Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a Forensic Studies alumnae, Andrea Pyon. A range of topics were covered, from crawling around building rafters with undercover detectives, to being motivated by her father and husband to always have the best possible attitude and find humor in difficult situations.
Andrea has amassed experience in quite a few fields, such as accounting, forensics, as well as the banking and retail industries. From an educational standpoint, she earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from UMUC; then subsequently went on to earn her graduate degree in Forensic Studies from Stevenson University. Andrea currently works as an auditor for the Office of Legislative Audits for the state of Maryland and previously was employed with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.
A field such as forensics demands professionals with a true passion for the job, and Andrea is a prime example of such an individual. She describes detecting fraud as being in her blood, citing a longtime interest in the fraud aspect of her many jobs. Tracing back to her retail days, Andrea was interested in learning about the different ways people would try to take advantage of the company, and how she could stop them. One such instance occurred when she was tasked to crawl around building rafters with undercover store detectives, looking through peepholes for shoplifters. While Andrea was an undergraduate student at UMUC, she learned of Stevenson’s Forensics programs and was excited at the prospect of combining and pursuing her passions for accounting and investigating.
Andrea is truly grateful for her time at Stevenson, emphasizing the exemplary faculty and overall experience. She says, “Stevenson’s faculty were fantastic. I appreciated that the professors were professionals who worked in the fields they were teaching.” She also valued the availability of faculty members to the students. Andrea points out that the staff encouraged her to work out of her comfort zone, and provided different perspectives regarding her educational and career goals.
As individuals, there is the potential to play a role in improving the world as a whole. Andrea derives joy from knowing that she is doing her part to determine if Maryland State agencies are achieving their objectives and complying with laws, rules, and regulations. Reflecting on both professional and educational experiences, Andrea cites having a strong support system as an essential resource. She believes a strong network of family, friends, and colleagues alike can make an individual the best person they can be. To those starting out in forensics, Andrea stresses the need to familiarize themselves in their field of interest.
In life, work is only half the battle. Everybody needs their personal time to recharge and get themselves ready to complete any tasks at hand. Prior to college, Andrea was interested in singing opera and reading recreationally. Currently, she has been listening to audiobooks during her commute. She also enjoys spending time with family, making up for all the lost time with them during graduate school. Andrea holds family near and dear, citing both her father and husband as inspirations in her life. Through them, she learned that no matter what obstacles she may encounter, there is always a way to work through them and conquer them.
As Andrea just started working on her first case, she was unable to divulge specific details due to the ongoing investigation. This case is the start of what Andrea hopes to be a long career in the investigations field, while pursuing her passion and making an impact.