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

Friday, January 30
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Student Parishoner2
Church Revived from the Brink

Church Revived from the Brink

They thought they might have to close its doors due to low attendance and a slim budget, but Drexel, Missouri’s Church of the Nazarene was not ready to give up. Now they are experiencing a…

Read More
ChocoRush2015
MNU is Site for 3rd Annual Chocolate Rush

MNU is Site for 3rd Annual Chocolate Rush

Here’s a chance to get some exercise, compete with other runners and enjoy everyone’s favorite treat, chocolate. The Chocolate Rush 5K and Half…

Read More
Beths Packaging
Designer Makes Gift Giving Better

Designer Makes Gift Giving Better

If you bought a gift card and gift card packaging at certain retailers over the holiday season, you may have seen alum Beth (Drege ’10) Laird’s work on display. The graphic designer works for…

Read More
MLK 2015-27
MLK Leader Scholars Honored

MLK Leader Scholars Honored

MNU honored its Martin Luther King Leader Scholars this week. Presented at the 9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Community Celebration, the students received certificates in addition to scholarships…

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
Jane Martin
It's Never Too Late

It's Never Too Late

Acquiring an education is a feasible goal regardless of a person’s age. This is something MidAmerica Nazarene University nursing student Jane Martin believes with all her heart. Ret. LTC Ken…

Read More
ACBSPnewsroom
School of Business Announces ACBSP Accreditation

School of Business Announces ACBSP Accreditation

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Business announced today that its programs of study have achieved accreditation by the Accreditation…

Read More
RWJF V2 2014-11Anari
Bringing Healthcare to Most Vulnerable

Bringing Healthcare to Most Vulnerable

Fredrick Anari wants to know his life has had meaning and the nursing profession is how he has chosen to pursue that passion. A student in MNU’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)…

Read More
Quincy Foster
MNU Campus Community Condolences

MNU Campus Community Condolences

Mourning the Loss of Student Quincy Foster Jan. 2, 2015             The MidAmerica Nazarene University community is deeply saddened by the loss of…

Read More
Sports
Welty Records Season High in Victory at Baker

Welty Records Season High in Victory at Baker

MBB at Baker | 75-60

 
MNU Holds Off Baker

MNU Holds Off Baker

#15 WBB at Baker | W 60-53

 
Balcom Records Career High at Graceland

Balcom Records Career High at Graceland

MNU finished the first half of the HAAC schedule tied for the lead after an 80-65 victory at Graceland on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
MLK_2015-33 Bob Shands (left) accepts Martin Luther King Living Legacy award on behalf of his late father, Rev. O. Norman Shands, Jr. Dr. David Spittal, MNU president (right).
MLK_2015-27
MLK_2015-23
MLK_2015-18
MLK_2015-8
MLK_2015-6