Forensics Students Receive COALS Senior Merit Awards


Caitlin Otto, center, standing with Dr. Bill Dugas, left, and Dr. Mark Hussey. Photo by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Seniors Caitlin Otto’s and Kelsey Muniz’s hard work and dedication during their college careers were recognized during Parents’ Weekend as they received the 2015 Senior Merit Awards during the Spring Awards Convocation on Saturday, April 18th.

Otto, a native of Houston, Texas, is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences major with the Science Emphasis Track. During her career at A&M, she was a member of the Leggett Hall Council and served as its President from 2013-2014, as well as its Treasurer and Vice President in 2012-2013.

Otto has been a member of the the Residence Hall Association and the Presidents Council from 2013-2014. She has also been involved with Relay for Life and has served both as a participant and as a Team Co-Leader for three years.

Otto also has been involved with Bryan Police Department’s Junior/Spanish Citizens Police Academy. As an assistant in this program, she helped set up class activities, presentations, mock crime scenes and taught participants how to dust for fingerprints. Additionally, during the summer of 2014, Otto interned at the Bryan Police Department as a student intern helping various units in the department.

Kelsey Muniz award recipient

Kelsey Muniz, center, standing with Dr. Bill Dugas ,left, and Dr. Mark Hussey. Photo by College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

A native of Giddings, Texas, Muniz is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Forensic and Investigative Sciences major with the Law Emphasis Track. She is currently a member of the Aggie Forensic and Investigative Sciences Organization. As a member, she has helped with the organization’s annual bake sale fundraiser and volunteered with The Big Event in 2011. She also has been involved in several activities through her undergraduate experience, including volunteering for the Lee County Food Pantry and various functions for St. Paul Lutheran Church.

In summer of 2014, she interned with the Austin Police Department as a Crime Scene Unit Intern, where she observed and assisted crime scene technicians with processing non-evidentiary items in the lab using Cyanoacrylate fuming, black powder and dye stains.

Muniz has received numerous awards, including being named to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Dean’s Honor Roll in 2014, being a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, and was inducted into the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society in 2013. She was also named to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society in 2012.

Based on leadership, scholarship and service at the department, college and university level, the Senior Merit Award is the highest award given to undergraduates by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. To be eligible for the award, students must be projected to graduate during the current calendar year.

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