As Commencement is upon us, several of our Eberly College graduates reflect on their time at WVU and their plans for the future.
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, native Tyler Davidson is the first graduate of West Virginia University’s prestigious Ph.D. in forensic science, only the second of its kind in the U.S.
He completed his doctoral work three years after receiving WVU’s M.S. in forensic and investigative science.
“When I first arrived at WVU, I was convinced that I wanted to be a seized drug analyst for a local crime laboratory,” Davidson said. “As my education advanced, I found my passion for teaching and fell in love with research. It was this passion that pushed me to apply to the Ph.D. program and ultimately pursue a career in academia.”
Davidson is a recipient of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ Emerging Forensic Scientist Award. His application was one of three out of 102 accepted submissions for the Emerging Forensic Scientist Award, which he will receive at the organization’s annual meeting in February 2021. He was also awarded best oral presentation in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science’s inaugural graduate student symposium.
After graduation, Davidson will begin a tenure-track faculty position at Sam Houston State University, the only other U.S. university to offer a Ph.D. in forensic science.
“This is a fantastic opportunity that will provide me with access to the most precious resource we have in academia, which of course is Ph.D. students,” Davidson said. “It will also allow me to pursue my own research agenda.”
Even though the on-campus Commencement ceremony for May 2020 grads is postponed until December, Davidson won’t miss that experience.
“My most memorable moment at WVU was my graduation from the M.S. program in May 2017. The experience of singing Country Roads with my fellow graduates from the Eberly College surrounded by friends and family is an experience I will never forget,” Davidson said. “In fact, I enjoyed it so much I will return to WVU to attend the special graduation for those of us not able to walk this spring given the COVID-19 pandemic.”