Governor Abbott Appoints Five To Texas Forensic Science Commission
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~ Texas Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Erika Ziemak and reappointed Jeffrey Barnard, M.D., Mark Daniel, Sarah Kerrigan, Ph.D., and Jarvis Parsons to the Texas Forensic Science Commission for terms set to expire on September 1, 2025. The Commission is responsible for providing oversight over Texas crime laboratories and other entities conducting forensic analyses for use in criminal proceedings and establishing procedures, policies, and practices to improve the quality of forensic analyses conducted in Texas.

Erika Ziemak of Aledo is the director of special projects at the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. She holds memberships with the American Society for Quality, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors, Association of Forensic DNA Analysts and Administrators, Texas Association for Crime Laboratory Directors, advocacy and outreach committee chair of the Association of Forensic Quality Assurance Managers, and human forensic biology subcommittee member of the Organization of Scientific Area Committees. Ziemak earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Clarkson University and a Master of Science in Forensic Biology from Pace University.

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Jeffrey Barnard, M.D., hailing from Dallas is director of the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science, chief medical examiner of Dallas County, and a professor of pathology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He was chairman of the Rapport Society at Texas A&M University as well as a member with National Association of Medical Examiners and Southwest Transplant Alliance. Barnard holds a Bachelor of Science in Medicine from Texas A&M University and a Doctorate in Medicine from Texas A&M College Of Medicine.

Mark Daniel from Fort Worth is an attorney at Law Office Of Mark G Daniel who previously served as assistant district attorney for Tarrant County District Attorney's Office. He is part with Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA), Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA) & Tarrant County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCCDLA). Daniel earned his Bachelor Of Business Administration In Finance from The University Of Texas At Austin & Juris Doctor From St Mary's University School Of Law.

Sarah Kerrigan Ph.D., hailing from The Woodlands is director at Institute For Forensic Research Training And Innovation at Sam Houston State University who previously served as bureau chief toxicology for New Mexico Department Of Health Scientific Laboratory Division in Albuquerque. She is an appointee to National Institute Of Standards And Technology Forensic Science Standards Board (NIST FSSB), past chair American Academy Of Forensic Sciences Toxicology Section & former president Society Of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT). Kerrigan holds a Bachelor Of Science In Chemistry & Toxicology from University Of Hull UK & Doctorate In Philosophy In Chemistry From University Of British Columbia Vancouver BC Canada

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Jarvis Parsons hailing from Bryan serves as Brazos County District Attorney who previously served as chief prosecutor 272nd District Court & faculty advisor presenter for Texas District And County Attorneys Association (TDCAA). He is board member Scotty's House Brazos Valley Child Advocacy Center Governor's Sexual Assault Survivors Task Force Sexual Assault Resource Center & member College Station Noon Lions Club Parsons holds Bachelor Of Arts In Speech Communications From McNeese State University & Juris Doctor From The University Maine School Of Law

The appointments made by Governor Abbott are expected to bring about positive changes to improve quality standards within forensic science across the state while also providing expertise on various aspects related to crime laboratories and other entities conducting forensic analyses used in criminal proceedings in Texas

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