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  • Forensic science students said…

    Brad H. BaughI was 68 years old with MS degrees in Biology and Developmental Psychology, a PhD in Environmental Engineering, and bachelor degrees in Nursing, Psychology and Zoology, when I enrolled in the Forensic Toxicology Distance program. My career in environmental health and safety stemmed back to the days before OSHA and the EPA. For over 35 years, I’ve worked on special investigative assignments or overseen various research projects for the Federal Government or a University.


    I came to UF to gain a deeper expertise in Forensic Science because I knew how applicable that added level of knowledge was to my career. I have been able to directly apply what I’ve learned to my work with hazardous chemicals, especially when dealing with accidents. At first, I was a bit skeptical about distance learning. I was worried the degree wouldn’t be held in high regard compared to my on-campus degrees. But that concern was put to rest when, after completing the program, I applied for Washington State University’s Affective Neuroscience PhD program. My transcripts were accepted across the board.


    I believe one of the greatest benefits of the UF program is the friends you make. You actually get more comradery with your fellow students and teachers online than you do in an on-campus situation. It has been so rewarding to help some of my fellow students get jobs after graduation, and I am thrilled to be working with some of them now.”


    Brad H. Baugh, PhD
    Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator
    Washington State University, Spokane

    Gil BreitAs a homicide detective, the UF Forensic Science Program provided me the most comprehensive foundation and development for my profession, deeply enhancing my appreciation for science and enabling me to better bridge the crucial path from crime scene to lab bench to court room. ”

    Gil Breit
    MS-Pharm, DNA/Serology
    May 2009


    Bonnie ChengAs an experienced full time Criminalist and mother of three young kids, I wanted a Master’s program that would fit my lifestyle and needs. I choose UF because the curriculum offered courses that seemed interesting and applicable to my profession. I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve learned in two years. The courses are very well structured and the material was intriguing, thorough, and challenging. I am very pleased with all the courses, teachers, and staff. I’ve learned more than I had anticipated and have recommended this program to many. ”

    Bonnie Cheng
    Criminalist II
    Oakland Police Department
    Oakland, California

    Patricia WhiteAs a high school Science teacher, a course like this would have been very beneficial to my program of study before teaching any lab course. This is something high schools are missing Nationwide. It makes me wonder how many Science laboratories in schools are filled with old chemicals, inadequate or improper storage, inappropriate accessibility and substandard safety equipment. We need to teach this to all teachers and all students at the high school level. This should be required by law. It is only a matter of time before a lawsuit appears because of ignorance on the teacher’s part.

    Excellent course! Thank you. “

    Patricia White
    MS student in Forensic sciences on the course Laboratory QA/QC, Spring 2010

    Scott VajdosScott Vajdos, a 2007 UF Drug Chemistry graduate was recently honored with a prestigious appointment to SWGDRUG. (Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs)

    In 1997 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) co-sponsored the formation of SWGDRUG. Their objective is to identify international solutions in managing the global problems of drug abuse and trafficking in controlled substances.

    SWGDRUG is currently comprised of a core committee of more than 20 forensic scientists from around the world. The mission of SWGDRUG is to recommend minimum standards for the forensic examination of seized drugs and to seek their international acceptance. For more on SWGDRUG:
    Scott currently works at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences as a Forensic Chemist II

    Here is what Scott had to say about the program:
    “I had heard about the program when I was still with the state crime lab. When I left the state, I realized how much I enjoyed forensics. And I applied with UF’s MS program as a way to help get me back into the field.”

    “It not only helped me get back into the field of forensics but the course work was extremely relevant to my current work. But equally important is the fact that this education and degree helped me to be considered for the SWGDRUG committee.”

    Scott Vajdos
    Forensic Chemist II
    Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences

    I started my master’s degree in drug chemistry at UF the same year (2006). People often ask why, being that I already have a doctorate in medicine and am a forensic pathologist; I would pursue a master’s degree in forensic drug chemistry. The vast majority of cases autopsied by forensic pathologists have a toxicology component; even if the drugs present are not directly contributing to the cause of death, their presence must be accounted for. Increasingly prescription and non prescription drugs including alcohol are a crucial finding in unexpected deaths. I found the master’s program at UF to be an excellent complement to my education and experience.”

    Donald Ritchey
    Tasmania, Australia

    Arijana Pozder(L) & Ana Milos(R)We are extremely pleased with this program which has allowed us to further our professional knowledge and share lab experience with people all over the world.”

    Arijana Pozder(L) & Ana Milos(R)
    International Commission On Missing Persons
    Bosnia and Herzegovina


    Elena CeresaI chose UF because the program seemed well-structured and because of the professionalism shown in dealing with my queries.”

    Elena Ceresa
    Forensic Toxicology Student
    Blessington, Ireland

    Capt. Knute AdcockThe friendly UF staff and easily accessible Web sites are what make it possible for me to continue my education from literally everywhere in the world.”

    Capt. Knute Adcock
    US Air Force Pilot, KC-135R
    Okinawa, Japan



    Leslie Hughes“This program is designed for those who are able to get the hands-on lab experience in their workplace and get the book knowledge online. The computer set-up was easy and the help and support from professors is abundantly available. It also helps to know that my classes will be recognized anywhere as they carry the seal from a prestigious university.”


    Leslie Hughes, former research assistant
    Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, FL
    Big Pine Key, FL

    Kathleen Brook Lessner“Thank you again for all the knowledge-I actually used my toxicology coursework to advise my commander on a question about the accuracy of substance confirmation.”

    Capt. Kathleen Brook Lessner-Kirtland AFB

    Helicopter Pilot (shown with crew, 2nd on left)
    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    “I find that this scientific training helps me maintain an analytical mindset both toward daily case work and crime scene analysis. I also help teach techniques to other law enforcement agencies and am always interested in presenting the most insightful and up-to-date information available.”

    Mike Byrnes, FBI special agent & member of crime scene/forensic team

    “The program really helped me to understand extraction procedures and why it was important. I learned methods and became qualified for expert witness testimony for the army.”

    Denise Hager, Walter Reed Army Medical Center

    Ft. Mead, MD

    “I had more interactions with my online professors than I did in an actual classroom setting. The UF professors and TA’s were always available and quick to respond to questions, and gave good feedback on assignments. When I came down to Florida for my comprehensive exams, I felt like I knew my classmates and professors.”

    Seth Craig, Virginia Division of Forensic Science / Breath Alcohol
    Richmond, VA

    This husband/wife team shared education and career goals…
    The UF program was the first one we were aware of offering degrees in this field. What does the distance matter it make if you’re able to access the library online and all your classes are via the internet? And, the final cumulative exam, gave my husband and I a nice little vacation without the kids.
    I enjoyed participating in the program immensely. It enabled me to achieve a personal goal I’d always wanted to strive toward by giving me the flexibility to fit into my ‘working mom’ schedule.

    Susan Toner, Forensic Scientist II, and
    James J. Toner, Forensic Scientist III

    New Jersey State Police

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