Science and detective work earn two USF students national award for mock crime scene competition

Two pre-med students, who investigate the inner workings of antigens in tissue at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute research labs, won first place for Forensic Medicine in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) state and national competitions during the 2013 National Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN.

Devanshi Tank and Ark Gim competed in the Forensic Medicine category and had to analyze a case scenario and investigate a mock crime scene.

Ark Gim and Devanshi Tank

Ark Gim (left) and Devanshi Tank

Earlier this year, the students competed in a state competition in Orlando, FL, where they were asked to examine a mock case scenario or report of the whereabouts of a deceased person, autopsy results and any possible suspects. They were given 15 minutes to examine the case, like a forensic examiner, scrutinize the crime scene and the staged objects for possible evidence then write a report of estimation of the time of death, manner of death, and cause of death.

Winners of the state competitions were announced during the National Leadership Conference.

For the state and national competitions combined, they competed against more than 70 teams for the first knowledge test, and 25 on the crime scene.

HOSA is a national organization that develops leadership and technical skill competencies so students can help meet the needs of the health care community. Its mission is to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health science education students.

Tank and Gim are USF biomedical sciences undergraduate students and work in the research lab of Dave Morgan, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology and CEO of the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute, under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Lee, principal investigator and assistant professor in the USF College of Pharmacy.