NECC Alumna Obtains Dream Job as Forensic Scientist
For many, the concept of crime scene analysis is the stuff of TV. For Goffstown, NH resident Elizabeth Giroux ’15, ’18, it is everyday life.
This summer, Giroux, a graduate of Northern Essex Community College’s lab sciences program, celebrated a career milestone when she landed her dream job as a forensic scientist and criminalist for the New Hampshire State Police Forensics Lab, serving alongside the department’s drug unit to analyze crime scene substances and provide testimony. It is a mission-driven position, she says, and one that allows her to play an instrumental role in securing the wellbeing of her community.
“I want to keep our state safe from drug manufacturers as well as hold people accountable when we do discover drugs at a crime scene or during arrests,” she says.
Accountability has played a prominent role in Giroux’s life since she first entered college, although the path to her current position wasn’t always straightforward.
After graduating from Pinkerton Academy in 2013, Giroux initially enrolled at a residential four-year college, but quickly found it wasn’t the right fit for her at the time.
“It was really hard for me to live away and try to go to school,” she says. “In high school, no one had talked to me about community college as an option.”
Luckily, Giroux had a community college advocate on her side. Her mother, once an NECC student herself, encouraged Giroux to give NECC a try, even if just to get a few general education credits out of the way. Giroux took the advice, first completing a general studies degree in 2015 and later, after struggling to find a job she was passionate about, returning for a lab sciences degree. She graduated for a second time in 2018 with a near-perfect GPA, a newfound passion for lab work, and a greater appreciation for community colleges like NECC.
“[NECC] helped me to become more confident in myself and gain a strong background in lab science techniques and instrumentation methods,” she says.
During her time at the college, Giroux obtained an internship at MCR Labs of Framingham, which opened up the door for her future career. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in forensic science and a master’s degree in criminal justice/criminology from Saint Anselm College before landing her current job.
Looking back, Giroux says that while her path to her current role wasn’t always easy, it taught her that there are so many opportunities throughout life to change direction – all you need is the determination to do it.
“I got my dream job 10 years after finishing high school,” she says. “Never give up on your goals.”