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The Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science at Waynesburg University will hold its annual Science Day Thursday, Dec. 10. 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.”

The University will also host an additional Science Day event for prospective students during the spring semester, Thursday, April 14.

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

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences are teaming up for a community outreach event at Jefferson-Morgan Elementary School Thursday, Oct. 22.

All fourth graders at the school will have the opportunity to participate in four workshops covering information about the importance of shoeprints in criminal investigation. A group of University juniors and seniors from the Forensic Science and Criminal Justice clubs will lead each workshop.

The elementary students will rotate through the 15-minute workshops, which are entitled, “Class Characteristics of Footwear,” “Individual Characteristics of Footwear,” “Footwear Recovery and Lifting” and “Analysis of Crime Scene Footwear Impressions.” Under the guise of investigating a case about a lunch thief, participants will learn about why footwear impression evidence is important, how to collect imprints and how to analyze them to identify suspects or culprits.

Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science at the University, emphasizes that if students want to pursue a future in criminal justice, they will be required to master a wide variety of skills.

“To obtain a career in investigation requires an individual to wear many hats which all require an inquisitive nature,” said Musko. “This inquisitive nature involves both analytical and critical thinking skills, which is a necessary part of student development. By giving the students at Jefferson-Morgan a crime scene to solve, we are giving them a fun and thrilling way to enhance these skills.”

For more information, contact Faith Musko at 724-853-7716 or fmusko@waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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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 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_monogram.jpgPartnering with forensic science training and consulting firm Forensic Pieces, Waynesburg University will host a forensic science training course for professionals from Monday, June 8, through Friday, June 12.

The purpose of the five-day course is to enhance the knowledge of crime scene investigators and law enforcement professionals looking to acquire skills in crime scene processing. The sessions are also open to college students interested in criminal justice or forensic science.

The hands-on course will demonstrate and elaborate on techniques that have been acquired in the field and will assist in developing new techniques in crime scene examinations.

“Participants will benefit by receiving top-notch training from an instructor with more than 40 years of experience,” said Adam Jack, chairperson for the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and assistant professor of criminal justice. “There is a wide variety of participants, ranging from lawyers to forensic science students to senior crime scene analysts to police officers.”

The course will be taught by Jan Johnson, who retired with more than four decades of experience in law enforcement and has taught numerous courses in the areas of both crime scene and bloodstain pattern interpretation in the United States and abroad, including South Africa, Brazil and Bermuda.

As an IAI certified senior crime scene analyst, Johnson specializes in numerous fields of forensic analysis including latent print processing, bloodstain pattern analysis, trajectory analysis and crime scene reconstruction.

After ten years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Johnson made the transition to crime scene analysis. She worked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Pensacola for more than twenty-two years. As a laboratory analyst and crime scene examiner, her field of experience includes detection, collection and preservation of physical evidence, bloodstain pattern interpretation, trajectory analysis, buried body and skeletal remains recovery, clandestine laboratories and other numerous procedures involving crime scene investigation.

Course topics for the event include:

  • Bloodstain Pattern: Terms and Documentation
  • Bluestar Forensics Blood Detection
  • Crime Scene Management
  • Documentation: Photography, Note Taking, Searching, Sketching, Measurements
  • Equipment and Safety
  • Evidence Detection, Documentation, Collection and Preservation
  • Physical Evidence Packaging
  • Report Writing and Courtroom Presentations

For more information or to register, visit http://www.forensicpieces.com/training-courses.

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

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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.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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