Forensics, Science, and Mr. Ullman

Hailing from the Philadelphian suburbs, TPS’s forensic science teacher Mr. Ullman loves sports, reading, and listening to music. Graduating with a B.S. in Applied Forensic Science and a M.F.S. in Forensic Chemistry, he was working as an intern in a narcotics unit to sort through suspicious mail labels, organize information for reports, comb through text and phone records, surveillance, drug buys and busts, and social media creeping. Now, he works as a Forensic Chemist in a private forensics company. One of Mr. Ullman’s pet-peeves is when people use their cell-phones while driving. His favorite Bible verse is Micah 6:8, which says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (ESV)” While his classes are loved by his students, Mr. Ullman will be spending time away from teaching in TPS after this school year to welcome the newest addition to his family! 

Erika: What led you to teach at TPS? 

Mr. Ullman: When I was in graduate school at George Washington University, I had a friend who worked in TPS administration, so I was aware of the school through her. I love to teach, so a year or so down the road, I decided to apply to teach a forensics course.

Erika: Why did you choose to teach forensic science? 

Mr. Ullman: That’s my specialty! I am currently working full time in a forensics lab and teach one night a week. 

Erika: What do you do as a Forensic Chemist?

Mr. Ullman: I analyze and identify seized drugs and pharmaceutical preparations. Basically, a client (usually a law enforcement agency) will drop off unknown drug evidence, and we will take custody of the samples, test them to determine their identity, and then issue an official report of our findings.

Erika: How would you describe forensic science? 

Mr. Ullman: Forensic science is the application of the physical sciences to a legal setting and where logic meets the law. It’s using everyday scientific techniques and methods, applying them to analyze different items of evidence, and using those results to inform legal proceedings in the jurisprudence system.

Erika: What is your favorite holiday and why?

Mr. Ullman: Easter. There is nothing more exciting than celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and what it means for us Christians. Plus, I love leading a New Covenant Seder (since I’m ethnically Jewish) around the holiday as well. 

Erika: What is your go-to guilty pleasure?

Mr Ullman: The Great British Baking Show or Call of Duty.

Erika: What are some things on your bucket list?

Mr. Ullman: Stay at one of those glass igloos in northern Finland under the Northern Lights. Go to Rottnest Island and see quokkas. Get a crossword puzzle published in the NYT. Watch the Browns win a Super Bowl. Write a mystery novel.

Erika: What is your favorite song?

Mr. Ullman: “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional.

Erika: What are three random fun facts about you?

Mr. Ullman: I bred gerbils growing up. I collect vinyl records. I lettered in three sports in high school.

Erika: What is the best or worst gift you have ever received?

Mr. Ullman: Best: My wife

Worst: A really itchy sweater when I was a little kid. Who wants clothes when you are six, anyways?

Erika: What are some of your other favorite things? 

Mr. Ullman: My wife. My daughter. Cornhole. Pretzels. Rita’s Italian Ice. My beard. Soccer. Chemistry. Kettle corn.

Erika: What is some advice you will give to anyone?

Mr. Ullman: Matthew 6:25-33: Seek God and His kingdom first; the rest will fall into place. The anxieties of school work, getting into college, jobs, relationships, and money etc. all fall away when you focus on the perfect peace that is Jesus. God’s “will for your life” boils down to pursuing Him and His word—and the rest…will be “added to you.”

Erika: Thank you for this amazing reminder and your willingness to be featured for clay, Mr. Ullman! All the best in your future endeavors.

As we end off this year at clay, may we all continue to seek the Lord throughout this summer and trust Him no matter what happens next in our chaotic world.

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