Name and age – Jennifer Durand, 38 years old
What program are you in and what made you chose it?
Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigations
I chose this degree because nineteen years ago when JonBenet Ramsey was murdered, after they collected all the evidence from the crime scene, the investigators still didn’t know who killed the little girl. Every time I would see the news or the case would surface back up, I said I wanted to work in crime scenes and find evidence and test it so that I could one day solve cases and put someone in jail for committing a crime. I have always watched crime shows and said that one day I want to be like Abby from the show NCIS, testing evidence and DNA.
How did you decide to attend KU? What do you like best about KU?
Last December I was watching TV and a commercial came on TV advertising Keiser University and crime scene investigations and I immediately said, “Where is there a Keiser around here?”, so I googled it on my computer and found out the closest one to me was about ten minutes away so I decide to fill out the information. Within five minutes someone had called me from Keiser and invited me to come tour the school and gave me information about the program. I toured the school and got the information that I wanted, took a test, and passed to get in the program. I then made another appointment with admissions to fill out paperwork and set my starting date.
What I like best about Keiser University is that you only have to take one class at a time, and you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. The staff at the Daytona campus is always there to help you, whether you need to stay after class because you need extra help with the class that you’re in, the professors are there to help you, if you need information through student services, needing help finding something in the library, or using the writing studio if you need someone to look over something you wrote.
Tell us what you like most about your field and what your ideal job will be after graduation?
What I like most about my field is that I’m never going to be bored whether I work at a crime scene or work in a lab, every day is going to be different. I will either be looking for evidence or testing different things in a lab, which I think will be challenging. My ideal job after graduation is being a Forensic Scientist, because I want to work in a lab testing things from crime scenes. Each day will be different, testing things such as DNA, footprint or tire track impressions, ballistics, fingerprints, trace evidence, etc. I feel as though with this job I will never be bored because there will always be something different to do every day.
What is something not a lot of people know about you?
I went to college twenty years ago after I graduated high school and originally wanted to be a chef. I had Italian grandparents that made everything from scratch. When I was seven years old, I used to sit in the kitchen when they were cooking and watch them. One day my grandmother (Me-Me) asked me if I wanted to learn how to cook. Ever since then I have always wanted to cook. I went to vocational school during high school and received two scholarships to college for Culinary and Baking. Twenty years later I have decided to have a change in career and go to college for what I have dreamed of doing and that’s becoming a Forensic Scientist.
Name an item on your bucket list?
Do you have a favorite quote/saying/piece of advice for your fellow students or someone thinking about your program?
My favorite quote has always been: “Never judge a book by its cover”.
A piece of advice for fellow students: If you have determination, it will make you push harder to achieve your goals.
Tell us a little about your experience with the Daytona Beach Citizen Police Academy.
It was a nine week course at the Daytona Police Station, providing an overview of the Criminal Justice System and the Daytona Beach Police Department, and its function and role in the community. Courses in this program included: Police Training, Constitutional Law, Criminal Investigations, K-9 and SWAT, Autopsy, Active shooter and two field trips, one to the communication center and one to the New Smyrna police station shooting range. My favorite class was Criminal Investigations, and going to the shooting range to learn how to shoot a gun. I got to shoot a gun for the first time in my life. This experience was very exciting and well worth my time.