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Citizens Academy: Where Forensic Science and The Community Meet

by Mindi Mahoney , Guest Blogger, Holy Name High School Forensic Science Teacher
Mindi and Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Gilson
Mindi and Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, Dr. Thomas Gilson 
The Citizens Academy offered through the Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the most exciting opportunities I have been provided as a teacher. The academy allowed me to get an inside look into death investigations and crime scenes as well as into different fields in forensic science.

I have always had a very strong interest in forensic science, so much so, that I designed and implemented a course that my high school students can take as one of their science electives. I first learned of the Medical Examiner’s Office through a field trip I took my students on. We were given a presentation and a tour and it was clear that everyone was very intrigued. When the opportunity was presented to me to sign up for the academy for a more in depth look at what the office does, I knew I had to do it.



“I am very grateful for the chance to participate in the Citizens Academy
because it helped me to become a better teacher for my students.”



Medical Examiner's Office Citizens Academy 2019 Spring Class
CCMEO Citizens Academy (2019 Fall Class)


The Academy provided me with in-depth information on subjects such as Toxicology, Fingerprints, Pathology, and Trace Evidence. Hands on experiences, such as mock death scenes, made all of the information interesting and easy to follow. Personally, the most enjoyable part for me was the chance to participate in a demonstration autopsy. It is something I have wanted to experience since I started
Medical Examiner's Office Citizens Academy 2019 Spring Class
CCMEO Citizens Academy (2019 Spring Class) 
teaching my forensic science course. I learned so much information that I was then able to take back and share with my students, who truly enjoy hearing every detail from the entire academy program.

I am very grateful for the chance to participate in the Citizens Academy because it helped me to become a better teacher for my students. I gained so much more knowledge about the different fields of forensic science and I am now able to relate first-hand experiences to them about the concepts being taught. I also can provide them with insight on various career paths they may choose to follow within the field.

It is important that members of the community understand just how much the office does to help people and their families. The Citizens Academy is an opportunity provided to members of the community and I would strongly encourage anyone that has an interest or would like to learn more about what happens day to day at the office to apply.

Sign up for the Spring 2020 CCMEO Citizens Academy – The Medical Examiner’s Office is now accepting applications for our Spring 2020 Citizens Academy. The Spring 2020 academy will begin March 19th. Thirty spots are available, with at least 5 spots designated for County employees. Applications are due February 14th; download the application to apply.