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

Election 2012 - 2012

Election 2012

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Marie Chance
 
Los Angeles Police Department
 
I have been a member of SWAFS since 1993 and have enjoyed attending every meeting since then. I was especially impressed with the friendly atmosphere of the meetings and the willingness of the more experienced members in sharing their expertise with me since I was a newcomer to the field, only discovering forensics in June 1991. Previously I had used my Chemistry degree from Washington University in St Louis in the bio-medical research fields. At LAPD/SID I have been in Tox, Field, and currently Narco. I have been fortunate to unofficially help on the audits and as liason to AAFS, have served on the Long Range Planning committee, and was co-chair and chair of the Membership Committee for the three years during the transition from paper to the fully compterized and spit comittees. I would welcome the opportunity to serve on the Board, to continue the fine programs in addition to promoting new ideas.
 
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Kourtney Elizabeth Heard [Elected] 
 
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation
Following graduation from the University of Central Oklahoma, I applied for a part-time laboratory technician at the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI.) After completing their stringent application and hiring process, I started work at the OSBI in the Forensic Toxicology Unit. Soon after, a full-time position opened in the same unit and I applied for the job. I worked in this unit for seven years then transferred to the Controlled Substance Unit. This past May marked my eleventh year at the OSBI. After volunteering to help with the 2004 SWAFS Training Conference held in Oklahoma City, I instantly became a SWAFS fan. SWAFS members are outgoing, active professionals who are always willing to assist. There was no doubt I wanted to be part of this group. I joined immediately and have been an active and involved member. Since the 2004 SWAFS Training Conference held in Oklahoma City, I have been the audit chair and have participated in the Professional Conduct Committee. It is an honor to be nominated for the Board of Directors. If elected to this position, I will serve with the same passion and dedication I commit to my current positions in SWAFS and at OSBI. I will strive to uphold the integrity and professionalism I have witnessed for the past eight years. Serving in this capacity is a privilege I will not take lightly.
 
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Eloisa Esparza 
 

 
Texas Department of Public Safety
Tyler, Texas
My name is Eloisa Esparza and I am a Forensic Scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory in Tyler, Texas. I graduated from Sam Houston State University in December 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and started my career with the Department in October 2007 analyzing controlled substances. Recently I completed training in blood alcohol analysis and look forward to expanding my knowledge in that field. I have been a member of SWAFS since 2009 and would be honored to take a more active role in the organization by serving on the Board of Directors.
 
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Scott Vajdos [Elected] 
 

 
Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences
Houston, Texas
 
I received my B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 2000, followed by a M.S. degree in Pharmacy in 2007 from the University of Florida. I’ve worked at the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab in Waco, Texas for three years as a controlled substance and clandestine laboratory analyst. I joined the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in June 2007. I am certified as a Fellow in Drug Analysis by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC), and as a clandestine laboratory responder by the DEA. I’ve been a member of SWAFS since 2001; I’ve served on different committees and also helped plan, organize, and run the 2011 meeting in Houston. I’m also a member of CLIC, where I currently serve on the steering committee. I was also selected to join SWGDRUG in 2010.
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Sharla McCloskey 
 

 
Texas Department of Public Safety
Corpus Christi, Texas
I received my B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics in 2004, followed by a M.S. in Forensic Science in 2007. I have been employed with the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab System since 2007. I started out in the Tyler Regional Crime Lab and have been working in the Corpus Christi Regional Crime Lab since December of 2010 as a Forensic Scientist. I am qualified as a Controlled Substance Analyst, including clandestine laboratory investigations and blood alcohol determination. I have been a SWAFS member since 2009 and I have served on the Journal Committee in 2010 and 2011. I am also a member of the Clandestine Laboratory Investigating Chemists (CLIC). I am excited about the opportunity to be nominated as president-elect. I know with a great support team of the Board Members and current members that we will be able hopefully recruit more younger members and encourage more participation from current membership. I attended my first SWAFS meeting in Austin, TX less than a month after I started at Texas DPS. What I remember most about that meeting was the friendliness of the members and their willingness to help a new Analyst with direction and knowledge. I would love to have the opportunity to carry on that tradition for future Analysts in our fields of expertise.
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Noreen Purcell [Elected] 
 

 
New Mexico Department of Public Safety
Noreen Purcell has been with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety Forensic Laboratory for over nineteen years. She has held a variety of positions with the Department including most recently Bureau Chief (aka Lab Director). She is a qualified Forensic Scientist in the disciplines of Serology/DNA and Drug Chemistry. Raised and educated in New Mexico, Ms. Purcell has devoted her career to providing top quality forensic laboratory analyses and expert testimony in State and Federal jurisdictions. Early in her college education she realized the potential of forensic science, in particular DNA analysis, and began focusing her education to fit her career choice. During her graduate studies, Ms. Purcell conducted ground breaking research in the use of DNA testing in U.S. prosecutions. She has published several articles regarding DNA, criminal law, and felony prosecutions that are still relevant today. While she has never held office with SWAFS she has held elected positions with the American Criminal Justice Association – LAE and founded the Criminal Justice Graduate Student Organization at NMSU and served as president. Ms. Purcell has actively encouraged law enforcement and attorneys to recognize and utilize the great potential that DNA and all forensic evidence can provide. For many years now SWAFS has been an exceptional professional organization providing valuable educational and networking opportunities. Recent new challenges face the forensic community highlighting areas for improvement. I am humbled by the nomination and look forward to serving SWAFS, if elected. As President I will continue to be an advocate for the advancement of the sciences ensuring that integrity and quality are preserved. Thank you
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Kay McClain [Elected] 
 

 
Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences
Houston, Texas
Kay McClain is a Forensic Chemist I in the Drug Chemistry Laboratory at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston, Texas. She has been employed with the HCIFS since 2001. Kay worked in the Toxicology department for 1 year and then she transferred to the Drug Chemistry Laboratory where she has been for the past 10 years. She serves as the Quality Control Liaison for the DCL as well as a senior chemist and assistant to the DCL manager. Kay received a Bachelor of Science from Sam Houston State University in 1996. She is certified as a Fellow in Drug Analysis with the American Board of Criminalistics. Kay has been a member of SWAFS since 2005 and serves as the current Secretary of SWAFS. My name is Kay McClain and I am running for a third term as Secretary of SWAFS. The past four years as Secretary have gone by so fast and there is still so much more I would like to accomplish. One of the main goals I have been working on as Secretary is organizing all of the past meeting minutes and documents to be compiled electronically for easier storage. I have also enjoyed working with the other board members to make sure our members are recognized for all that they do to contribute to our organization. As an 11 year forensic chemist and a member of SWAFS since 2005, it would be an honor to serve you again and the organization. Please take the opportunity to cast your vote and include me on your ballot.