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Katherine Scafide, PhD, RN

School of Nursing

Kathleen Scafide

Katherine Scafide is an assistant professor (tenure-track) in the School of Nursing. As a forensic nurse, Dr. Scafide worked as a pediatric and adult sexual nurse examiner for eight years and was a death investigator for the State of Maryland’s medical examiner’s office. She continues to work as a forensic consultant for criminal and civil cases. Dr. Scafide obtained her PhD at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation explored the use of colorimetry in the prediction of bruise age and the impact of skin color, fat, and gender on changes in bruise color. She is still known as the “paintball lady” for her unique method of creating bruises. Her research has been published in leading forensic journals and presented at national and international conferences. After teaching undergraduate nursing and forensic courses at Georgetown, Dr. Scafide has come to Mason to teach and mentor doctoral students. Her current research interests involve addressing the disparity in the identification and documentation of injuries among victims of violence, particular those of color, using new, innovative technologies.

Dr. Scafide has received a two-year, $449,437 grant from the National Institute of Justice for her study, “Analysis of Alternate Light in the Detection and Visibility of Cutaneous Bruises.” Learn more about the grant and her work.


  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2012
  • MSN, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • BSN, Georgetown University, 2000