Prof profiles: Richard Li

The criminal justice department at SHSU has a fairly new face among its faculty – Dr. Richard Li.

Li is the coordinator for the recently implemented forensic science program, and has been at SHSU since the summer of 2001, when the program started.

Li lived the majority of his life in China and grew up in Shanghai. He received an undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences in China, and later a degree in physiology there as well.

Li moved to the United States to pursue a doctoral degree 17 years ago, living in Wisconsin while earning his doctorate in molecular biology.

Afterwards he sought work as a DNA scientist, researching and studying human chemistry.

Later, after attending a speech at Yale, Li was intrigued by forensic science. He pursued a master’s degree in the subject from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

With his new degree, Li got a job as a medical examiner in New York City. He worked on criminal casework such as homicide, sexual assault and aggravated assault.

Li said that medical examiners do not work for a police department, but with them, and also report to the mayor.

For example, Li said as a medical examiner he would go to the scene of a crime, examine evidence, conduct a forensic analysis of the DNA found at the scene, and at times testify in court as an expert witness.

“It was very exciting,” he said.

SHSU recruited Li in 2001 to head the newly established forensic science program.

“It’s a long-term position,” Li said of his current job.

Between his job at SHSU, his wife of seven years, and his 6-year-old child, Li said he enjoys illustrating single panel cartoons.

He is currently submitting his cartoons to different publications, and his work has been published in four journals.

Li said his cartoons consist of crime related humor.

Li said he enjoys his students as much as they enjoy him. He said at SHSU he has found good students who study and work hard.

“I enjoy teaching here very much,” he said.

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