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  • The National Center for Media Forensics: International reputation equals ‘endless career opportunities’ for graduates to solve crimes

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    NCMFMore than 4,700 people had been killed in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine over six months when Amnesty International began investigating alleged war crimes by pro-Russian forces in the spring of 2015.

    To carry out its work, the international human rights organization turned to the National Center for Media Forensics (NCMF) in the CU Denver College of Arts & Media to assess the authenticity of an audio recording from the Ukraine.

    Following the NCMF’s forensic analysis, an Amnesty International representative thanked the center saying, “I can’t stress enough how helpful your analysis was – it made us much more comfortable referencing the phone conversation/interview, in addition to all the other research we had.”

    Amnesty International’s reliance on the NCMF, which offers a one-of-a-kind hybrid master of science degree with an emphasis in multimedia media forensics, is only the latest evidence of the reach of the center’s reputation since it opened eight years ago.

    NCMF’s track record for the hiring of its graduates ‒ more than 90 percent are employed within eight months of graduating ‒ is more evidence of the program’s success.  Its students are so sought-after they often are recruited before they even graduate or start a job search.

    Amy Popejoy, (’15), had three job offers as a student. “The NCMF program carries serious weight,” said Popejoy, who works for a criminal investigations lab in Houston. A single mother who was running a business while she pursued her degree, Popejoy credits the NCMF’s program of online and on-site experiential lab courses with making it possible. “I’m old school, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it weren’t for the hybrid format.”

    Jose Ramirez, who will graduate in spring 2016, already has job offers from both the government and the private sector but might decide to go for a Ph.D. in technology with an emphasis in cyber forensics from Purdue before jumping into the job market.

    The opportunities open to NCMF students, from internships to industry contacts to attendance at conferences, are boundless, according to Jordan Graves, (’12). Before graduating, Graves completed a paid internship at the US Army Criminal Investigations Laboratory in Georgia. Shortly after graduation, he became a digital forensic examiner for the Aurora, Ill., Police Department with an assignment to the Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Lab (RCFL), one of 15 such labs in the country under the auspices of the FBI’s RCFL national office. The labs assist with local, state and federal investigations as far-ranging as terrorism threats, internet crimes and child pornography.

    “Anywhere you want to go,” said Graves. “Whether government, private firms, or to start your own business, the opportunities are endless.”

    March 3, 2016 | Media Forensics