Primary Contributor and Smiling Scientist
State Forensic Anthropologist, Human ID Specialist, Peer Mentor, Meditation Student
I have been working in a forensic laboratory setting and/or Medical Examiner's Office since 1995. Throughout various eras, I have been a drug chemist, a forensic biologist, a crime scene analyst, and the state forensic anthropologist for our Medical Examiner Division.
In 2016 I started a life-changing journey into mindfulness exploration for myself. I was definitely a skeptic; I wanted nothing to do with navel gazing or incense burning. After spending the last 4 years reading, learning, questioning, and doubting (mostly myself), I have a better idea of what it means to be truly trauma-informed. To acknowledge the voices in my head with curiosity, and not contempt. To actively listen to those brave scientists around my who navigate through stress and come out better for it. And to realize that my little monkey brain isn't uncommon; everyone around me has their own pet mental monkey! Learning how to guide it has now been the focus of my energy for the last 4 years.
I still think meditation sucks sometimes. But, I’m committed to a lifetime of learning how to build my pre-frontal cortex; how to lengthen my telomeres; and how to boost my neural connections so I have a fighting chance at fighting off dementia.
My goal is to help you find resources for your own journey. Because I’m a student myself, I’m committed to bringing you varied, deep and rich examples of meditative practices I’m learning about, too. I’ll never burn sage in front of you, ask you to chant, or claim to be your teacher. I’d like to build a community of mindful scientists who see the forensic world around them through compassionate, present, and authentic eyes. Welcome to the Smiling Science Alliance.