Keysha Sosa Salgado, a Master’s in Forensic Science graduate works as a Forensic Investigator for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO). After earning a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences and serving 12 years in the U.S Army, she decided to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a Medical Examiner. Knowing that her professional background did not align with forensic science, she moved forward in pursuing her master’s degree. Keysha began searching for a school that would meet her life needs and offers flexible scheduling, this is where she found Stevenson University Online (SUO). She recognizes that the knowledge she gained at SUO was “critical for development into [her] career and subsequently getting [her] hired as an investigator.”
As a Forensic Investigator, Keysha is responsible for investigating all deaths that are not of natural causes and generating detailed reports that help establish a baseline for the Medical Examiner’s use before any examination or autopsy. This career gives Keysha many opportunities that she appreciates; the contribution to her community, ability to work with healthcare professionals, and fieldwork experience that overall strengthens her career. While on the scene, Keysha investigates all aspects of the death which includes taking a closer look at the descendent and surrounding areas to collect any information to add the Medical Examiner’s report. She believes that this is an extremely important step in the process as there is so much information that can be found on the scene, even when it appears insignificant. This is something she recalls hearing constantly in her program at SUO.
SUO has helped Keysha to gain the critical knowledge of forensic sciences that has directly impacted the job she currently performs. Subject matters such as Forensic Photography, Serology and Immunology, and Basics of Forensic Sciences helped her understand her job more and equipped her with “the right tools to be in the field of forensics with minimal to no supervision.” Since her acceptance as a Forensic Investigator, she has gained nothing but on-the-job experience utilizing the knowledge and experience gained while at SUO. Specifically, she notes that her Forensic photography course has been a key factor that directly contributed to her job as a Forensic Investigator.
Keysha shares a piece of advice to those considering a degree in Forensic Science and SUO:
The college, their credentials, their background as well as what courses they offer are what will most likely determine if you are the right fit for an organization or not. Stevenson University [Online] can offer you one of the highest quality program in Forensic Sciences. They prepare you for what the real-world is currently experiencing. By the time you are near your graduation, you already possess strong qualities important to the field. Just like it happened for me!
Earning an online master's degree has its challenges but there are four tips that Keysha can offer that have helped her stay on track. First, “Do not underestimate the power of online learning,” online learning is just as challenging, if not harder, than “in person” learning. Know that it is equally as meaningful. Second, “Establish an area for study (this shouldn't be your bed),” find or create a space that is designed for school that will have all the tools you need. Finding yourself in a comfortable place promotes fatigue instead of concentration. Third, “Your professors are here to help you succeed, not fail,” be honest and reach out when you are struggling, they will understand and work with you the best they can. Fourth, “Be proud of each course your complete until you finish,” celebrate each course as you finish them and reflect - this will keep you motivated to continue!
Keysha’s journey at Stevenson University Online may be finished for now but all the knowledge and experience she gained during her time will stay with her.