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Forensic Science Is More Than Just CSI

Forensic Science: Is more than just CSI


Marisol S Castaneto

Professionals use forensics to: solve crime, discover and investigate data, analyze DNA, and as forensic chemistry, and forensic toxicology tools.  The last slide has forensic links.

                 Antoinette T. Thwaites                        

This scientist’s motto is “if you see it, document it.”


Antoinette Thwaites

Antoinette T. Thwaites didn’t know that you could work as a chemist in forensics, until she applied for a job with the City of Philadelphia. That’s when the now Forensic Chemist in the Office of Forensic Science at the Philadelphia Police Department discovered how to use her degree to do forensic drug analysis. “It’s not at all like television. My recommendation is to never rush and pay attention to details,” she says.

Thwaites is founder, of the Association of Women in Forensic Science (AWIFS). It provides programs, for women forensic professionals, teenagers, and college students. Tweet her at @women in Forensic Science.

Watch Thwaites, who earned her BS degree in Chemistry at Temple University, speak about Forensic Science and entering the field.

Thwaites and another forensic scientist, are developing a podcast called Forenzik Chiks. Twitter: Forenzik Chiks.


Apps: Hootsuite, Evernote, and Yelp

Book: Currently reading Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg

Podcasts: Serial, and Brilliant Idiots.

Movies: Coming to America, Boyz n the Hood, New Jack City, Menace to Society, Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, and Rocky.

Music and performers: Cold Play, Beyoncé, Rico Love, and Mint Condition

Web site: www.awifs.org, Huffington Post, and Madame Noire

John N Mutiso

There is no gamble in Vegas with John N Mutiso on the case.



Since 2013, Mutiso, based in Las Vegas, has been Senior Forensic Engineer at Donan. It is a Forensic Engineering, Fire Investigation, and Component Testing company. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mutiso, a native of Nairobi, Kenya, is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers. In 2006, while a graduate student at Kansas, Mutiso won the John Colvin Robeson Family Scholarship awarded to students studying civil engineering that are from developing countries.

He received his MS degree in Engineering Management from University of Kansas, and his BS in Civil Engineering degree from the  University of Kansas

Joe Martinez

Ethical Hacker Joe Martinez has sharp skills.

H.Forensics.Joe Martinez

Innovative Discovery, LLC

Martinez is an expert bearing several portfolios. He is Chief Technology Officer and Vice President,Forensics, eDiscovery, Information Security at Innovative Discovery, LLC.

He has multiple certifications and licenses including an EnCase Certified Examiner, AccessData Certified Examiner, Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator, and a Certified Ethical Hacker.

Prior to joining the private sector in 2007, Martinez was a Special Agent with the US Army’s only Cyber Counterintelligence unit that was tasked, he writes, “to conduct technical and forensic investigations against all threats to the United States Army in the realm of cyberspace.”

Innovative Discovery provides provider of technology forward eDiscovery solutions including Digital Forensics and Consulting, and Electronic Data Discovery.

Martinez has an MS in Information Security and Assurance from Western Governors University, a BS in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration from the University of Phoenix, and an AA in Criminal Justice from the University of Phoenix – Axia College.

When not at work, the father of two, whose bio features the shield of Captain America, is an autism-advocate, comic book collector, and a motorcycle rider.

Marcus Hunt

Marcus Hunt is a PhD Polymer Analytical Chemist.

N.Forensics.Marcus Hunt


Hunt, who joined The Chemours Company in 2015, is a Polymer Analytical Chemist in the Fluoroproducts Ion Exchange Membranes Business. The Chemours Company is a global chemical company specializing in titanium dioxide, fluoroproducts, and cyanides manufacturing.

Previously, he had been a Manufacturing Technology Senior Scientist at Dupont, and an Assistant Professor of Forensic Chemistry at Fayetteville State University. He also worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and at Hewlett-Packard.

Hunt, who is a member of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society, is the first member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to receive a PhD in Fiber & Polymer Science from North Carolina State University, the home of the Wolfpack.

The co-chair of the American Indian Advisory Council received his PhD in Fiber & Polymer Science from North Carolina State University, and his BS in Material Science & Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Kelly Knight

She is passionate about increasing the next STEM generation.


Kelly Knight

Knight says her dream to become a forensic scientist–sparked by a high school lab exercise blood typing crime scene simulation–became real because individuals assisted and exposed her to different careers, and planted seeds of inquiry.

The Professor and STEM Outreach Coordinator, Forensic Science Program, at George Mason University (GMU) advocates diversifying the field, beyond teaching GMU undergraduate and graduate students. “My primary purpose is to provide the opportunity for individuals to experience STEM. I am very passionate about ‘paying it back,” she says.

She guides, mentors, and coordinates K-12 STEM outreach including GMU’s Females of Color and those Underrepresented in STEM Camp for middle school girls.

Before joining GMU in 2013, Knight was a forensic DNA analyst with the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division.

Knight has an MS in Forensic Science with a Forensic Biology concentration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BS in Chemistry with a Forensic Chemistry concentration from The George Washington University.


Apps: I love my food ordering and grocery shopping apps.  Chipotle, Five Guys, Panera, Starbucks, Wegmans…you name it, I have it!

Books: I love books by Dan Brown and Gillian Flynn.  I recently finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series was great.

Movie: 50 First Dates.  I am a big Adam Sandler fan.

Musical artist: Maxwell.

Web site: Pinterest!  I love my projects.

What’s your dream job? Believe it or not, I have my dream job!  I am teaching something I love while being a mom and a wife and still getting paid for my hobbies on the side.  To me, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Marisol S Castaneto

Meet an expert witness in Forensic Toxicology


Marisol S Castaneto

Castaneto’s entire life is not defined by her scientific expertise, as a Forensic Toxicologist, and Commander of the Army Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory (FTDTL), at Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, US Army.

True, the army classifies her as a chemist. But, she has worked in forensic toxicology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and clinical investigation, and authored many peer-reviewed articles.

Castaneto, originally from Manila, Philippines is also a child of the 1980s, and loves the era’s pop culture, need-for-speed vehicles, and music.

The other Castaneto has an extensive collection of comic book character trading cards, and is “a big fan of classic muscle/sports cars and would like to work on rebuilding one.”

In fact, she writes in an email to STEMRules.com, that “I own a 2008 Shelby GT500 Super Snake red convertible and strongly think it’s the only one on the island with its 625 horsepower, 5.3L V8 supercharged!”

Tripler Army Medical Center is the headquarters of the Pacific Regional Medical Command of the armed forces administered by the United States Army.

Castaneto has PhD in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore and earned both her MS and BS in Biochemistry degrees at Kansas State University.

Favorites and dream job

Apps: Uses GPS, music and search engine apps mostly.

Movies: Too many to mention, but she put Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and the Hobbit, at the top.

Favorite Musical artist/group/song of the moment: The 80’s “hairbands” (AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Jon Bon Jovi, Journey, Motley Crue, Skid Row, Meatloaf), techno pop bands (Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Erasure, Eurythmics, Tears for Fears), and classical music composed by Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, and Vivaldi.

Web sites: Popular search engines

Dream job? “I don’t have a single dream job. I am proud of my accomplishments. I will forever be grateful to my family, friends, and professional colleagues for all the support and mentorship. I have learned so much and look forward to learning more and growing in my profession. “

A non-exhaustive list of Forensics links

Forensic videos: Serious and not-so-much

The Real Science of Forensics

Sesame Street’s CSI: Rhyme in the Streets

Understanding Forensic Toxicology

CSI Miami: Horatio’s sunglasses

What is Forensic Accounting?

CSI Parodies


Forensic Science
Blogs about Forensics and CSI

Events and conferences

Forensic Science Week –Aug 7-13, 2016
“forensic conferences” “2016”


American Academy of Forensic Science: Types of forensic Scientists


American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Association of Women in Forensic Science
Women in eDiscovery


Summer Camps
Council of Forensic Science Educators
Education: Forensic Science Schools by State

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