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Nick Messier '13 has always had a clear idea of the career path he would take, and just months after graduating from Curry College, Messier is well on his way to reaching his goals.
"The department I work in is called 'In Vivo Biosafety' and we test viral vaccines to make sure they're free of contamination."
Messier hopes this laboratorybased work will be a pre-cursor to work as a forensic scientist in the criminal justice field.
"I really like the concept of using science to solve crimes," Messier says, explaining that he has always been scientifically inclined. "I like that every piece of evidence, every trace is very important."
Messier took the first step toward pursuing his forensic science career when he enrolled at Curry College.
He was initially attracted by his desire to study at a smaller college, along with the College's criminal justice and biology programs. But, Messier's decision to attend was really sealed when he started interacting with science faculty members.
"The science faculty members were very giving and very knowledgeable, and they really wanted students to succeed. I wanted to be a part of that."
Messier's relationship with the faculty became even more critical once he was a student. Messier took 20 credits during each of his final three semesters as he worked to finish his dual degree.
"They really just made sure that I understood everything. I really think I took a lot more out of those classes than just the letter grade at the end. I left school with a great understanding of everything that I learned."
Messier put that knowledge to use during a critical internship his junior year. He spent the fall semester working as a forensic chemist assistant in the Massachusetts State Police Laboratory.
"It was very important. I had read everything in textbooks, but you don't really understand what you need to do until get out in the field and you experience it."
Messier took advantage-asking as many questions as possible, visiting different laboratories, and building a close relationship with his supervisor. It was that relationship that helped Messier secure his job at Charles River Laboratories.
He still has the goal of working for the Massachusetts State Police one day, largely because he believes in the power of science.
"By studying science you realize how many lives and people you affect. Many of the medical products we get at Charles River Laboratories are vaccines. Studying in the sciences is what allows medical developments to happen."