Opportunity. Kimberlee Sue Moran sees it everywhere. The forensic archaeologist turned grant facilitator never turns down a chance to grow and develop, and thinks Rutgers-Camden is special in its encouragement of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff to follow their passions and try new things. “Rutgers-Camden has given me the space to pursue my interests, which wouldn’t necessarily happen in other places,” she says.
Kimberlee’s interests run the gamut from ancient fingerprints to forensic palynology (pollen analysis). A 2000 graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Kimberlee used her bachelor’s degree in classical and Near Eastern archaeology to secure a position with Hunter Research, Inc., a contractual archeology firm based in Trenton. Kimberlee assisted in excavations of local sites that were slated for demolition; she and the Hunter Research team made sure the sites were assessed and properly recorded before construction began. The experience convinced her of the need to obtain a graduate degree, and in 2001 she headed to London to study at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London (UCL). To her surprise, the program was not about the study of mummies or funerary archaeology, but was a modern forensics program, which used archaeological methods to search for and recover human remains in crime scene investigations. “It was the best mistake I ever made!” she says, laughing about the confusion.
Forensic archaeology opened a whole new world to Kimberlee, who became the UCL Forensic Outreach Program Director after she obtained her master’s degree. Since 2002 she has been organizing forensic science summer schools for high school students up and down the United Kingdom to show them the exciting possibilities of this field of study. She also worked as a forensics consultant for UK police and lawyers.
While she loved her life in London, the Laurel Springs native wanted to return home to the United States. She was job hunting when she stumbled upon an opportunity at Rutgers-Camden that seemed to fit her skills and interests. She applied and was hired as the manager for the new Center for Computational and Integrative Biology. She and her family (husband, Ian, from Yorkshire, and two young sons) moved to the United States in the summer of 2010, and she started her new position at Rutgers-Camden in August of that year. In September 2011, she became the grant facilitator for the College of Arts and Sciences. In this role, she helps faculty from all disciplines with the preparation and drafting of grant applications. She says that this job in particular proved to her that Rutgers-Camden truly is South Jersey’s research university.
Busy as she is with her work as a grant facilitator, Kimberlee hasn’t abandoned forensic archaeology. She continues to be active with a number of professional organizations, and will teach an upper-level undergraduate course called Special Topics in Forensic Science through the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice this fall. She’s excited about the possibility of offering more forensic science courses on campus, and perhaps even starting a graduate program in forensic science. Kimberlee truly sees Rutgers-Camden as a place of endless opportunity, for both herself and others, and we look forward to seeing what strides she makes.
About Kimberlee Sue Moran
Hometown: Laurel Springs, NJ
Position: Grant Facilitator