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Crime Science is Taught to Students at George Mason University by Kelly Knight

By: Boya Hu

Kelly Knight, a Black American forensic scientist, teaches students course in forensic science at George Mason University.

Knight’s professional path was not easy. When Knight was in high school, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for girls was not promoted as much as it is today. When she was in high school, Knight loved science. In her 11th-grade class, there was an activity about analyzing blood in a crime scene circumstances. That was the first time Knight saw forensic science in action.

At first, Knight wanted to be a veterinarian. Then, she changed her mind and decided to do chemistry because she enjoyed the blood-typing lab very much. This major choice turned out to be very hard for her future. One of her biggest challenges was earning her college degree.

‘’I barely graduated with a 3.0 GPA.” Knight said. Knight’s grades were really struggling toward the finish. To make matters worse, Knight was the only black person in her program, she felt that she didn’t belong in the program. Knight did not have a single friend in her program, or a teacher that looked like her! After she graduated from college, Knight got a job in a lab. Then, she became a Ph.D. student.

Most of Knight’s best ideas come from her students. ‘’They are a great source for inspiration.” Says Knight. Knight also gets the best ideas when she is in a good mood, or if she is very well rested. ‘’That is when the fog kind of clears away.” says Knight. She sometimes gets ideas when she steps away from the problems or even in the middle of the night. Even at 3 a.m. she may be still writing!

Kelly Knight’s journey through crime science is very tough for her. However, she did great and continued pushing her science career.

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