All forensic science majors have a faculty mentor.
How to Select a Mentor
1. Learn more about our faculty.
Visit the faculty directory page or click on the faculty in the table below. Students can select a mentor based on mutual interest area and expertise.
|Forensic Biology||Forensic Chemistry||Forensic Physical Evidence|
|Catherine Connon, Ph.D.||Emanuele Alves, Ph.D.||Tal Simmons, Ph.D.|
|Tracey Dawson Green, Ph.D.||Christopher Ehrhardt, Ph.D.||Stephanie Walcott|
|Baneshwar Singh, Ph.D.||Eric Hazelrigg||Stephen Stockman---|
|Sarah Seashols-Williams, Ph.D.||Michelle Peace, Ph.D.||---|
2. Send an email to introduce yourself.
Here is a sample email for inspiration:
Dear Dr. _______,
My name is _______ (V-number) and I am a forensic science major pursuing a concentration in _______. I looked through your faculty page and I was particularly interested by your projects involving _______.
I would like to arrange a time to meet with you to discuss my post-graduation goals further. My availability for a meeting this week is _______ (provide several options).
I look forward to speaking with you!
3. Prepare for your appointment.
- Know yourself and why you chose the forensic science major. We know it’s cool on TV, but what interests you?
- Be familiar with the faculty member’s current research and/or areas of interest (use that faculty page!).
- Do a search for their publications on the VCU Libraries website.
- If you want to work, find a description of the job you want and come with a printed job description.
- Don't know what you want to do? Visit What Can I Do With This Major? for some ideas and visit O*Net's Soft Skills page to take a skills inventory. Bring the top three recommendations from the O*Net search as well as the top three that most appeal to you.
- If you want to attend graduate school, bring information and questions about graduate programs that interest you and be prepared to explain why.
- Make a list of the things you want to talk about. Use the sample guide below.
Sample Conversation Guide
- Introduce yourself
- What drew you to the forensic science major
- Concentration within the major
- Post-graduation plans (employment, graduate study, etc.)
- If you’re interested in getting involved in undergraduate research, now is the time to mention that!
- Ask your faculty mentor about opportunities to get involved and ways to strengthen your application to work or further study.
- Discuss questions you have about post-graduation plans.
- Not sure about employment vs. graduate study
- Creating a strong application for graduate study
- Making your resume stand out
- Crafting a cover letter
- Searching for employment/internships
- Schedule your next meeting
4. Follow up.
Follow up after your appointment to thank your mentor for taking time to meet with you and to confirm your next appointment time.