Federal Scientist: A Day in the Life of a DEA Forensic Chemist

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences presents "Federal Scientist: A Day in the Life of a DEA Forensic Chemist," with Roger Williams, Ph.D., a senior forensic scientist with the DEA based in Chicago, at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 16 in the Chemistry Building, room 144. Refreshments will follow in room 105.

Williams's lecture will focus on the following topics: an overview of the forensic branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the duties and day-to-day operations of a forensic scientist, and the current challenges and dangers these scientists face.

He will include details of various instrumental and analytical techniques he has used as it applies to the field of forensic chemistry. He will also discuss the current hiring practices and expectations for a newly hired chemist.  

At the closing of the lecture, Williams will talk about his personal journey of transitioning from an inorganic chemist to that of an analytical one. In doing so, his hope is to not only to convey how his experiences from graduate school made him better prepared as a forensic scientist with the DEA, but also to inform future chemistry students of the possibility of a rewarding career path for themselves.

About Roger Williams: Williams served as a noncommission officer with the United States Air Force (USAF) for eight years focusing in electronic warfare. During enlistment, he earned an associate's degree in applied science with the Community College of the Air Force. At the close of enlistment, he was appointed as a field training instructor focusing in applied electronic systems disruption. Upon leaving the USAF, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Eastern New Mexico University. He was selected for the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Arkansas (U of A) under the guidance of Bob Gawley. Working under the guidance of Ryan Tian, Williams earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in chemistry from U of A. Upon graduation from U of A, he was hired with the Drug Enforcement Administration to continue his service to our country as an analytical chemist. Currently, Williams is a senior forensic chemist and training officer with the DEA based out of Chicago. 

Contacts

Matt McIntosh, professor of organic chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
479-575-4692, mcintosh@uark.edu

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