Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in forensic science alumni

Posted by on in Alumni

Guided and influenced by more than seven years of experiences on the campus of Waynesburg University, Alison Chasko has achieved her goal of being a part of something bigger and more meaningful than a successful business.

Chasko currently serves as a Mission Support Analyst for the FBI, reporting directly to the Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division (the territory covering all of Colorado and Wyoming). Responsible for improving the overall function of the organization, Chasko works to identify, analyze and resolve issues related to the operations of the FBI field offices. Her research and study of inefficiencies ultimately lead to recommendations that result in solutions and measurable improvements within the organization as a whole.

“It’s not about making money for a company, but having a greater purpose,” she said. “The people and the mission of the FBI motivate me to be a better employee. By seeing them risk their lives and devote so much time to doing what they do, I want to be better so I can alleviate administrative burdens to agents and so that I can demonstrate their needs through quantitative evidence and reports back to headquarters.”

For Chasko, teaching science was a possibility, working for a federal agency was a goal, but the opportunity to work specifically for the FBI became her dream.

Living her dream, Chasko, a 2007 forensic science alumna and a 2009 graduate of the University’s Master of Education Program, is grateful to be a part of the reputation and mission of the FBI.

Chasko’s position is one of only six in the Bureau, and is part of a pilot program initiated this spring. Eventually, one mission support analyst will be found in each of the 56 field offices across the nation.
Ironically, her daily responsibilities perfectly mirror some of the most meaningful lessons learned throughout her undergraduate and graduate education at Waynesburg University.

“Both educational experiences provided me with professors and mentors who had high expectations of me. They provided enough guidance, but pushed for me to think critically and analyze a topic, which in the long run, built up my confidence [in my abilities],” she said.

In addition to the confidence and knowledge gained at Waynesburg University, Chasko credits her mentors and criminal justice faculty members for preparing her for the transition to the professional world.

“The Criminal Justice Department’s faculty consisted of some of the best mentors a young adult could ask for,” she said. “Dr. Baer, Detective Jack and Mr. McIlwain truly knew how to inspire and help develop strong work ethic with attention to detail. Each of them had their own teaching style with high standards, but as a student you knew that they cared about your learning. They took the time to make sure you understood the material, helped guide you through your career goals, and really prepared you to transition from college to the workforce.”

Even more important than life lessons including time management, articulating ideas to various audiences and recognizing that everyone doesn’t learn or understand information in the same manner; Chasko said her college experiences such as participating in mission trips and being empowered to be the change in the world by teachers and mentors, truly shaped her as a person.

“As much as college is meant for earning the degree, I think the person I have become is very much related to the experiences I received at Waynesburg University. I could have attended numerous universities and received the same degree, but I would not have received the experiences or mentors that Waynesburg offered.”

Writers Note - Faculty members mentioned above are as follows:

Dr. Dana Baer, professor of criminal justice
Adam Jack, assistant professor of criminal justice and chair, criminal justice and social science
John  McIlwain, retired professor of criminal justice 

Hits: 279

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.” 


Hits: 727

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.


Hits: 541

Posted by on in Alumni

Forensic Science

Forensic Scientist with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation

London, Ohio

Additional Info:

  • Bachelor of Science, Waynesburg University, 2012

“Waynesburg University prepared me for my position as a forensic scientist most obviously by effectively tailoring the classes within the forensic science major to fit real-life forensic applications. But my professors at Waynesburg also fostered an environment that necessitated resourcefulness, ingenuity and personal struggle in my approach to problem solving. That environment equipped me with invaluable tools that I use every day.”

Hits: 668

Posted by on in Alumni

Forensic Science

Physician Assistant (PA-C) at Monongalia General Hospital

Morgantown, W.V.

Additional Info:

  • Bachelor of Science, Waynesburg University, 2011
  • Physician Assistant Program, Marietta College, 2013

“You can never be 100 percent prepared for grad school because it is a whole different ball game, but I felt prepared to take on the challenge because the professors at Waynesburg challenged me to learn all that I could and never stop asking questions. This was invaluable, especially on rotations where the learning curve increased significantly.”

Hits: 805