Julie L. Valentine
Dr. Julie L. Valentine is a professor and the associate dean of undergraduate studies and research in BYU’s College of Nursing. She has been an associate professor at BYU since 2011 and was appointed associate dean in 2020.
Dr. Valentine received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Arizona and a master’s degree in nursing education from the University of Utah. She obtained her PhD from Duquesne University while she and her husband, Mark, raised their large family. Dr. Valentine has worked as a nurse case manager, an assistant professor at Westminster College, and a forensic nurse specialist at Primary Children’s Hospital and at Wasatch Forensic Nurses, where she still works.
Dr. Valentine’s work as a forensic nurse helps law enforcement officers use touch DNA analysis to identify perpetrators of sexual assault. Dr. Valentine became interested in using touch DNA to identify perpetrators of sexual assault after a breakthrough case in Utah in 2011. At that time, forensic scientists had already been working on the touch DNA identification process, but not many law enforcement officials knew the process existed. Despite this lack of awareness, one nurse collected touch DNA from a woman who had been violently groped. The collection of touch DNA allowed law enforcement officials to identify the perpetrator, who was brought to justice.
Inspired by the outcome of this case, Dr. Valentine and other forensic nurses and forensic scientists created a standard form for collecting touch DNA from survivors’ skin and clothing. This form is now used nationwide. Since then, Dr. Valentine has dedicated herself to raising awareness about this touch DNA form among those who work with sexual assault victims. To Dr. Valentine, the effort is worth it to help survivors find justice and healing.
Dr. Valentine’s contributions to the field of forensic nursing can be found in a number of peer-reviewed journals, including the influential Journal of Forensic Nursing. Her research and work have exposed her to hundreds of horrifying cases of violence, but these only serve to further inspire her to help. Speaking to this point in her 2021 BYU devotional, Dr. Valentine shared: “I am often asked how I can do this difficult work of caring for individuals impacted by violence. My response is, ‘How can I not?’ I can do this work because I believe that I have a noble responsibility to use my strength and influence for good.”1
Dr. Valentine exemplifies the Savior in her commitment to the service He has called her to. Her influence is felt in her family, in the BYU community, and in the lives of the sexual assault survivors she strives to help. As Dr. Valentine said in her 2021 BYU devotional, “We influence others every day in small and simple ways. Don’t ever believe that you do not have a profound impact or influence in this world. You do.”2
Dr. Valentine and her husband, Mark, have eight children and two grandchildren. They currently reside in Sandy, Utah.
- Julie L. Valentine, “A Noble Responsibility for Good,” BYU devotional address, 2 November 2021.
- Valentine, “Responsibility for Good.”