Staff and Volunteers

We have a superb group of students, volunteers and staff that take pride in the care and duties associated with the body donations and the research. We'd like you to meet them and learn about them.

Dr. Joan Bytheway
AARC Director Dr. Bytheway specializes in forensic anthropology/human osteology and taphonomy with an interest in bone pathology and trauma. Her research interests are in the areas of sex determination of the fragmented os coxa utilizing three dimensional data, effects of fire trauma to human skeletal remains, and non-metric anomalies of the human skeleton. Prior to joining the faculty at Sam Houston State University, she was a Forensic Anthropologist/Lab Analyst for a project in Baghdad, Iraq involving the reconstruction and analysis of skeletal remains of individuals of the Iraqi population found in mass graves. She also has served as a peer reviewer in more than 130 forensic cases. She co-authored the Standard Operating Procedures for Forensic Anthropology Analysis of Mass Graves.

Haeli Kennedy
Lab Manager
Haeli is a Criminal Justice Major, with a Minor in Forensic Science. She has been with the AARC since 2016, first working as a Lab Assistant, before becoming the Lab Manager. She has professional experience with search and recovery of remains, and assistance with casework. She supervises the Willed Body Donation Program, as well as the operations of the AARC. She deeply appreciates any donation AARC receives, as they are all valuable gifts.

Nichole Miller
Research-Lab Assistant
Nichole is an Undergraduate Biology Major at Sam Houston State University, with a focus on Forensic Anthropology. She is expected to graduate with her BS in May 2018 and plans to pursue an MS in Physical Anthropology. She has worked at the facility since December 2015 assisting with the taphonomy research and performing lab technician responsibilities. She has professional experience in skeletal remains searches that assist a variety of police and investigation forces. Her focus is on general skeletal pathology, skeletal trauma, and taphonomy. In the future, she intends to continue with an occupation in the Forensic Anthropology field.

Hannah Cervenka
Lab Assistant
Hannah is an Undergraduate Criminal Justice Major at Sam Houston State University. She is expected to graduate with her BS in December 2017 and plans to pursue her MS in Anthropology. She has been with the facility as a student, volunteer and an intern before becoming an employee. She has participated in much of the ongoing research and assists with the analysis of skeletal remains.

West Ryan
Transporter-Lab Assistant
West Ryan is an Undergraduate at Sam Houston State University, with a Major in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Forensic Anthropology. He is the transporter for the AARC, helps with research, and helps with logistical/operational support. He has been with AARC since 2016, first as a student and volunteer before becoming an employee. He plans to go into crime scene Investigation and to specialize in latent fingerprinting.

Jennifer Kiely
Doctoral Student
Jennifer is a doctoral student in the Department of Forensic Science at Sam Houston State University. She has been with the AARC facility since 2015 and has had the privilege of working closely with law enforcement to help solve cases and get valuable forensic anthropology experience. She also participates in training and speaking opportunities about the AARC and forensic anthropology. Jennifer's research interest include blunt force trauma to the skull, the effects of fire trauma to human bone, taphonomy, and microbial forensics. She would also like to thank each and every donor for their contribution to the AARC facility, without whom this research could not take place.