Posted May 2009
Bryan Johnson (Graduate Studies, Forensic Sciences) is no stranger to internships. As an undergraduate, he interned with the cold case squad at the Naval Criminal Investigation Service at Pearl Harbor and has assisted faculty member Wilson Sullivan in his private practice with the City and County of Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office. Now a graduate student in forensic sciences at Chaminade, Bryan works in Chaminade’s INBRE lab, doing environmental toxicology studies with Michael Dohm, Ph.D. However, his most memorable internship assignment was a stint last summer at the FBI labs in Quantico, Virginia.
Bryan says, "It was an honor to be chosen. Quantico is a world-renowned forensics lab, they develop the processes everyone else uses." He interned with the Quantico lab as part of the FBI's scholastic honors program. Only 2 participants are chosen from each state. The selection process is lengthy: 8 months to apply, interview, get a full background check, take a polygraph.
Once he was in, he found that as an intern, he was totally immersed, and except for handling real evidence, he was learning everything the new hires were taught (plus getting paid.) The research topic was right up Bryan's alley, the subject of his master's thesis. "Their research was my topic: Latent fingerprints on human skin, and research methods. I had already started researching this at the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office. I finished my thesis with the work I did for them.” Also interesting was the opportunity to take a few days away from his specialty, and check out other projects going on at the lab centered around firearms, ballistics, and explosives.
Bryan says, “I love Chaminade. It has helped me do everything I have done.” While in high school, (Bryan admits that he wasn't that "big on science" in high school, but was very motivated to become a forensic investigator) he looked at the top schools in the nation for an undergraduate forensics program, and chose Chaminade because the degree program was "well-rounded, not just focused on the sciences, but also investigation and fieldwork.” For graduate studies, he waited a semester for the program to begin here, because he believes it to be “one of the first nationally that really focuses on forensic sciences, not just sciences.”
Soon to be married to a fellow classmate, Bryan is looking forward to graduation in May, the future, and a high-paying career. He will be returning to the labs in Quantico this summer, this time with a job lined up as a fingerprint examiner.
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