Original Release Date: June 24, 2022
In the eighth episode of our Strengthening the Forensic Workforce season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Peter Stout, President of the Houston Forensic Science Center, Dr. Ray Wickenheiser, Director of the New York State Police Crime Laboratory System, and Matthew Gamette, Director of the Idaho State Police Forensic Services Laboratory System, to discuss their perspectives on forensic science training and recommendations for students and faculty in FEPAC-accredited programs.
FEPAC-accredited institutions are preparing students for future jobs in crime laboratories across the United States. Lab directors use these institutional standards to help guide them in their hiring processes. Listen to part one of this two-part episode as our guests discuss crime laboratory accreditation, hiring challenges, and the importance of multidisciplinary training. Listen to Part 2 here!
This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].
Dr. Peter Stout, Houston Forensic Science Center's (HFSC) CEO and president, initially joined the agency in 2015 as its chief operating officer and vice president. He has more than 20 years of experience in forensic science and forensic toxicology. Prior to joining HFSC, Dr. Stout worked as a senior research forensic scientist and director of operations in the Center for Forensic Sciences at RTI International. Dr. Stout also has served as president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). He represented SOFT in the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations and has participated in national policy debates on the future of forensic sciences in the United States. Dr. Stout has a doctorate in toxicology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Stout also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps.
Dr. Ray Wickenheiser is currently the Director for the New York State Police Crime Lab System, headquartered in Albany, New York. He is also a member of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors and is a Past President (2017-18). Ray has over 37 years of forensic science experience, with 21 of those as a Crime Lab Director in local and State Crime Laboratories. His areas of expertise include crime lab administration, investigative genetic genealogy, quality management, forensic DNA, serology, hair and fiber trace evidence, physical matching and comparison, glass fracture analysis, and forensic grain comparison. Ray is the Chair of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science, a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS); and has been an invited guest to the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) since 2013, currently serving on the Investigative Genetic Genealogy Committee. Ray is the Chair of the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) for the Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science, a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS); and has been an invited guest to the Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods (SWGDAM) since 2013, currently serving on the Investigative Genetic Genealogy Committee.
Mr. Matthew Gamette was born and raised near Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah and did undergraduate work in Zoology. He also received a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University in Microbiology where he studied parasitology with an emphasis on Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Mr. Gamette completed a certificate program in laboratory management through West Virginia University Forensic Management Academy, holds a certificate in Laboratory Management and Leadership from the University of California at Davis, and graduated as a Certified Public Manager in the Idaho program. Mr. Gamette interned with the Utah State Crime Lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked in the Spokane Laboratory of the Washington State Patrol from 2002 to 2008 as a biologist/DNA scientist and crime scene responder. He was promoted to Forensic Scientist 4 (Spokane Local DNA Technical Lead) in 2008. He has trained hundreds of detectives, crime scene responders, forensic nurses, and first responders in the collection of biological evidence. Mr. Gamette started his career with the Idaho State Police in late 2008 as the Laboratory Improvement Manager/Quality Manager for the laboratory system. He was promoted to Laboratory System Director over the three laboratories of the Idaho State Police in July 2014. He serves as the ASCLD representative on the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO) and has served as the Chair of the CFSO Board for many years. Mr. Gamette served as an elected board member of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) for over seven years and served as President from 2018-2019.