Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

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Fordham Theatre Alumna Finds Calling in Forensics

Amy BaldwinAs an undergraduate at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Amy Baldwin spent much of her time backstage; as a design and production major in the Fordham Theatre program, she made sure that the stage was well lit, that the curtains fell at the right moment, and that her actors were in the right position. But a few years after graduation, she swapped the stage for the lab, making a career change to become a forensic DNA analyst.

Baldwin recently returned to New York City from Afghanistan, where she was an independent defense contractor position with Ideal Innovations, Inc. In this role, Baldwin “process[ed DNA] samples from individuals or evidence associated with attacks against U.S. or coalition forces,” she says. 

Prior to her time in Afghanistan, she worked for Bode Technology Group, a firm that provides DNA testing instruments and services for the prosecution and defense alike. She also worked for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, investigating suspicious deaths in New York.

Although this career is a far cry from what Baldwin though she would be doing, she credits her Jesuit education for giving her the skills to function effectively in both worlds. Not only did the core curriculum, rooted in liberal arts courses, help her “not [miss] an idea,” she says, but it also piqued her interest in the sciences. It was one course, an introductory biology course taught by Eric Simon, Ph.D., former assistant professor of biology, that resonated with her.

“I always liked science,” says Baldwin, “but I never knew what to do with it.”

Simon suggested a career in forensics, and she was sold. She enrolled in Pace University, where she earned a master’s degree in forensic science.

Baldwin, a fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics, plans either to continue teaching or to work for another forensics firm. Further down the road, she wants to share her interest and experience in forensics with Fordham students through forensics-related initiatives or activities at the University.

Michael Rametta

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