Forensic Science Major Interning at Medical Examiner's Office
Monday, July 02, 2012
Meet Matthew Coleman
Major: Forensic science
Minors: Biological sciences and chemistry
Internship title: Forensic investigator
Internship organization: Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office
Expected graduation: May 2014
College activities: Forensic Science Club
Hobbies/interests: Playing guitar, target shooting, searching crime scenes
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Why did you decide to attend Point Park and major in forensic science?
I decided to attend Point Park because this is where my brother went and I like small class sizes. When I first came to Point Park my major was undecided. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I took random classes, one being “Crime Scene and Criminal Profiling.”
One particular video we watched in the class was what put me on the forensic science path. The video was about college students searching a mock crime scene involving a dismembered body. Through their investigation they were able to tell which suspect was carrying what body part. I thought that was absolutely amazing so I decided to take the “Criminal Investigation” class.
This was my first exposure to crime scene investigation. We searched the crime scene house at Point Park for evidence, and I loved every second of it. It felt like it was me against the criminal. Which one of us was smarter than the other? In the end I proved to be smarter than the “criminal” — my professor — and found all the evidence. From then on, all I wanted to do was get under the crime scene tape, roll up my sleeves, and search for evidence.
How did you land this summer internship?
I applied for the internship and about three months later, just before my biology class started, I got a call from the supervisor at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office asking if I was still interested in the internship. Of course I wanted to scream “yes!” but I was able to keep my composure and say in a calm voice, “Yes, sir, I am still very interested in the internship."
What do you like most about Point Park?
What I like most about Point Park are the small class sizes. I prefer classes where your professor actually knows your name and you are not just a number in a class of 250. In smaller classes, you can have debates and intelligent one-on-one conversations with both professors and fellow students.
What are your career goals?
My career goal is to be a forensic investigator. I want to be out in the field collecting evidence and bodies because life in a lab would be boring to me. In the lab you are often doing the same thing over and over again because everyone in the lab has his or her own specialty. In the field, you have to be a “jack-of-all-trades.” No two scenes are alike so there is no set protocol and that is what I love, variety in the work place.