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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

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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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