Stacie R. Brenner ’09


Forensic Scientist, Palm Beach County (FL) Sheriff’s Office, Forensic Biology Unit

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” T.D. Jakes

Cedar Crest College helped me to find not only my purpose, but my true passion. I came to Cedar Crest knowing full well that I wanted to one day become a forensic scientist. I knew this would take hard work and dedication but what I didn’t know was what amazing opportunities the forensic science program would have to offer me. I also didn’t realize that I would be working with some of the most incredible, knowledgeable, experienced educators and scientists in the field, who helped guide my own personal undergraduate and graduate research.

The smaller size of Cedar Crest’s forensic program and classes not only opened the door to making some eternal friendships but also provided a more personal education, allowing for scientific concepts to be further explored in the classroom. The laboratory coursework and independent research allowed for me to build confidence as a scientist and become comfortable with new techniques and instrumentation. This gives the students a sense of responsibility, something that I have taken on with me to the workforce.  Working with professors and instructors who have experience in the field provided for real world insight in the forensic science field. This allowed for a constant flow of ideas, examples and an encouraging environment in which everyone is always rooting for you to succeed.

As an undergraduate pursuing Biology with a Forensic Science Concentration, I knew that I wanted to further expand my education. Applying to the Masters program at Cedar Crest was never a doubt in my mind. I knew that the program would provide me with more than just the basics of the field and would truly prepare me for a future career in a forensic science laboratory. The program does not focus on only one aspect of the field, and provides the student the opportunity to explore both biology and chemistry applied to forensics. I found this feature of the program essential, providing the framework for a well rounded scientist able to work confidently in any scientific laboratory. The Masters program was nothing less than challenging and has taught me more about myself and my passion for science than I ever could have imagined. 

The Forensic Science program helps to develop a student into a professional. As part of the program, the student is given the opportunity and support to attend and present at conferences on the regional, national, and international level. This provides the prospect of networking and expands the breadth of knowledge to all types of technological advancements, new techniques and real world applications.

I graduated from the Cedar Crest College Forensic Science Program with more than a sound scientific background and well developed technical skills. I learned to follow my heart and my passion, and continue to work hard to strive for excellence. I am currently pursuing my passion as a Forensic Scientist in the Forensic Biology Unit at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in West Palm Beach. Both the undergraduate and graduate program have prepared me for an easy transition into this position, using my knowledge and education as a backbone. I am forever grateful for the experience and opportunity I have been given, as well as the continual advice and support from my previous Cedar Crest professors.