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University of Missouri

CSI: South Asia

An MU alumna lands a full-ride scholarship to the University of Cambridge.

Lindsey Murray

Lindsey Murray is taking her love of travel she acquired at Mizzou and her experience doing forensics on an overseas military base to the University of Cambridge in England. She will study criminological research on a full-ride Gates Cambridge scholarship. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Murray.

Career inspiration can come from unusual places —a Greek house, a British pub, even a gem shop in Asia while sipping tea.

Lindsey Murray, BS ’03, grew up in Warsaw, Mo. A biology major at MU, she intended to go to medical school and become a medical examiner. But volunteering for her sorority and studying abroad in England changed her mind.

[Mizzou] opened my eyes to other cultures and showed me I could do a lot more than I thought,” Murray says. Volunteering convinced her she wanted to “get out there and help people,” and studying abroad hooked her on globe-trotting. “That experience made me who I am, made me unafraid to travel and go to new places,” she says.

She wanted a career with opportunities to travel. So she earned a master’s in forensic science from Michigan State University and worked at a private forensic laboratory in Virginia doing DNA testing for criminal court cases.

After four years, Murray’s job gave her the chance to do forensic science in an expeditionary environment overseas (the specifics about her work and its location are classified).

From 2010 to 2012, Murray made four trips to the South Asia, spending 16 months there. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” she says. “I had the opportunity to learn about different cultures, see what’s really happening.”

Stories from locals, however, included frequent robberies and general lack of justice, which sparked another career change. Murray leaves in September to pursue a master’s in criminological research at the University of Cambridge in England, where she earned a full-ride Gates Cambridge scholarship. She hopes to renew the scholarship to complete a PhD in criminology.

Murray will study how criminal justice systems are established so she can help bring the rule of law to emerging democracies in a culturally sensitive way.

I’d like to do research for [countries], an agency, in some way work toward improving the lives of these people,” she says.