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Matt.JPGDylan Matt, senior forensic science major 

Academic extern, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in London, Ohio 

Dylan Matt spent the summer of 2014 answering questions such as “can a person transfer DNA to another person by grabbing his or her wrist?” and “can DNA be transferred during the laundry process?” The senior forensic science major invested many hours in the trace lab of the Ohio Bureau of Criminial Investigation. 

He practiced identifying hairs and fibers using a comparison microscope and was trained to process cases of fracture matches in the way of professional forensic scientists. He helped to search and code a shoe tread database and learned how to collect oral and skin swabbings. Matt also performed a number of extractions and analyses of DNA, including the transfer by laundry and skin. He and a fellow extern co-authored papers outlining the results of the study. 

While at Waynesburg University, Matt has the opportunity to utilize professional instrumentation through experimentations and mock scenarios in his laboratory classes. These state-of-the-art instrumentation and tools include high and low power comparison microscopes, polarized light microscope and scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive spectroscopy, among others. Matt credits his experiences in his Waynesburg classes for preparing him for his internship. 

“I definitely learned a lot at Waynesburg University before going into this internship, and I also learned so much from this internship that will better prepare me for my future career,” Matt said. “I gained valuable knowledge and experience working in the field of forensic science. I also developed friendships and professional colleagues and experience working in a professional environment.”

 

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Posted by on in Alumni

Kelly-Brady.jpgKelly Brady, 2011 Forensic Science 

Forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, Pa.

Working a full-time job while earning a master’s degree may be difficult for some, but for Kelly Brady, juggling both came easily.

A 2011 graduate of Waynesburg University, the former forensic science major currently works as a forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, where she performs autopsies, extracts fluids and organs from decedents for toxicology, takes photographs of decedents and releases them to funeral homes. Just recently, she earned her master’s degree in forensic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Reflecting on her time at Waynesburg University, the former vice president of Waynesburg’s Gamma Sigma Epsilon, a chemistry honorary society, chapter credits her alma mater for preparing her for life after college.

“Waynesburg University gave me countless opportunities to network with people in my field and to gain as much knowledge as possible,” said Brady. “I feel that all of the coursework and extracurricular activities at Waynesburg were beneficial and prepared me for the workforce because I was able to see what my field was really like.” 

 

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Posted by on in Alumni

Picture1.jpgNicole Briggeman, 2010 Forensic Science 

Assistant district attorney at Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office in Asheville, N.C.

An average day at work for Nicole Briggeman begins with her looking through the district court calendar of Buncombe County, N.C., and examining what type of cases she will be handling that day. She then takes notes and prepares herself for any curveballs that might be thrown her way. 

As an assistant district attorney at Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office in Asheville, N.C., Briggeman handles misdemeanor and traffic cases where she negotiates pleas, dismisses cases and conducts trials. Briggeman said she encounters a variety of charges on a daily basis, such as individuals who drive while intoxicated, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and simple assaults. 

Briggeman graduated from Waynesburg University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in forensic science. Looking back on her decision to choose Waynesburg University, she realized her alma mater has aided in her transition from college to her current job as assistant district attorney. 

“Waynesburg University prepared me for the workforce by showing me the value of having a small community that can support you,” said Briggeman. “Waynesburg has also helped me learn the important lesson that you can do anything and everything you put your mind to.”

Briggeman also holds a Juris Doctorate from Campbell University.

 

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Posted by on in Internships

Ferko-2.jpgRobin Ferko, senior forensic science major

Intern, Allegheny County Fire Marshal in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

After a fire has struck a home, it is up to the county’s fire marshal to visit the scene, investigate the damage and determine the cause of the fire. Most people may find this job intimidating, but Robin Ferko finds it thrilling. 

Ferko spent her summer months as an intern for the Allegheny County Fire Marshal in Pittsburgh, Pa. A senior forensic science major, Ferko found herself applying what she had learned from Waynesburg University into her everyday duties and responsibilities. As an intern, Ferko was on constant call in case of a fire emergency. 

In one case, Ferko and the team found evidence of arson. 

“Someone got arrested based on the evidence we collected,” she said. “It was amazing to be able to contribute in that way and see my work make a difference.”

When arriving at a scene, she examined the buildings affected by fires to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state and local fire codes were met. As an investigator, she helped to determine the origin and cause of fires by digging through debris, taking photographs and sketching out the scene. 

“It is one thing to have mock crime scenes and practice at school, but it is another to actually put the tape on and collect evidence that will go to the lab,” said Ferko. “My studies at Waynesburg University definitely prepared me for the fire scenes I encountered.” 

 

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Posted by on in News

The Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science at Waynesburg University will hold its annual Science Day Thursday, Dec. 4. Organized in conjunction with the Office of Admissions and the American Chemical Society, local high school students and University applicants have the opportunity to spend the day as a science student.

Intended to excite high school students about science, participants will enjoy hands-on activities and lectures by students and faculty as well as demonstrations. A question-and-answer session will be offered to provide prospective students with the opportunity to ask undergraduates about the college experience.

Special presentations in chemistry, biology and forensic science will occur in addition to a tour of the marine biology lab, all hosted by professors and students.

Dr. Evonne Baldauff, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and associate professor of chemistry, believes high school students will benefit from attending Science Day.

“Science Day is important because it gives high school students the opportunity to see firsthand what it is like to study science at a college level,” said Baldauff. “While on campus, students will interact with faculty and current undergraduates and experience the exciting programs we have in the sciences at Waynesburg University.”

For more information, contact Baldauff at ebaldauf@waynesburg.edu or 724-852-3617.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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