Huntington High School Alumna Rebecca Wood Returns to Present for SNHS


Rebecca Wood presenting her screen to a group of students. Credit: Erik Flores Reyes

Erik Flores Reyes, Contributing Writer

Those greatly interested in the forensics field took advantage of a  great opportunity offered by Science National Honor Society last Monday afternoon. With an impressive number of participants, 82 to be exact, the Science National Honor Society presented 2005 Huntington High School graduate, Rebecca Wood, who has been involved in the forensics field after becoming an alumna. Those participating in the presentation were really enthusiastic about the topic and Ms. Wood kept everyone entertained with her insight on  her career experiences. 

The presentation was started by the Science National Honor Society’s Advisor, Mrs. Dame Forbes, by greeting everyone and thanking them for being present. It was then followed by an exchange of words by the Society’s Vice President, Kianna Criscuola. She welcomed everyone with great excitement and she was delighted to have Ms. Rebecca Wood present in their presentation. 

 Then, two members of the Science National Honor Society, Jasjeet Kaur and Caitlin Murtagh, introduced the guest speaker, Rebecca Wood.

And then, it was time to discuss forensics. But first, Rebecca Wood presented a very interesting question which triggered many minds: “So, You Want to be a Forensic Scientist?” This question might have sparked a lot of interest from  the audience, and it should be obvious that those attending would be interested in the field. 

Being in the forensics field might sound very enthusiastic, but the reality is that time and dedication are integral to this field, and Ms. Wood has been a mere model of what it means to be involved in the science field. It all started when she became a lab assistant for former forensics teacher Mrs. Montefusco for two years at Huntington High School. From there, she was exposed to various aspects about forensic science. 

She got introduced to the Forensic Science class around 2003 or 2004. Then, she participated in 2 NYIT forensic competitions with the school, but it was a very difficult competition. 

Mrs. Rebecca Wood has been recognized multiple times and she has met prestigious people around the U.S. Currently, she is a Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, DC. She acts as the eyes and ears for the Forensic Pathologists (Medical Examiners) on a death scene. But she has come to this place by placing his heart and dreams ahead of her,  which can be one defining string that allows you to succeed. 

Most people may picture forensic scientists investigating cases and performing autopsies. However, this is not the case. As Mrs. Rebecca Wood has revealed, this is a task that involves the mind since you have to deal with the emotions of people, and some cases may involve difficult scenarios and environments. So, when she was asked the question: 

“Is it like TV?”, she immediately replied with a, “Yes and no, but more of a no.” 

This is because due to the fact that working as a forensics scientist may involve being part of someone’s nightmare and the worst day ever. Of course, there have been instances in which Mrs. Rebecca Wood has encountered these situations. But she is able to separate between her personal life and work. This is something really important to this field. Work must not interfere with family affairs. 

On the other side, she also came up with some advice for the young people

  1. There are a lot of Colleges and Universities in the US that offer a Forensic Science Program! You should look in advance. 
  2. Choosing a college/major- Don’t feel pressured to get an undergraduate in forensic sciences. Most jobs require a Master’s degree in a forensic discipline, not a Bachelor’s. 
  3. Explore your interests and think outside the box.
  4. Update your resume!!
  5. Work on public speaking.
  6. Network
  7. Lastly, volunteer, ask questions, and find a mentor and keep up with those in your network. 
  8. Invest in your future- a little money on the front end pays back. 

The Science Honor Society was truly honored to have such an amazing person in their last meeting. The Society is excited to allow students to learn new things and explore science fields.