Timothy Dwyer, funeral instructor and medicolegal death investigator
What is your background?
I was born in Michigan, but really grew up in Wisconsin. I moved to Oklahoma in the mid 90’s and have been here ever since. I worked for eighteen years as a medicolegal death investigator prior to my employment here at UCO. I still try and work a shift or two a month when there is an opening in the schedule and I can help out. I really enjoy the comradery of working with the different law enforcement agencies, funeral homes and colleagues at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Tell me how you first got involved at UCO.
I got my bachelor’s degree in Funeral Services at UCO and then my masters here as well in Forensic Science. While in grad school here, I really started to enjoy the culture and became more familiar with what it was like to be on the teaching side of the classroom. With the help of the staff at the FSI and in Funeral Service, I was given opportunities to take my career in a different direction. It is an honor and a privilege to be teaching full-time now at my alma mater in areas where I spent my career in the field as both a death investigator and a professional embalmer.
What would you say your strongest beliefs are about your contributions to the university?
Now that my third year here at UCO is underway, I am starting to see some of my students graduate and move into the death care industry for employment. It brings me a tremendous amount of joy to see students I had the privilege of teaching, take jobs at Medical Examiner/Coroner offices, funeral homes and mortuary services around the country. It has to be the most rewarding part of the job when I run into them in the real world performing the actual work and serving their communities and the families they work for.
What do you do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I try and spend as much time fishing with my kids as I can, along with all their other sporting activities and obligations.