If you are interested in volunteering at STAFS, please complete the application form. Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified within a short period of time.
If you are interested in an internship at STAFS through the University, please contact Janie Burwick, in the Criminal Justice Internship Office to complete the internship application. In addition you will need to complete the STAFS application form.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you need to be a SHSU student? Yes, you must be a SHSU student in order to volunteer with us. You may be a transfer student or one that has already graduated in order to volunteer. Other qualified students/researchers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Do you need to be an anthropology major to volunteer? You should be in the process of or have completed the minor in forensic anthropology offered through the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. If not working toward the minor, you must have passed Human Osteology (CJ 477) or Foundations of Forensic Anthropology II. Related fields (Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Biology, or Forensic Chemistry) will also be considered.
- What types of jobs or tasks are available at STAFS? This program focuses on people interested in physical and forensic anthropology. Tasks range from processing skeletal remains, body donation placements and skeletal pick-ups, bone labeling, collection upkeep, to maintaining databases, filing, and data entry. Experience level and osteology skills are the major factor in determining your role with us.
- Are there other volunteering opportunities for non-physical anthropology students? Yes. Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, Biology, Photography, and Forensic Chemistry undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Applications are reviewed by the Director, however, opportunities are not guaranteed.
- Where can I get the necessary vaccinations? Sam Houston students may contact the Student Health Center at Sam Houston State University. Immunizations are provided at a discounted rate. The current price for students for the Hepatitis B series (3 shots) is $33 per shot, and the tetanus immunization is $29. Prices and availability are subject to change, so please call 936.294.1805 to confirm availability and make an appointment. The Texas Department of Health gives the immunizations for $10. Call 1.888.456.7115 to make an appointment. Local doctorsí offices and some pharmacies may also give the shots.
- Can I start processing before I get shots? Yes, but this is not recommended or preferred. You should at least start your Hep B series.
- It has been a long time since I had my Hepatitis vaccination, do I need to get one again? It may not be necessary. There is a titer you can get to see if you have the antibodies. Consult a doctor.
- What type of vaccination documentation is necessary? We do not require documentation of vaccinations, but we require you to sign the application form honestly. We ask that you do not provide us with your full medical records.
- Do I need health insurance? Yes, whether personally issued health care or through SHSU. Do understand that as a volunteer STAFS does not cover doctor appointments or emergency hospital visits if an accident would occur. As a SHSU student, you have full access to the Student Health Center.
- What is the Blood Borne and Airborne Pathogens Training? There are two DVDs that must be watched on exposure risks associated with human materials and the general safety precautions that should be taken. A quiz will follow each DVD, and a passing grade is required. STAFS Facility workers and volunteers abide by OSHA standards. These standards will be discussed in the videos, and additional information will be provided by the Director.
- What types of risks do I have? STAFS does accept donations from those with communicable or infectious diseases, but most volunteers will be handling material that is of low risk for any biological agents. The most common risks include mishandling of sharp implements, pulled muscles, and tripping hazards.
- What is the purpose of the liability waiver? The liability waiver serves to inform the volunteer/intern of the risks involved in volunteering with this type of research and to relinquish STAFS of any liability.
- What is the purpose of the confidentiality statement that students must sign? The research conducted at the STAFS Facility is highly sensitive and requires strict confidentiality to maintain the integrity of not only STAFS but the donors and their families as well.