Dr. Caroline Spencer
Hometown: Decatur, AL
BS in Forensic Chemistry; minor in French (2014)
PhD in Chemistry (2019)
“My interest in chemistry started in high school but I was not sure about my major. During one of my visits to Ole Miss, someone mentioned the forensic chemistry program and I was immediately interested. I then found out that the program was a part of the Academic Common Market, so I could receive an out-of-state tuition scholarship.”
Caroline earned a scholarship to complete a three week UK study abroad program, CSI: Leicester, at the University of Leicester, known for the discovery of DNA fingerprinting in the 1980s. This study abroad program led her to return to Leicester to work with Dr. John Bond for an internship where they developed fingerprints on receipts, or thermal paper. This research was published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.
While earning her PhD in Chemistry at UM, Caroline presented at conferences around the country on her forensic chemistry research, including DNA analysis, drug analysis and illicit drug studies using computational chemistry. She traveled around the state to train with forensic scientists. She is currently an Analytical Lab Manager at STI Electronics Inc.
Why study forensic chemistry at UM? “UM has one of the top forensic chemistry programs in the country. We offer a wide variety of classes to cover most areas of forensic science, such as DNA, toxicology, analytical chemistry, criminal justice and many more. Our program is also unique in that it requires both research experience and a summer internship. Internships are a fantastic way to gain hands-on experience in the field and can lead to potential employment opportunities following graduation.”