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OCTOBER 16

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Forensic Scientist Brings Closure to Military Families

Lebanon Valley College graduate Amy Evans is a forensic scientist at Dover Air Force Base

As a forensic scientist and DNA technician at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Amy Evans ’16 provides a critical service to families—she helps identify military members who went missing during deployment. 

Evans, who graduated from LVC with a biochemistry & molecular biology degree, works in support of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System under the DNA Operations division, and specifically within the Past Accounting section. 

“I love my job. I help bring closure to family members of missing armed forces members by supporting the identification of their remains,” Evans said. “The families are by far the most important part of the job. The ability to give them answers years later is a gratifying experience. This, in turn, helps me feel that my job and lab work has made a significant contribution.”

Evans’ unit conducts three types of DNA testing and provides results to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. She said mitochondrial DNA sequencing, which she has been trained to use, has a greater than 90 percent success rate.

She gained forensic science experience through her master’s degree program in that field at Cedar Crest College, graduating in August 2018. 

Looking back, Evans credits her high school science teacher for sparking her interest in the sciences.

“He displayed how fun and exciting science is and how the field is constantly expanding with new technology and theories,” Evans said. “He also tutored me in math, which enabled me to take part in the science honors track.”

Her teacher’s influence also led to her chosen major at LVC, where challenging general courses, work as a laboratory assistant, and a year of research provided important preparation for her future. 

“It is somewhat surreal to be where I am now with two degrees and my first full-time position,” Evans said. “I always thought that this level of success was achievable, and now that I have reached this point, I look back and see just how much LVC helped me reach my goals.” 

 

- Faith Ishler, Marketing & Communications Intern