Malorie Nitz ’20 has presented the findings from her Summer Undergraduate Research Project to professionals in the forensic science field, and she says the project taught her that “you don’t need to get positive results in research for the work to be successful.”
February 26, 2020
Malorie Nitz ’20, a forensic science and biology double major, is fascinated by the challenges that forensic scientists face differentiating between identical twins.
Since standard DNA profiling has not been a reliable way to differentiate between identical twins, Nitz decided to explore alternative methods as part of her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) project. Although her efforts did not yield many detectable results, her research provided a valuable learning opportunity.
"The University of New Haven has given me so many opportunities to learn more about myself and to become a more independent and driven person."Malorie Nitz '20
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was that research never goes as planned,” said Nitz. “I learned how to address the problems that arose and to successfully resolve issues, while still remaining motivated to continue my work. You don’t always need to get the results you were expecting in your research for the work to be successful.”
Nitz’s research caught the attention of the greater forensic science community, and she was invited to present her SURF poster at the annual meeting of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists in the fall. She received the Peter R. DeForest Forensic Science Student Research Award for best undergraduate poster presentation at the conference.
“I’m really grateful that I had the chance to present at this conference because it allowed me to share my research experience with professionals in the forensic science field,” she said. “My favorite part was getting to learn from forensic scientists and other students about novel forensic science research and techniques.”
Nitz recently returned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., which she attended with the University’s Forensic Science Student Association.
In addition to the opportunities she has to present her research and network with professionals in the field, she has held leadership roles in student organizations, worked in the Office of the Dean of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, and studied at the University’s campus in Tuscany, Italy in the summer of 2018.
“The University of New Haven has given me so many opportunities to learn more about myself and to become a more independent and driven person,” said Nitz, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in molecular and cellular biology and hopes to work as a forensic biologist. “The professors and students I’ve met have been amazing, and I know that everything that I’ve learned will help me in the future.”