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

Sunday, May 29
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Eick Chicago School
Calling to Counseling

Calling to Counseling

Natalie Eick (’12), sociology/psychology major, found her mission field within the walls of her graduate program in the clinical psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology,…

Read More
2016 MNU commencement 0892
Spring 2016 Honor Roll

Spring 2016 Honor Roll

MidAmerica Nazarene University recently announced its Honor Roll for the spring 2016 semester.  All students in traditional programs carrying 12 semester hours or more with a term GPA from 3.2…

Read More
auch-tanner4
Math Professor Says It's About Relationship

Math Professor Says It's About Relationship

When thinking of a professor with a PhD in mathematics, people tend to conjure images of giant blackboards and the professor filling them at…

Read More
Soly de la cruz
Love for Volleyball Takes Alum to New Places

Love for Volleyball Takes Alum to New Places

From the Dominican Republic to Olathe, Kansas to Commerce, Texas, Zoraida Heredia de la Cruz, or Soly, as her friends call her, has definitely led a…

Read More
Open House Pic
Open House: Accelerated and Graduate Programs

Open House: Accelerated and Graduate Programs

The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is hosting open houses at its Liberty and Olathe locations. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8     …

Read More
Victoria Atencio 2016-2
Art, Design and Social Media Come Together for Grad

Art, Design and Social Media Come Together for Grad

Victoria Atencio ('14) has always loved art. She hoped to find purpose for her life and passion for her art, when a friend brought her to MNU for a…

Read More
HPCeremony2016
2016 Commencement

2016 Commencement

The MNU class of 2016 graduated May 6, 2016 with 607 in the graduating class. Held in two ceremonies, one for traditional undergrad and one for professional and graduate students, the 45th annual…

Read More
2015 Commence 10
Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations Graduates

The rhythm of life is about to change on campuses everywhere and MNU is no different. Many classrooms will be quiet and halls will empty because this Saturday is Commencement. More than 600 students…

Read More
Tyler1
Alum Finds His Role in Pharmaceutical Research

Alum Finds His Role in Pharmaceutical Research

Tyler Hageman isn’t your grandfather’s pharmacist. In fact, the 2013 MNU chemistry grad isn’t a pharmacist at all, though that was where he…

Read More
Sports
Track & Field Nationals

Track & Field Nationals

T&F Nationals | Gulf Shores, AL Schedule  Live Results Video Streaming Twitter: @MNUTrackXC, @mnusports

 
Women's Basketball Camps

Women's Basketball Camps

MidAmerica Nazarene University Women's Basketball program has launched online registration for their 2016 summer camps...(click title for more)

 
Three Pioneers Honored as All-Heart Selections

Three Pioneers Honored as All-Heart Selections

Alexis Pacheco and Macie Jones earned First Team nods and Megan Deiter was named to the Second Team on Friday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich
MNU Commencement 2016 MidAmerica Nazarene University Undergraduate and School of Professional & Graduate Studies commencement ceremony 2016. Photos by Dan Videtich