Grace Hancox '20, '21 M.S., who recently earned her bachelor’s degree in forensic science, reflects on the opportunities she had as an undergraduate and looks forward to joining the University’s graduate degree program in chemistry.
June 15, 2020
When Grace Hancox ’20, ’21 M.S. was in high school, her family hosted exchange students, and she studied in France. From her first days as a Charger, she had her sights on another experience abroad.
A forensic science major, she accomplished that goal when she and several of her classmates spent part of last summer studying in Ireland and Northern Ireland with Claire Glynn, Ph.D., an assistant professor of forensic science and a native of Ireland.
"I’m thankful the University offers shorter summer study abroad sessions so that everyone truly has the chance to go abroad," she said. "One of my top memories as a Charger was my experience studying in Ireland. I gained so much from that experience, and I learned so much."
"I feel that the opportunities I’ve had have given me a glimpse into my future and, thus, have better prepared me for success."Grace Hancox '20, '21 M.S.
Hancox and her classmates stayed with families in Wexford, Ireland, where they gained hands-on experience in forensic archaeology at the Irish Archaeology Field School. They also immersed themselves in Irish culture and visited labs in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"I am so grateful to have gotten this chance to study abroad because it gave me a chance to learn about unique forensic specialties," she said. "It was really interesting to learn about the operations of forensics labs in Ireland and Northern Ireland and to compare them to what I had learned about forensics labs in the United States."
During her internship with the United States Postal Inspection Service Forensic Laboratory Services in Dulles, Virginia, she conducted research focused on a new method for determining the legitimacy of stamps and/or money orders, toured federal crime labs, and explored potential career opportunities. Her experience enabled her to learn about the casework of each of the units within the lab.
“I had an absolutely amazing time at my internship and I am forever grateful for the great experience that I had,” she said. “I got to see real-life applications of what I had been learning in my classes and lab courses.”
Hancox will be continuing her career at the University of New Haven this fall. During her senior year, she joined the University’s 4+1 program, which will enable her to earn her master’s degree in chemistry in one year.
“During my four years at the University, I have had opportunities to excel and become a better version of myself,” she said.
An active member of the University community, Hancox served as a laboratory assistant and lecture assistant in the University’s chemistry department, as well as a teaching assistant. She held leadership positions in several student organizations, including the Forensic Science Student Association.
“I have grown into much more of a leader than I could have ever imagined,” she said. “I feel that the opportunities I’ve had have given me a glimpse into my future and, thus, have better prepared me for success.”