Hamline University undergraduate student Tracy Stein is hard at work in the lab this summer, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Year and major? I am currently a junior and am majoring in biology. This fall I will add forensic science as a second major.
Summer internship? I am interning at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in the Mitochondrial DNA Laboratory. This lab is funded by the FBI and processes evidence from across the country. I am working on a research project titled “The Effects of Various Cleaning Procedures Prior to Forensic DNA Testing.”
On crime-busting… My forensic science courses have provided connections to people in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. It was extremely beneficial to know scientists there before I even applied for the internship.
Getting in? I got my internship simply by going through the application process and interviewing. It really helped having access to professors who have worked at the BCA or who currently work there and also knowing other students who have worked there.
Any new skills? Having this internship will be incredibly valuable upon graduation as I already have many of the skills required to work as a forensic biologist; I am now comfortable working in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's mitochondrial DNA lab and am familiar with evidence handling procedures.
Why Hamline? I chose to attend Hamline initially because of the forensic science certificate program but I also value the small size and the beautiful campus.
Favorite prof? I think it would be difficult for me to pick a favorite professor, but I have really enjoyed working with everyone in the biology department. I like working in the lab and not only because it’s improved my lab skills. It has also given me a chance to interact with my biology professors outside of the classroom.
Life skills… Over the past few years at Hamline I have learned how to become more independent and seek out new opportunities for myself, such as my internship.
Intern to professional… After graduation I hope to work in the mitochondrial DNA lab at the BCA as a forensic biologist. Hopefully my internship and my education will give me a great competitive advantage.