Donna C. Boyd - Student Introduction

Audrey Meehan
Former student of Donna C. Boyd
2006 Outstanding Master's Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year

My name is Audrey Meehan. I am the DNA coordinator for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hickam AFB, Hawaii. JPAC/CIL is the largest and most renowned forensic skeletal laboratory in the world. Our mission is to recover and identify our U.S. service members missing and killed in action during past wars.

My job is to identifying skeletal elements, sample them for mitochondrial DNA and perform comparative analysis for identifications of the individuals. My great adventure in the study of biological anthropology began when studying human osteology and forensic anthropology under Dr. Boyd. I also worked with Dr. Boyd on a collaborative research project culminating in our coauthored report on African-American skeletal biology.

I cannot say enough about the positive learning experience gained by all of Dr. Boyd's students. Sharing her knowledge and experience, she provides guidance and encouragement to her students' quest for detailed studies of various subfields of the discipline. She encourages discovery in unknown fields by incorporating independent research projects while working with each student individually to ensure that his or her ultimate potential is reached. This gave me the skill set necessary to fulfill my current position as an ORISE research fellow at JPAC/CIL.

I am currently preparing my research for publication on a quantitative method for skull/photo superimposition, to be used as an identification method for skeletal remains when DNA is not possible due to chemical preservation or the lack of a DNA reference.

We keep in touch as colleagues now, sharing up-to-date information in the field of forensic skeletal anthropology. Her encouragement and friendship has taken me places I never dreamed possible, until I had the privilege of being one of her students.

It is my honor to introduce to you, from the anthropology department of Radford University, Dr. Donna Boyd.