scene Mapping & Reconstruction. I had a wonderful experience lecturing and designing practical assignments for the students to learn. I’d love to come back and teach again!

What have been some of your favourite experiences as a member of the forensic community?
Discovering things through research and casework that were previously unknown to others. We make discoveries and learn something new everyday. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed my university career, being able to continue my education during work hours has been extremely rewarding. I’ve also been given the amazing opportunity to travel for research, training, conferences, and casework. Everyday is different!

What is your fondest memory of your UofT experience? 
Completing the Forensic Anthropology field school and being able to assist in real casework shortly thereafter. As an undergraduate, assisting on a real case was a dream come true.

Any words of advice for up and coming FSc students?
Get involved! Network! Stay active in the forensic community! The worldwide forensic science community is relatively small – take advantage of the ability to make lasting connections by assisting in research, attending conferences, and volunteering whenever possible.

 


 

 Rebekah Jacques, HB.Sc., M.D., F.R.C.P.C (AP&FP)

Rebekah Jacques

About Rebekah's undergraduate direction:

The specialty program had not yet been implemented when I was enrolled into the forensic program at UTM, though I did graduate with a double major in forensic science and biology and a minor in anthropology. 

Why did you choose to pursue forensic science?
I thought this would be a great undergraduate course to prepare me to become a forensic pathologist. I am now a Forensic Pathologist and Investigating Coroner.

What have been some of your favourite experiences as a member of the forensic community?
As a forensic pathologist, I have enjoyed arriving at the truth of the matter to assist other stakeholders in our system.

What is your fondest memory of your UofT experience?
The library! I was able to achieve the best ideas studying in the library. 

Any words of advice for up and coming FSc students:
Find your passion, model success and try to maintain your curiosity about your pursuit of knowledge as you proceed throughout your career.

 


 

Jessica Lam, HBSc, MSc (Specialty in Forensic Anthropology and Biology)

Jessica Lam

Jessica Lam standing in the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex.

Jessica Lam graduated from the UTM Forensic Science program in 2012 with an Honour’s Bachelor of Science degree in forensic anthropology and biology. During the last three years of her undergraduate studies, Jessica was the President of the UTM Forensics Society which she formally established as a recognized Academic Society by the UTM Student Union (UTMSU) in 2010.

In 2013, Jessica continued her studies at UTM and completed a Master of Science degree in Anthropology a year later, under the supervision of Dr. Tracy Rogers. Jessica’s research projects during this time combined skeletal age estimation methods with various 3D technologies to facilitate the analytical process. Throughout her studies, Jessica has worked in Greece, Portugal, and Japan for research and academic purposes. Jessica has also been active in forensic casework as a field technician across southern Ontario since 2011.

Recently, Jessica was one of ten successful candidates in the world who were accepted into the INTREPID Forensics program at the University of Leicester (United Kingdom). There, she will be fulfilling a fully-funded PhD researcher position in Engineering/Pathology under Dr. Sarah Hainsworth and Dr. Guy Rutty. Although Jessica will be based out of the University of Leicester, she will also be undergoing a research secondment at the University of Padova in Italy. Jessica will begin her three-year PhD at the University of Leicester in January 2015.

Jessica was the Public Outreach Administrator for the UTM Forensic Science program from 2012 – 2014, and also completed a work-study term at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2014. She assisted with the 24th Educational Training Conference hosted by the Toronto Police Services, and was involved with the conference organization committee for the 2014 Canadian Identification Society Conference. Jessica has also worked as a piano teacher for eight years.

Click here to read more about Jessica's undergraduate and graduate experience.

Follow Jessica's personal INTREPID journey and experience by clicking here.

 


 

 Rachel Rudolf and Clayton AsanoPolice College Convocation 2012

November 2012 - Rachel Rudolf (left), and Clayton Asano (right) at the convocation ceremony for the Ontario Police College, standing with Brent Walker (middle), a retired forensic identification officer and former UTM instructor.

Rachel graduated from UTM in 2009 with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science – Biology Specialist. In 2011 she received her Master’s Degree in Forensic Science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She has worked as a Forensic Identification Assistant with the RCMP, and recently got hired as a Police Constable with York Regional Police. One of Rachel’s future goals is to be part of the Forensic Identification Unit with York Regional Police.

Clayton graduated from UTM in 2011 as a Forensic Anthropology Specialist and Biology Minor. Clayton has returned to UTM since his graduation as an occasional guest speaker for the UTM Forensics Society. He has now been hired by Peel Regional Police.

 


 

Cameron Power (HBSc, Specialy in Forensic Chemistry)

Cameron Power

Forensic Technologist, Forensic Toxicology Section, Centre of Forensic Sciences (as of Dec 2014)

  • My first interest with the field of forensic science came about due to the CSI effect.  Like a lot of individuals the initial release of the television show CSI drew a large interest with the field of forensics.  It didn’t take me long to realize that forensic science is not truly what they portray on TV.  There are some similarities but there are a lot of differences.  Having done research into the field I was not deterred in any way by realizing it is not like the hit TV show CSI.  As I made my way through high school I realized that science was one of my fortes.  With this in mind, and my previous knowledge of the field of forensics, I couldn’t think of a better way to apply my scientific knowledge than to the judicial system.

  • When it came time to apply for schools that had a forensics program it ultimately came down to either UTM or the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Both had their sets of pros and cons, but when it came down to deciding, U of T is a world renowned university with an established forensics program when compared to UOIT.  As difficult as the decision was to make, UTM was definitely the right choice.

  • Since graduating in the summer of 2013, I have been fortunate enough to secure a job at the Centre of Forensic Sciences.  I initially started out as a summer student in 2013 with the chemistry section.  From there I proceeded to become a contract lab attendant with the chemistry section before securing fulltime position with the toxicology section as their lab attendant.  Since then I have continued to move forward and I am currently a Forensic Technologist with the toxicology section.  Though it has been a fast journey to become a technologist, I am still looking forward to reaching my ultimate goal of becoming a scientist within the Centre.

  • My undergrad degree at UTM definitely benefitted me.  Throughout the program I was provided with a number of different opportunities to network with a wide range of professionals within the forensics field.  The staff are knowledgeable experts within their designated field and are always willing to assist and put in the time to help you succeed.  Throughout my undergrad I gained a wide range of professional training such as interviews, presentations, and research which has helped me prepare and get me to where I am today.

  • In part with the many professionals willing to assist me when needed, the internship course was the most valuable aspect of my undergraduate career.  Throughout this course I was able to network with a range of forensic professional with whom I am still in contact.  It also provided me with a much better understanding and a good back bone for conducting good research while following all the proper procedures and protocols.  The internship portion of the program also allowed for me to work first hand with professionals within their fields.  This was an excellent opportunity for me to continue to gain an understanding of different areas of forensics and what different professionals do on a daily basis.  Lastly, and most importantly, this program helped develop me as a professional through aspects such as interviews and presentations.

  • The faculty and instructors at UTM were excellent.  They are all professionals within their field which allows for students to receive first hand training specific to their field of study.  Not only are they professionals, but they are all willing to assist students and graduates in whatever way possible, whether it be course related or professional development.

  • Ultimately I could not be where I am today without my undergraduate experience.  I gained a vast amount of knowledge through my four years and was able to connect with a wide range of professionals that were all able to assist me in a different way.

 


 

Simon Liu
H.BSc. Forensic Chemistry Specialist, 2012

Simon Liu

Forensic Identification Assistant, York Regional Police (as of Sep, 2014) 

 

Simon graduated UTM's Forensic Chemistry Specialist Program in 2012. He remains active in the forensic science community and has secured employment in his field as a Forensic Identification Assistant for York Regional Police.

 

  • I was initially interested in forensic science because I wanted to be in a field where I can apply scientific concepts in a practical way. As well, when I was young, I liked to solve puzzles and read crime stories, so I wanted to be in a career where I can apply my interests in a scientific way.
  • I chose the Forensic Science program at UTM because I initially wanted to go to the University of Toronto due to its award winning researchers, education and facilities. As well, the Forensic Science program at UTM was the first in Canada, with many internship opportunities where we students can participate. During my visit at the Ontario Universities Fair, the one aspect that interested me for choosing this program was the presence of a specific coordinator that helps students look for internship opportunities based on our interests, instead of the students doing it alone. This feature was something that not all universities have. UTM is the only university in Mississauga as well, compared to the many universities that existed in Toronto. I foresaw that there would be plenty of growth and expansion from city funding and other sources, thus enriching the program. As well, the program is rooted in one of the most prestigious schools in Canada; interaction with a lot of forensic professionals was easier and gaining the necessary networks in employment possible.
  • I am currently employed as a Forensic Identification Assistant at the York Regional Police. I was recently employed in many government organizations including the Canadian Coast Guard College, Passport Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and Service Canada. I am planning to continue in this career, hopefully advancing to more senior positions along the way. However, I am always looking for new opportunities to contribute in the field. 

  • The undergraduate degree in Forensic Science had benefitted me because it provided a dual path for me to choose from, either in the empirical science that I was specialized in or the forensics field. This allowed me to open more doors to different opportunities.  As well, when you graduate from the University of Toronto, it makes you more competitive in the job market. This degree ensures that you know how to solve problems in any situation, have the appropriate presentation, thinking, and meticulous approach skills that are essential to any employment opportunity that you may encounter. Through the internship experience, I was able to land my first forensic interview, and publish my first journal article, which benefitted me in my career goals.

  • The most valuable aspect of my undergraduate careers was the social interaction in the campus. This included the UTM Forensic Society. It is through this society that I was involved with many projects in the department such as the Murder Mystery Dinner, volunteering at the Crime Scene House, Meet and Greet Night with the TAs and professors, that I was able to know the faculty, instructors, the department and other students in the program. It is also through this social interaction that I was able to meet good friends. As well, I found out that I excelled in the accounting aspect of the forensics society and able to think of future projects which contribute back to the department The social interaction with the instructors was important because it allows me to be passionate about the field and to discover my career goals after I graduated.

  • I travel two hours each way, with a total of 4 hours for a round trip to UTM every day. I would not be able to endure it for 4 years if it was not for the passionate faculty and instructors. The faculty and instructors were very accommodating in terms of office hours. If I email them in terms of any hours outside of their designated time, they were willing to accommodate it, with many choices for me to choose from. As well, their doors are always open, so if you have any last minute questions, they would answer them right away with no difficulty. Since UTM is one of the smaller campuses, there are fewer students so you get to know the faculty and instructors a lot more. As well, they are really passionate about their jobs, so they are willing to stay after hours during exam season to make sure that you do well in the course. They offer plenty of resources to understand the material and spark innovation in the content through materials, online tools, and extra office hours to keep us going through the course. This allowed me to see the different career paths that I can take after I graduate. The instructors are all from the field, from forensic pathologists to Forensic Identification officers. they able to bring their real-life experience in the lectures, making the education much more relevant and practical.

  • The UTM Forensic program was a great program with great instructors, faculty, and a vast social, professional network. I did not regret of my decision of choosing this program, and thank you to all the people in the faculty and instructors that I had which have fostered my career goals.

 


Adrian Chow

Adrian Chow
H.BSc. Forensic Biology Specialist, 2012                 
                      
Clinical Research Assistant, SickKids Hospital
Patient Care Assistant, Toronto General Hospital (as of Sep, 2012)

 

After completing his degree in forensic biology, Adrian Chow was hired by the Ontario Science Centre for the summer and began his full-time work at the Toronto General Hospital in September, along with a clinical research placement at SickKids Hospital. He plans to take the year off to work before applying to a Master's program in physiotherapy and/or a Doctorate in chiropractic.

  • I always grew up reading 'murder mysteries' and 'whodunit' stories. Ever since I was young, I had an interest in piecing together different clues to solve the crime and to catch the culprit. My dream occupation was always to become a detective when I grew up.
  • Not many universities in Canada offer a forensic science program. I chose UTM because their forensic science program was the first to be established in Canada, thus had a long standing reputation behind it. The forensic science program at UTM also has great internship placement opportunities, where fourth year students are placed with a forensic agency to perform research in one of the many forensic related disciplinary areas.
  • I believe that my degree in forensic science has benefitted me because I have both learned and experienced a lot in regards to the forensic world, whether it is through lectures or hands-on laboratory experiences. The professors and lecturers all are well versed in this area and are extremely knowledgeable and insightful. Although I am no longer pursuing forensic science as a career, the courses I have taken still allow me to pursue a career in healthcare.
  • The most valuable aspect of my undergraduate career was the social interaction with my peers. Throughout my four years at UTM, I was part of the Erindale College Special Response Team (ECSpeRT). Trained as medical first responders, we provided first aid coverage for the members of the campus, as well as weekend events. I got to meet a lot of new people outside my program as well as learn a lot of other things. In my last year I was also part of the Forensic Society (IVNVI). There we helped introduced peers to the world of forensic science. We hosted charity events and went out for socials.
  • All the faculty and instructors were extremely knowledgeable, approachable and insightful. They all possess experiences in the forensic world and each have a different background. We have been taught by police officers, pathologists, anthropologists, entomologists, toxicologists, engineers, and psychologists, each bringing their own knowledge and experiences into the lectures.
  • I would highly recommend this program to any students interested in the forensic science field. You do not necessarily have to pursue a career in forensics in order to enrol in the program. The courses you take will both be broad and specific in regards to the forensic context, thus this degree will allow you to open many doors, avenues and allow you to pursue many different career paths.

 


Cherry Pun

Cherry Pun
H.BSc. Forensic Biology Specialist, 2012

Forensic Services Technologist, Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit
Ontario Forensic Pathology Service (as of Oct 2012)

Read the interview


Rahul Gandotra

Rahul Gandotra
H.BSc. Forensic Psychology Double Major, 2012                 
                      
JD Candidate, Law student
University of Western Ontario (as of July, 2013)

Read the interview


Sandeep Randhawa

Sandeep Randhawa
H.BSc. Forensic Science & Biology Double Major, 2011

M.S. Candidate in Biology - Oral Biology, New York University (as of Oct 2012)

Read the interview


Agata Gapinska-Serwin

Agata Gapinska-Serwin
H.BSc. Forensic Chemistry Specialist, 2008

Laboratory Technician (Forensic Science & Chemistry)
University of Toronto Mississauga (as of July 2013)

Read the interview


 

Heather Merk

Heather Merk
H.BSc. Forensic Science & Biology, 2004

The Syngenta Breeding Academy, Professional Development (as of March 2015)

Read the interview

 

 

 Daniella Stoewner, HBSc (Specialty in Forensic Anthropology)Daniella Stoewner
Daniella on scene with FARO 3D capture technology.

Daniella is now a 3D Forensic Technologist at ai2-3D Forensics based in Vaughan, Ontario. The company is contracted to assist in casework by reconstructing criminal events in 3D for forensic scientists, law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and other relevant bodies across North America. They also provide training and support for the use of laser scanners, hand scanners, photogrammetry, and related software. ai2-3D is also involved with ongoing research in areas such as laser scanning technology, bullet trajectory analysis, bloodstain pattern analysis, and forensic pattern analysis.

Why did you choose to pursue forensic science? 
My passion for science and its applicability in creating a better society. The field of forensics is so broad that I knew I would not be limited or constrained in what I studied, and I knew that I would be able to help others in the process.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to come back to UTM to co-teach the fourth year FSC406 course, Introduction to 3D Crime Scene Mapping & Reconstruction. I had a wonderful experience lecturing and designing practical assignments for the students to learn. I’d love to come back and teach again!

What have been some of your favourite experiences as a member of the forensic community?
Discovering things through research and casework that were previously unknown to others. We make discoveries and learn something new everyday. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed my university career, being able to continue my education during work hours has been extremely rewarding. I’ve also been given the amazing opportunity to travel for research, training, conferences, and casework. Everyday is different!

What is your fondest memory of your UofT experience? 
Completing the Forensic Anthropology field school and being able to assist in real casework shortly thereafter. As an undergraduate, assisting on a real case was a dream come true.

Any words of advice for up and coming FSc students?
Get involved! Network! Stay active in the forensic community! The worldwide forensic science community is relatively small – take advantage of the ability to make lasting connections by assisting in research, attending conferences, and volunteering whenever possible.