Alumnus Kelly Belcher is preparing future scientists

Kelly Belcher ('00 M.S.) (Photo by Ahna Hubnik)After finishing her master's degree in biology at UNT, Kelly Belcher ('00 M.S.) landed a job as a drug chemist for the Missouri State Highway Patrol crime lab, where she processed numerous cases for the presence of controlled and illicit substances.

Nearly a year later, she had an opportunity to come back to Texas and work as a trace analyst at the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office, one of the busiest medical examiner offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"I worked in Tarrant County for 11 years, and along with becoming a senior trace analyst, one thing I found myself doing a lot was teaching others about evidence," she says. "I routinely gave lectures for police officers, staff in the district attorney's office and other groups on how to collect and process evidence in the field."

When an opportunity to teach forensics and court systems in the Denton ISD came her way, Belcher thought it was a great fit. Today, she teaches high school students from Denton and other school districts across the North Texas region at the Denton ISD's Advanced Technology Complex.

"It's neat for students to see science applied," she says. "Often they learn important scientific principles and fundamental information in their chemistry and biology classrooms, but it can be hard for them to grasp how those lessons might be useful in a career. Teaching forensics is a great opportunity to show students how all of that information can come together to serve a bigger purpose."

Read a feature story on how alumni use their scientific training to solve crimes.

Learn more about the UNT Crime Lab.


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