Meet Monday

Freshman’s family experiences influence her love of forensic science

Prince Dudley | Staff Photographer

Nicole Della Fera said her favorite part of studying forensic science is her ability to give others a voice.

Nicole Della Fera’s uncle helped settle everything into place for her when it came to attending Syracuse University. He was a police officer, so that, along with watching “CSI,” influenced the freshman’s decision to double major in biology and forensic science.

Della Fera’s uncle was a first responder for the bomb squad at the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. When he and his police dog went to check for bombs, he was exposed to toxic fumes at the site. After the attacks, the fumes affected him — he was diagnosed with multiple myloma. About a year ago, Della Fera’s uncle died, and she said she wouldn’t be where she is today without him.

At her uncle’s funeral, Della Fera met an inspector of forensic science that organized a meeting with a medical examiner. She said it was helpful to talk with someone who does what she wants to do.

Della Fera’s favorite part about studying biology and forensic science is helping people who don’t have a voice tell their story.

“I want to be able to bring peace to their families. I love the science aspect of it and the police part too,” she said.

Outside of the classroom, Della Fera is part of the Rebecca Lee Pre Health Society, along with the Tri Beta biology honor society on campus.

Though working for organizations is engaging, Della Fera’s favorite part of freshman year is all the friends she’s made and how SU already feels like home, something that is important to her.

“When I was home, back in New Jersey, I was like, I can’t wait to go home. But I realized that I was home,” she said.

A family-oriented person, Della Fera talks to her parents and grandma every day, updating them on her life. Her grandfather, who died two months ago, also had influence on Della Fera. A retired corrections officer himself, she said he was thrilled to find out that she wanted to be a medical examiner.

“He would brag about me because no one else in the family wanted to do anything related to police work and that’s what my grandparents love,” she said.

Above all, Della Fera says her love and commitment to becoming a medical examiner would have never happened if it wasn’t for her uncle’s encouragement.

“All of this happened because of my uncle,” she said.


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