Forensic Science Program Ranked 30th in the Country 

Makayla Schindler, Staff Reporter

The Forensic Science program at Fairmont State has been ranked at number 30 on Study.com’s2021 Best Bachelor’s Degrees list. These ranks have been recognized all throughout the country. The list itself was created based off of internship, affordability, research opportunities, and accessibility. 

I met up with Dr. Mark Flood, the coordinator and professor of the program, to get his point of view on this accomplishment! To him, Forensic Science means that you can apply scientific methods to help show the truth behind situations; it’s proving innocence as well as guilt. Dr. Flood has been a part of the program for about 20 years and ended up taking it over 10 years ago. We then began to talk about the program, and how he felt that it had ranked 30th in the country. Flood said, “It’s a good feeling, that, hey, it’s validation that you’ve done things right. You’ve gotten some recognition for this program because of doing things the right way. It’s a proud father moment, you know?” Dr. Flood isn’t alone in the program, Kristy Henson joined the faculty three years ago and has helped it blossom as well. 

When talking about how the program got to where it is today, Dr. Flood said, “But the students really obviously make the program, it’s not the faculty, at all. But it’s nice to see and feel like we’re at least a part of shaping the curriculum so the students could succeed.” It’s not just students themselves though, it’s the attitude, the students are there for each other, they have each other’s backs. There is a community feel to the Forensic Science program at Fairmont State. 

The plan to maybe rank higher next year is recruitment. Dr. Flood and Kristy Henson plan to recruit students who really understand their goals, visions, and they’re on board with it from the very beginning. They want to build the program to higher numbers but are not looking to expand it to a huge program. “As we start to expand, we just start swallowing up the whole country and people start to say, “Hey this is a good program,” we’re getting our successes. We will be bringing in other people, not just from North Central. We want our students to have the vision that they’re willing to go wherever the job takes them.” There is not a big crime rate in West Virginia, which is good, but not very good for Forensic Science students. For their lines of work, they might need to “go wherever the job takes them.”