Western forensic anthropology alumni joins faculty to educate and inspire

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University alumni Jerielle Cartales ‘13, aspired to be a forensic anthropologist since high school, after watching the television show, Bones.

Western’s forensic anthropology minor, coupled with a major in Biology, was the opportunity Cartales needed to make her aspirations a reality, and is now a forensic anthropology lecturer at Western. 

“My favorite part of the job is working with my students and seeing that ‘a-ha’ moment when they connect what we covered in the lecture and what we’re covering in the lab. Western really is special because the professors really care about their student’s success,” shares Cartales.

Labs consist of students laying out the bones in correct anatomical positions, then processing the remains. They then determine what the individual’s likely age was upon death, their biological sex, the ancestry of the remains, and finally stature, which refers to any evidence of trauma or pathology. 

Watch and listen to Cartales share her story.

Learn more about the criminal justice programs at Western.


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving about 4,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans, or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

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