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Waynesburg University CSI students resized 600

Have you ever watched CSI and thought: “I could do that”?

 

Have you ever sat in your recliner with a bag of chips, watching the characters uncovering the crime scene, and tried to solve the investigation before the show reveals the ending?
If you answered yes to these questions, then Waynesburg University may be the place to test your abilities.

 

Earlier this week, four Waynesburg forensic science students accepted the challenge to live out their own CSI moments when they were called by the Maltase Fire Investigation http://www.maltasefire.com/ to help investigate the source of a local house fire.

 

Seniors Stephanie Yocca, Jennifer Miller, Cory Briendel and junior Drew Heinle dug through layers of ashy debris in search of any electrical appliances that could have potentially ignited the flames.

 

Like the actors in CSI, minus the Hollywood theatricals and glamour, the students sifted through the scene, locating and documenting every appliance they found. Every suspected culprit was then handed off to an electrical engineer for x-rays who will determine whether there were any faulty parts present.

 

Waynesburg University CSI Students

 

While the students await the news of whether it was a lamp, toaster, computer or an unidentified device that set the house ablaze, Professor Michael Cipoletti, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Forensic Sciences, claims the real-life experience was invaluable.

 

“Although the University is good at providing realistic mock scenes on campus with our Crime Scene Investigation Center, we aren't going to set it on fire,” said Cipoletti. “Here the students got to experience an actual scene under difficult, real conditions, and learn from a professional investigator first-hand.”

 

So next time you find yourself trying to solve the latest crime scene mystery from your couch, think about your future and what you could be doing with your own investigation skills.

 

Are you up for the challenge?

 



Tagged in: Forensic Science
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forensic science conference attendee

Waynesburg University's Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science hosted the American Academy of Forensic Science Educators Conference from Tuesday, August 7, through Thursday, August 9, on the campus of Waynesburg University. 

“The teachers had the opportunity to receive professional, hands-on forensic training from some of the area's top experts in serology, DNA identification, trace evidence, latent print and impression evidence, crime scene processing and drug identification,” said Mike Cipoletti, assistant professor of forensic science and director of the forensic science program. 

According to the American Academy of Forensic Science, the goal of the conference was to increase science teachers' knowledge of the forensic sciences and to assist them as they enrich and/or develop challenging, innovative curricula. 

“I have gained the tools, skills and confidence necessary to teach forensics for the first time,” said Maggie Chambers, a biology and forensics high school teacher from Redmond, Wash. “This opportunity to network and share ideas with experts and other teachers has been invaluable.”

Waynesburg University faculty members, including Cipoletti; Adam Jack, assistant professor of forensic science and chair of criminal justice and social science; and Marietta Wright, assistant professor of biology, led a majority of the sessions including General Crime Scene Processing, DNA Analysis and Interpretation, Latent Print Development and Drug Identification.

Waynesburg University coordinated additional speakers including Detective Tim Sethman (Westmoreland County), Peter Alex (FBI Criminal Justice Information Services), Sara Bittner (Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office), Trooper Rich Hunter (Pennsylvania State Police) and Allison Murtha (RJ Lee Group).

“All of the presenters are experienced trainers and/or educators, so they were able to share ideas and tips that the teachers may be able to use in their own classrooms and labs,” Cipoletti said. 

Among the conference attendees were educators from all over the country, including Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia and Washington. 

“I came to this conference looking to enhance my background knowledge in forensics, and I have certainly learned a lot,” said Karen Wickersham, a high school teacher from Troy, Mich. “ I'll leave here with a lot of new ideas.”

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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