September 29 will mark the premiere episode of Centre College’s 2015-16 season of the popular Flameside Chat series with C.S.I. Centre, a conversation with Dr. Tracey Corey ’83, chief medical examiner for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jasmin Kaeser ’11, a criminalist for the City of San Diego Police Department Crime Lab, and Erin Baumgartner ’11, fourth-year medical student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Flameside Chat is an interactive, online learning experience that gives viewers the opportunity to have a real-time classroom experience by traveling no farther than their computer. Participants can pose questions for the three women, each of whom is at a different point in her career and will bring unique perspectives to this fascinating topic. Viewers can join the broadcast here.
“I think forensics is a topic of interest for many people, but their perception of it is very ‘Hollywood’ for lack of a better term,” Kaeser says. “The day-to-day work is very different from what you see on TV. The immediate first question when I mention my job is, ‘Oh, so you’re like C.S.I. right?’ I generally respond by telling them I don’t wear designer fashion and high heels to crime scenes, and no one is crazy enough to give me a gun—although I do have a badge!
“I love my job but it is definitely not for everyone,” she continues. “I deal with sexual assault, child abuse and homicide evidence every day, which can be very stressful if you let it get to you.”
Corey has seen many positive changes in the field during the course of her career.
“When I began my career in forensic pathology, we were still hand-proofing our autopsy reports with a red pen for re-typing by the transcriptionist,” Corey says. “We took photos using film that was developed into Kodachrome slides, and of course, all of our scientific sources consisted of hard-copy journals and textbooks. With advances in technology, we are able to proof our reports electronically, while we review our digital images electronically as well. We’re also able to gain access to the latest studies and case series electronically.”
But perhaps the best advance of all, Corey continues, is the ability of forensic scientists to stay in touch with and communicate with one another around the world on a daily basis.
“Thanks to the internet, and the subsequent development of scientific list-serves in which forensic pathologists and other forensic scientists can participate, we have a greatly expanded pool of colleagues. When I have a perplexing forensic pathology finding, and want to ‘show it around the office’ to solicit the opinions of my colleagues, I can post it on the list-serve of the National Association of Medical Examiners and immediately get the thoughts and opinions from other forensic pathologists all over the world. We can have lively discussions on the reasoning and basis for opinions.”
As a medical student, Baumgartner also finds that people are curious about her choice of specialty.
“At this point in my fledgling medical career, the question I am asked most often is, ‘Why Pathology?,’ and by extension, ‘Why Forensics?,’ Baumgartner says. “People tend to wonder why I want to go in to a specialty where interaction with (live) patients is rare. Also, people who ask me about my rotations at the medical examiner’s office tend to be surprised by the fact that the examiner’s role extends beyond just the autopsy room.”
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Flameside Chat viewers are given the opportunity to submit questions in advance or live during the broadcast. Episodes are live-streamed through the Hangouts app, which automatically pushes the broadcast to YouTube. Viewers can watch via a link on Google+ or YouTube and submit comments for hosts to answer during their talks. They can also tweet @CentreAlumni with the hashtag #flameside, and the moderator can incorporate those comments and questions.
Previous episodes of Flameside Chat can be viewed on the Centre Alumni YouTube Channel or by following the links below.
An email will be distributed to alumni as scheduled Flameside Chats events approach, and information and links will be posted on the Centre College Alumni Facebook page and via @CentreAlumni on Twitter. For those unable to participate in the live chat, a recorded version of the broadcast is available on YouTube and also posted on Centre’s website.
View the entire series of Flameside Chat episodes here:
Flameside Chat #1: New “Flameside Chats” premier with Beau Weston
Flameside Chat #2: Second Flameside Chat recaps general election results
Flameside Chat #3: Third Flameside Chat allows viewers to discuss leadership with President John Roush
Flameside Chat #4: Flameside Chat offers a personal view into life at Centre during the Civil Rights Movement
Flameside Chat #5: Dr. Bruce K. Johnson discusses and takes questions on the intersection of economics and college athletics, and the madness of the NCAA
Flameside Chat #6: The Bourbon Industry Distilled featuring bourbon experts Matthew Cummings ’05, Adam Johnson’ 97, and Dr. Leonard Demoranville
by Cindy Long
September 25, 2015