Bright Futures: Forensic Chem Major Gains CSI Experience

Aug. 6, 2013 - by Carol Best

Grad Says MNU Experience Was Great Preparation

July 11, 2013
20131105 RWilkins

Working in a crime lab sounded fun to Rebekah Wilkins (’13), a forensic chemistry major. The honors program grad contacted two Kansas City area crime labs and learned that Johnson County, Kansas Crime Lab had an internship for which she could apply.

“I told them I would do any work they wanted,” Rebekah says. “I just wanted the experience!”

After an interview with the drug chemists and the crime lab director, Wilkins was offered the job and got a tour of the facility. Upon completion of a background check she found herself working for chemists in the drug chemistry and trace evidence departments. The work was on “side projects” on proficiency tests, designer drug analysis and fiber microscopy.

“I did a lot of work with testing how cotton fibers change after being soaked in Cargille oil,” says Rebekah. “It is actually an important research question. My supervisor had a theory I tested for him, first testing the fibers and then ways to reverse the change. We actually got good results that may change how cotton fibers are analyzed in a crime lab. I had a fantastic feeling of accomplishment.”

Rebekah never felt insecure about using the crime lab equipment and found she was well qualified for the work.

“I knew how to run the instruments in the lab because of my Chemistry classes at MNU,” she says. “The basic things I learned at MNU about laboratory technique helped me to be efficient and thorough.”

Rebekah’s crime lab experience confirmed her career plans.

“It was great to be working in the field I have always dreamed about,” she says. “I got the chance to follow scientists in every forensic discipline. My supervisors at the lab helped me so much! They were patient in teaching me about how they did things. They challenged me and gave me work that was important. Sometime in the future, I want to work in a crime lab in the drug chemistry section. So my internship let me learn directly from the person I want to be.”

Back in the classroom Rebekah continued to research through chemistry.

“Two of my passions are chemistry and people,” she says. “I loved being an upper division chemistry major because almost all my classes related to my favorite topic! Chemistry research was one of my favorite classes because it is a directed study. My professor let me have control over my own project and I had a blast.  I was also a tutor and a lab assistant, so I helped other students learn about chemistry too. I literally did chemistry all day and I loved it!”

Aside from chemistry and coursework, Rebekah was a resident assistant and has been involved in her class council. As an honors program student she also took part in enrichment activities required to complete an honors certificate. To graduate with an honors program certificate, students must earn 30 points through qualified coursework, co-curricular activities, portfolios and an independent research project.

“The program seeks to develop well-rounded students who practice scholarship in courses but also apply scholarship in service and leadership outside the classroom,” says Honors Program Director Dr. Mark Hayse.

Wilkins is excited about her future plans. She was offered a graduate teaching assistantship at the University of Missouri Kansas City in chemistry where she will attend graduate school this fall.

 

MNU News

Thursday, December 18
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Bruce Flanders
Library Director Honored

Library Director Honored

Library Director Bruce Flanders has been named the December member of the month for the Association of Christian Librarians. Established in 1957, the Association of Christian Librarians is one of the…

Read More
Website Icon
Admissions Site Nominated for Award

Admissions Site Nominated for Award

MNU’s web site section for undergraduate admissions is a nominee for eduStyle's 2014 Best Prospective Admissions Site. The design, which was created by MNU’s in-house marketing and web team,…

Read More
Terry Zeigler KCK Police Chief
MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU Alum Named Police Chief of KCK

MNU alumnus Terry Zeigler ('98) was named Chief of Police for Kansas City, Kansas last week. Zeigler holds a BA in Management and Human Relations from MNU. Read the whole story by Tony Rizzo in The…

Read More
Coach Willmer Gridiron
Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Coach Willmer Named Region 3 Coach of the Year

Willmer MNU Head Football Coach Brian Willmer was selected as the 2014 American Football Coaches Association’s Region 3 Coach of the Year for…

Read More
New MLK photo
9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration will be held Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., at…

Read More
Caldwell Close-up
Finally Home at MNU

Finally Home at MNU

Despite a troubled home life, John Caldwell never despaired; instead, he followed God’s call on his life and found a new place to call home at MNU. Homeless at 15, adopted by a church at 17,…

Read More
Tracy Cowell and Zach Phillips will work for several months away from home with an Ebola response team. “I have extreme confidence in the protocols they have given us and the equipment we have,” Cowell said. JILL TOYOSHIBA The Kansas City Star
MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

MNU Alums to Serve in Fight Against Ebola

Courtesy of The Kansas City Star. Two MNU alums, Zach Phillips ('11), BSN, and Tracy Colwell ('14), BSN, will  travel to West Africa Dec. 4,…

Read More
IC Client Icon
When Ministry Meets Need

When Ministry Meets Need

Dr. Randy Cloud wants students in his Introduction to Ministry course to think beyond the traditional church setting for their ministry careers. So he brought Greater Iowa City Church of the…

Read More
Blake Nelson and his wife
Into the Hot Zone

Into the Hot Zone

Blake Nelson, a residential educator and advisor for student media at MidAmerica Nazarene University, traveled to Liberia on a humanitarian trip for Heart to Heart International in October. His…

Read More
Sports
Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Brubaker Leads MNU Past Valley

Cale Brubaker's career-high 21 points led MNU to a 16-point victory over Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Dominate Vikings

Pioneers Dominate Vikings

The Pioneers never trailed in a 90-52 thrashing of Missouri Valley on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
"Frenchy" Earns 2nd Consecutive All-America Honor

"Frenchy" Earns 2nd Consecutive All-America Honor

For the 2nd straight year, Aurelien "Frenchy" Norest has been named to the NAIA Men's Soccer All-America 1st Team...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Lounging Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Group Hang Dorm Life Now
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then
Girls Dorm Phone Call Dorm Life Then