The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City were the turning
point in a young career for Jason Kolowski '98, a forensic scientist
in the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. From his home
just six miles away, he watched on television as the World Trade
Center towers collapsed. The following day he became part of the
"largest disaster recovery in the history of the world."
"I was helping
undress the bodies of firemen and businessmen, rescue workers and
office workers, documenting their personal effects, looking for
identifiable markings, and taking DNA samples," he related
in March at a campus lecture sponsored by the biology department.
Kolowski majored in biochemistry-molecular biology and philosophy
with a chemistry minor.
Food, clothes, water, and supplies from around the country were
donated to the rescue and recovery workers, but a letter posted
at a Salvation Army food cart, from a little girl whose father and
uncle were missing, had the biggest impact on Kolowski.
"For the first time, it hit me that there were families waiting
for the results of our work," he said. Less than two months
later he would assist in identifying 265 victims of a plane crash
in New York-which, thanks to procedures forced by Sept. 11, his
office completed within a month.
Kolowski is pursuing a master's degree in forensic science. His
wife, Stacy Markus '98, has graduated from Cardozo School of Law
and passed the bar exam.