Forensic files

Rebecca Anderson is a recent Forensic Laboratory Services intern. Laboratory Director Patricia Manzolillo is shown in the inset.

When Patricia Manzolillo needed an internship for her graduate school forensics program, her father, a USPS employee, suggested the Postal Inspection Service.

Manzolillo followed his advice, landing an internship with the agency’s Memphis lab in 1995.

Twenty years later, she’s now director of the Inspection Service division that oversees the National Forensic Laboratory and the digital analysts who work in 20 field locations.

“We get to use our scientific knowledge and expertise to support and protect one of the oldest, most visible and vital institutions in the United States,” Manzolillo said.

Each year, the former intern mentors a new crop of lab interns destined for forensic careers.

Interns work on various projects to support investigations.

In the Digital Evidence Unit, for example, interns recently maintained documentation and validated new equipment and tested software tools.

“Interning with the lab this summer opened my eyes to a world most postal employees do not know exists,” said Sara With, a USPS employee studying cybercrime investigations and forensics.

Manzolillo still reflects on how the internship helped shape her career.

“I wanted to be a forensic document examiner,” she said. “I knew the Inspection Service was the premier organization for this work.”