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

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled1.pngThe Waynesburg University Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science hosted Girl Scout Day Saturday, March 21. Organized in conjunction with the West Virginia Black Diamond Girl Scout Council, the Forensic Science Club and the Criminal Justice Club, the program was designed for Girl Scout troop members to earn a badge while learning about the sciences. 

The one-day event offered the Special Agent Cadette BREATHE Badge, which requires Girl Scout Cadettes to be exposed to an introduction to forensic science and other crime-solving techniques. 

Traveling from West Virginia, six Cadette Troops with Scouts ranging from the ages of 11 to 14 participated in the event. 

To satisfy the requirements of the Special Agent Badge, Waynesburg University planned five workshops in which the girls participated. The workshops included fingerprinting, interviewing and interrogations, participating in a mock crime scene, presumptive blood testing and touring the forensics laboratory. 

“The forensic science and criminal justice clubs are frequently seeking to increase opportunities for young girls to be involved in the sciences,” said Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science at Waynesburg University. “Subjects like physics and chemistry can be very intimidating for young girls; therefore, we like to give them a fun and approachable way to experience the sciences for themselves.”

According to Musko, the Forensic Science Club and Criminal Justice Club both have a dedication to service. Reflecting Waynesburg University’s mission, both clubs are constantly seeking out ways to utilize their knowledge and enthusiasm for the field. 

The workshops were run by Waynesburg University faculty as well as current juniors and seniors in the forensic science and criminal justice clubs. This event afforded the opportunity for current students to develop presentation and leadership skills as well as participate in a service-oriented project.  

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America aims to empower girls and to help teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence and citizenship through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid and earning badges by acquiring practical skills.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

Hits: 795

Waynesburg University will host its tenth annual Crime Scene Investigation summer camp Sunday, June 21, through Friday, June 26, on the campus of Waynesburg University. Participants will gain valuable insight into the field of forensic science through experiential learning and strategically planned activities. 

All workshops are interconnected through a series of evidence and crime scenes, designed with a hands-on approach to learning. Students will learn how to properly collect, preserve and analyze evidence. 

During this six-day, five-night experience, students are given the opportunity to study with experts in forensic science as well as professionals from various fields including state and federal agencies. This year, camp topics will include scene processing, burial remains excavation, surveillance and search warrant execution, forensic analysis of biological evidence and questioned documents analysis. 

Participants of the camp will train with special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Biometric Center of Excellence, Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services, Bureau of Alcohol and the tobacco and Firearms (ATF), as well as representatives from Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department. The camp will enable students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of forensic topics, as well as allow them to make valuable connections with professionals and fellow peers in the field. 

“The camp affords participating students a chance to experience the realities of the professions in which they have found some interest,” said Michael Cipoletti, camp director, director of the Forensic Science Program and assistant professor of forensic science at Waynesburg University. “Students’ perspectives are typically formed from popular television shows or books; this camp gives them the ability to work with real professionals, ask them what their jobs are like and how they got to where they are.” 

Individuals entering 11th grade, 12th grade or who are spring 2015 high school graduates are eligible to attend the camp.

Participating Waynesburg University faculty include: 

•Mike Cipoletti, camp director, director of the Forensic Science Program and assistant professor of forensic science at Waynesburg University, previously worked for the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab. He served as a forensic scientist and lab system quality specialist in chemistry and drug identification.

•John Mcllwain, camp advisor and adjunct instructor of criminal justice at Waynesburg University, has taught for 16 years. He began his professional career as a U.S. Army Military Police Officer in Germany. Mcllwain left the military in 1977 and became a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He conducted investigations of the Federal Firearms Laws for 11 years.

•Faith Musko, camp advisor and instructor of forensic science at Waynesburg University, is a former toxicologist and forensic chemist with AIT Laboratories in Indianapolis, Ind. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, the American Chemical Society and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists.

•Adam Jack, camp co-creator, chair of the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and assistant professor of forensic science at Waynesburg University, is a former forensic detective with the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office and police officer in Rostraver Township, Pa. He is a Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst through the International Association for Identification and has testified as an expert in Crime Scene Investigation and fingerprints.

•Marietta Wright, camp workshop presenter and assistant professor of biology at Waynesburg University, previously conducted molecular biology research in type I diabetes at the University of Pittsburgh. Her main areas of interest are cell and molecular biology, genetics, DNA profiling and scientific teaching.

•James Tanda, camp advisor and instructor of criminal justice at Waynesburg University, brings a wealth of experience to the program. Prior to joining the University, James worked as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for 27 years and has also served as a Contracted Explosives Specialist with the U.S. Government.

To register, visit or call 724-225-7393.

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

Hits: 945

b2ap3_thumbnail_imagerrrr.jpgWaynesburg University’s Criminal Justice Club participated in the Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge at Heinz Field Saturday, Dec. 6, to raise money for Special Olympics. 

Approximately 20 students joined Waynesburg University instructor of criminal justice James Tanda in the plunge. The Criminal Justice Club raised more than $1,500 leading up to the event. This was the second year that the club participated. In two years, the club has raised more than $2,500. 

The Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge Weekend is Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s largest fundraiser, grossing more than 1 million dollars during the first four years. Individuals and teams, alongside Special Olympics athletes, take the plunge into the Ohio River on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. 

Student representatives from freshmen to seniors gave up their Saturday to join more than 1,800 other plungers in the freezing rain for the cause. This year, the air temperature was 39 degrees and the water temperature was 38 degrees at the time of the plunge.

“Our goal was to follow the University's mission of service to this very needy cause while also connecting our criminal justice and forensic science students to a network of law enforcement, attorneys, federal agencies and others in the profession,” said Tanda.   “This year's donation will be used to help further the mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania and help support the more than 20,000 athletes served in the commonwealth.”

According to Tanda, half of the money raised by Waynesburg’s Criminal Justice Club will go directly to Greene County's Special Olympics program, which Waynesburg's Criminal Justice Club resurrected last year.

Tanda has plunged every year since the event’s inception - both as an agent with his former federal agency - and now leading Waynesburg's involvement in the service project.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

Hits: 1280

Posted by on in Internships

Jessica Lukowich, senior forensic science major

Medical technician intern at UPMC Hamot Medical Laboratory in Erie, Pa. 

Students in laboratory classes at Waynesburg University conduct research and experiments with some of the most advanced science technology and tools available. For Jessica Lukowich, gaining experience in these labs helped her find her passion as well as an internship last summer. 

The senior forensic science major worked at UPMC Hamot Medical Laboratory in Erie, Pa., as a medical technician intern where she observed and assisted in a variety of labs including blood bank, chemistry, coagulation, hematology, histology, phlebotomy and urinalysis. 

In addition, she assisted in an autopsy, prepared slides with patients’ blood samples, prepared tissue samples for analysis, learned to type and screen blood types, loaded samples onto analysis instruments, learned to interpret results and assisted with quality assurance checks. 

While in the lab, Lukowich said she felt like she helped make a difference because doctors relied on the results from her tests to determine the best treatment for their patients. She added that through Waynesburg classes and her internship, she has seen growth in her knowledge as well as her determination to succeed. 

“I want to work in some type of biology or chemistry lab when I graduate from Waynesburg,” said Lukowich. “Having experience with lab procedures in class and seeing how they operate really drew me to this internship.”


Hits: 704

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: 729