Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists
Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

2010 - 2010



SWAFS 2010 Scholarship Winner

Chelsea Garrett
Chelsea Garrett
My name is Chelsea Garrett. I grew up partially in Dallas, Texas and currently reside in Houston, Texas. I am a senior at Baylor University where I am soon to graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in anthropology with an emphasis in forensic anthropology, and a minor in forensic science. Everyone has always asked me how I got interested in forensic science, particularly forensic anthropology. The first question I get is always, “Do you watch a lot of CSI?” In fact, I somehow managed to get interested in the field before I ever heard of the show. Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor but at a strange young age my ambitions switched to becoming a homicide detective – probably because I love asking questions and am naturally inquisitive. I did not want to give up my dream of becoming a doctor so for a while I intended to mesh the two fields and become a forensic pathologist. However, after seeing Skeleton Stories on television, I swiftly fell in love with skeletons, and the idea of piecing together the biography of a human being through their bones. I view bones as the material in which one can figure out so much about a person. Being able to aid law enforcement in identifying an unknown individual and ultimately bringing the family of a lost loved one closure is what draws me to this field. I have interned at two different police departments where I have observed forensic science in action in the lab and in the field. I have only become more interested in forensic science through these experiences yet watch fewer and fewer episodes of CSI. I plan to attend graduate school in the fall in order to hone my knowledge and skills in skeletal analysis. Ultimately, I would love to be a forensic anthropologist in the state of Texas, or wherever my travels might take me.
November 4, 2010

SWAFS Officers 2009-2010

President Photo
Brandy Reese
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
President-Elect Photo
Brandon Conrad
Texas DPS - Amarillo, TX
Chairman of the Board Photo
Chairman of the Board
Michelle O'Neal
Tarrant Co M.E. Ft Worth, TX
Secretary Photo
Kay McClain
Harris County ME's Office - Houston, TX
Treasurer Photo
Steve Valdez
Scottsdale PD - Scottsdale, AZ
Board Member - 1st Year
Board Member - 1st Year
Dan Hedges
Arkansas State Crime Lab
Board Member - 1st Year
Board Member - 1st Year
Sarah Skiles
Tarrant Co M.E. Ft Worth, TX
Board Member - 2nd Year
Board Member - 2nd Year
James Jackson
Harris County ME's Office - Houston, TX
Board Member - 2nd Year
Board Member - 2nd Year
Tamara Keller
DEA - Dallas

SWAFS 2010 Annual Meeting and Training Conference

September 20-24th, 2010

Grapevine, Texas
Great Wolf Lodge


We owe much of our success to You!!!

Click on Logo for vendor website.

SWAFS 2010 Vendors

 February 5, 2010

SWAFS Board of Directors has the distinct pleasure of announcing the 2009-2010 SWAFS Journal Editor, Richele Theodore Howelton. The Journal is a huge undertaking, as any former Journal editor can attest, so please do all you can to make her job easier...send in those articles! Don’t have time to pen an entire article? Write up an interesting testimony, unusual case or ingenious technique. All of you that have posted questions on the Yahoo! Groups site, consider sending Ms. Howelton your question posed and the answers you received. Have you done a poster or technical presentation at a recent conference? You are more than halfway to a Journal publishing! Write it up and send it in! Be proud of your work and share it with your peers.

Deadline for submissions to be included in this edition of the Journal is March 1st, 2010. Remember, submissions to the Journal earn points toward membership promotion. You could be a Distinguished member before you know it!

You may send submissions to Richele at: image of email address

Photo of Richele Theodore Howelton, SWAFS Journal Editor

December 17, 2009

Please join the SWAFS Board of Directors in congratulating James Garcia as the recent Zotter Award winner.

Photo of James Garcia, Zotter Award Winner

Letter from the president

Fresh from a SWAFS conference, I am renewed for another year. The sense of camaraderie is so present when SWAFS members gather, it is like coming home. Though this year other Associations participated as well, the tight-knit group of SWAFS was easy to spot. It is from these connections and interactions that we grow as people as well as scientists.

The talent and knowledge pool that we represent is tremendous. It is imperative that we share that talent and knowledge. As luck would have it, there are so many exciting opportunities to serve. Whether that is submitting an article or technical note for the Journal, assisting with website updates, reviewing membership applications or serving in some other capacity, find your passion and let it shine. Service is the truest form of leadership and SWAFS is a leader among forensic Associations. I challenge you to find your niche.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Brad Rogers, Lee Garrett and Jill Dupre for their service and leadership on the Board this past year. I also warmly welcome Brandon Conrad to the office of President-Elect, Sarah Skiles and Dan Hedges to the Board of Directors, and Steve Valdez to the office of Treasurer. I’m inspired to see the new faces of SWAFS and excited about the new ideas that will be offered.

I garner a great deal of professional and personal satisfaction from SWAFS and my peers within the Association. I am humbled and honored to serve this Association that has given me so much.

I look forward to seeing you next September at conference in Grapevine, Texas!


Brandy Reese