Tracey Dawson Cruz, Professor of Forensic Science, has been selected as the permanent chair of the CHS Department of Forensic Science after a rigorous internal College search. Tracey assumed the role of chair of Forensic Sciences effective January 2. Tracey joined VCU in 2003 as a joint-appointed Assistant Professor in the departments of Forensic Science and Biology and was tenured in Forensic Science in 2009. She was promoted to the rank of professor of Forensic Science in May 2018. Her scholarship focuses on improving methods for microchip design for forensic micro-total analysis systems, new methods of separation of epithelial/sperm cell mixtures, and discovery and method development for analysis of biomarkers. During her time at VCU, she has authored or co-authored more than 31 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and secured nearly 1.9 million dollars in external funding from sources such as the National Institute of Justice.
Over the past fifteen years, Tracey has served in a variety of administrative and service roles within Forensic Science, including directing the Graduate program for eleven years and chairing numerous search and P&T committees. Her commitment and consistent enthusiasm for building one of the world’s most distinctive Forensic Science programs has prepared her to assume the leadership role for one of VCU’s most research active departments, where both the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited.
Tracey takes over the role of chair from Rima Franklin, Interim Chair of Forensic Science and Associate Professor of Biology. Rima has shepherded the Forensic Science Department as Interim Chair for the past calendar year, graciously lending her time and leadership talent to help guide Forensic Science faculty and students while the College conducted a search for a permanent chair.