Burkard, Dr. Heather

Interim Dean of Arts & Sciences
Criminal Justice Director
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
School of Arts and Sciences
PhD in Public Safety, Capella University 2013
MFS in Investigations, National University 2006
BA in Criminology, St. Leo University 2000

About

 

Dr. Heather Burkard is a Criminologist and Forensic Specialist. She specializes in crime scene investigations and filicide (murder of a child by the child’s parent). Her research focuses on filicidal crime scenes and the homicidal patterns of parents who have killed their children.

In addition to a career in academia, Dr. Burkard has also actively worked in the field of forensic science as an investigator, instructor, and contractor for over 20 years. Her field experiences include: Forensic Investigator for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office in FL; certified Crime Scene Investigator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in NC; District Attorney Investigator assigned to the Homicide Prosecution Team, as well as the Safe Haven Team (a specialized prosecution team for sexual offenses against children and adults, felony assaults, and domestic violence homicides) for the Cabarrus County District Attorney’s Office in NC; and most recently, a certified Medicolegal Death Investigator for the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office in NC. She is a member of several national professional organizations and is a Past President of the North Carolina Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Dr. Burkard has also been active in several local professional organizations, such as the Advisory Board for the Children's Advocacy Center of Cabarrus County, Cabarrus County Child Fatality Review Team, Cabarrus County Child Protection Team, and Advisory Board for the Public Service Academy at Concord High School.

Dr. Burkard has designed and implemented several new and exciting opportunities for criminal justice students. Most recently, she established an educational partnership with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Cold Case Homicide Review Team. Beginning in October 2022, students who meet specific criteria can enroll in a Cold Case Homicide Review Team class where they will learn about cold case investigations; work alongside Homicide Detectives and other retired federal, state, and local law enforcement officers; and analyze select homicide cold cases.

Publications

Burkard, H.C. (2013). Homicidal patterns of filicidal parents: A correlational study (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global database. (Accession Order No. AAT 356455). ISBN 978-1-303-13583-5.

Burkard, H.C. (2006). Fire and the effects on medium-velocity impact spatter reconstruction (M.F.S. thesis, National University). Available from National University Library, Special Collections HV8073.9 .H646 2006 (OCLC No. 180125912). Presentations

Burkard, H.C. (May 2022). Medical Examiner’s Role in Fire Death Investigations. Advanced Investigative Approaches. The International Association of Arson Investigators, North Carolina Chapter, Annual Spring Conference, Dennis Wicker Civic Center, Sanford, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Feb 2022). The North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office. Trending Topics in Fire Investigations. Fire Services Division, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Woodfin, NC

Burkard, H.C., Santiago, M. (Ret. Sgt.), Brandon, T. (Ret. Det) & Williams, R. (Ret. Det.), (Feb 2020). Crime Scene and Criminal Investigations (Invited talk). Dr. Jesse McKee’s criminal justice classes, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Charlotte, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Sept 2019). Crime Scene Investigations (Invited talk). Stanly County Law Enforcement Cadets meeting at Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2019). Latent Blood and Presumptive Testing (Guest speaker). Dr. Jason Emory’s forensic science class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2019). Chain of Custody (Guest speaker) Dr. Jason Emory’s forensic science class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Nov 2018). Diagrams and Evidence Collection (Invited talk). Stanly County Law Enforcement Cadets meeting at the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Sept 2018). Describing without Assumptions (Guest speaker). Dr. Deborah Burris’s communication class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2017). Latent Blood and Presumptive Testing (Guest speaker). Dr. Dane Fisher’s forensic science class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2017). Crime Scene Investigations (Invited talk). Stanly County Law Enforcement Cadets meeting at the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Albemarle, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Oct 2016; aired Dec 2016). Criminal Justice at Pfeiffer University (Radio Interview). WSPC-1010 A.M.

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2016). Latent Blood and Presumptive Testing (Guest speaker). Dr. Dane Fisher’s forensic science class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Feb 2016). Criminal Justice at Pfeiffer University (Invited talk). Stanly County Chiefs of Police Meeting, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. and Burkard, T.W. (June 2015). Crime Scene Investigations (Invited talk). Gray Stone Day School, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. and Burkard, T.W. (May 2015). Life of a CSI and Homicide Detective (Guest speaker). Dr. Patty Meyer’s class, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2015). Crime Scene Investigations – The Real CSI. (Invited talk). Gray Stone Day School, Misenheimer, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Mar 2014). Measurement and Sketch Analysis for Crime Scenes. (Oral presentation). The American Academy of Applied Forensics, Huntersville, NC

Burkard, H.C. (Feb 2014). Footwear and Tire Track Evidence: Detect, Process, and Preserve. (Oral presentation). The American Academy of Applied Forensics, Huntersville, NC

Burkard, H.C., Burkard, T.W. & Lee, E. (Oct 2013). Murderous Parents (Oral Presentation). NCPSAC–Annual Training. Onslow Co. DSS Training Center, Jacksonville, NC

Burkard, H.C., Burkard, T.W. & Vaneekhoven, R.L. (May 2012). When Parents Kill: Filicide–Not a New Phenomenon (Oral Presentation). NCPSAC–Annual Training. Concord Police Department, Concord, NC

The FBI’s Evidence Response Team, Charlotte Division & Burkard, H.C. (Sept 2010). Basic Crime Scene Investigation (Oral Presentation). Cabarrus County Fire Fighters and Arson Investigators training. Concord Fire Department, Concord, NC

Burkard, Heather