CJ College Graduates First Forensic Science Ph.D.

PhD in Forensic

Lindsay Glicksberg is the first to graduate with a Ph.D. degree in Forensic Science at SHSU – and across the country.

The College of Criminal Justice will graduate its first Ph.D. student in Forensic Science during the December 2017 Commencement ceremony.

Lindsay Glicksberg will receive the inaugural doctoral degree, the first of its kind in the country. The program was launched to help meet the growing needs of public and private forensic laboratories and to train faculty for higher education programs in the expanding field.

Glicksberg’s dissertation focused on the “Identification and Stability of Synthetic Cathinones in Biological Samples.” Her committee was chaired by Dr. Sarah Kerrigan and included Drs. Patrick Buzzini, Madeleine Swortwood, and Ilona Petrikovics. Glicksberg’s work has been published in Journal of Analytical Toxicology, and Journal of Chromatography B. Her research has been presented at several national conferences. She worked with Kerrigan on a grant funded by the National Institute of Justice.

“I was very privileged to have been given the opportunity to work on such an exciting project and am very proud of the work that Dr. Kerrigan and I produced over the last few years,” said Glicksberg.

In the spring, Glicksberg was recognized as an Emerging Forensic Scientist by the Forensic Science Foundation for her research on the stability of “bath salts” in biological evidence. The award was presented by the prominent organization and focused on the reliability and validity of techniques, processes, or methods in forensic science. Her work was presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in New Orleans.

“Our forensic faculty actively contribute to the field and are committed to producing industrially relevant research,” said Dr. Kerrigan, Chair of the Department and Director of the Institute for Forensic Research, Training and Innovation.

There are currently 19 students enrolled in the Forensic Science doctoral program at Sam Houston State University. The new degree advances career options for those pursuing employment in higher education or forensic services for law enforcement, medical examiner offices, correctional facilities, attorneys, and the intelligence community. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the field is growing at a rate of 19 percent annually, with the largest demands in the areas of DNA, serology, firearms and tool marks, and trace evidence.

The program is designed to provide students with the critical thinking ability, problem-solving skills, and advanced, discipline-specific knowledge, which will allow them to advance into leadership positions. This is accomplished by performing independent, original research, successfully completing multidisciplinary academic coursework, through hands-on experience in the laboratory, and by collaborating with accredited forensic laboratories, institutes, and partners.

The Ph.D. in Forensic Science requires the completion of 86 credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Students complete a total of 45 credit hours of core coursework, a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation research, and an additional 26 credit hours of electives. The curriculum is designed to deliver an essential core curriculum in forensic science, together with specialized electives and intensive research in the area of interest. Students fulfill the requirements during four to five years of full-time study.

For more information about the program, visit the Department of Forensic Science at http://www.shsu.edu/programs/doctorate-of-philosophy-in-forensic-science/index.html

Member of The Texas State University System