Internship leads to forensics career

A Caymanian graduate has returned
home to take up a position as a forensic scientist at the Cayman Islands
Hospital.

Beverley Nunez, a graduate of St.
Ignatius High School in Cayman, had originally planned to become a doctor, but
after working as a summer student in the Forensic Laboratory at the Health Services
Authority, she realised she wanted to have a career as a forensic scientist.

She attended Kingston University
and King’s College in London where she received an honours bachelor’s degree
and master’s degree in science, specialising in forensic science, investigative
analysis, and drug monitoring. 

While at university, she also
completed a research project on the development of a Multiplex Real Time
quantitative PCR Assay for assessing the quantity and quality of nuclear DNA in
forensic samples. In layman’s terms, that is developing a method to help make
sure DNA evidence collected from a crime scene will hold up in court to ensure
criminals can be successfully prosecuted.

Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the
Health Services Authority, said: “All of us at HSA are very proud of what Ms
Nunez has accomplished and welcome her back to the team.  It is always rewarding when our summer intern
programme, or other youth outreach programmes, encourage a young Caymanian to
consider healthcare as a career and motivate them to pursue higher learning to
achieve that career.”

She added: “Individuals like
Beverley seize upon those opportunities, constantly learning and asking
questions of more experienced staff, and through hard work and determination
obtaining the professional qualifications necessary to achieve their
goals.  We hope that many more young
Caymanians look at Beverley as a role model for success in whatever career they
choose – and of course we hope many will choose medicine.”

Ms Nunez said she knew forensic
science was the “right path” for her after watching scientists at work in the
forensics laboratory during her internship.

“In my experience, if you are
hardworking and curious, there are always people around you who are willing to
share their knowledge and experience to help you pursue your goals.

“You just have to show the
initiative. The hard work is well worth it as it helps you obtain a career that
you will enjoy,” she said.

Since taking up her new role, she
has been assisting police during autopsies to package evidence and working on
interesting projects. 

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Beverley Nunez working at the Health Services Authority.
Photo: Submitted
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