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

Saturday, August 1
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
FOE Team 2015
Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Foundations of Excellence Project Launches

Faculty and staff chosen to be on the Foundations of Excellence task force studying MNU's first year student experience are in Asheville, North…

Read More
Bringing a passion for the past into the present

Bringing a passion for the past into the present

  History means something special to MNU graduate Sarah Wacker (’15). Her inspiration for American history stems from memories of her…

Read More
Lauren Glenn Mark
More Games Needed in the Classroom

More Games Needed in the Classroom

To engage today's learnings, more games should be utilized in the classroom. Games and learning are not at odds according to conference keynoter Glenn Wiebe a curriculum & technology integration…

Read More
NYC Scholarship Winner 2015
Scholarship Winner Always Wanted to Attend MNU

Scholarship Winner Always Wanted to Attend MNU

Dania Unruh had given up on her dream of attending MNU. Based on finances the senior from Garden City, Kansas figured she would attend community…

Read More
Pete Robinson
Army Chaplain named Alum of the Year

Army Chaplain named Alum of the Year

Army Capt. Pete Robinson (’04) wanted nothing to do with the military or hospitals when he graduated from MNU with a BA in youth and family ministry. Growing up in a household in which his father,…

Read More
MWROC-LN-072012-0668
Video: Mark Wood Orchestra Camp

Video: Mark Wood Orchestra Camp

It's the sixth year they've come to Olathe and MNU to learn from some of the world's best electric orchestra artists. And they love MNU's Bell Center and the experience they get from the Mark Wood…

Read More
Ranked #1
MNU Number 1 in Kansas in Money's Best Colleges 2015-2016

MNU Number 1 in Kansas in Money's Best Colleges 2015-2016

MidAmerica Nazarene University was named number 1 in Kansas among public and private colleges and universities in Money magazine’s “Money’s…

Read More
BlakeWalker
FCA Huddle Underway at MNU

FCA Huddle Underway at MNU

Assistant Football Coach Blake Walker, says the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) was the bridge for him from a 19-year-old student athlete searching for his place in the world, to a sold-out…

Read More
KCRM
SERVEteams Assist KC Rescue Mission

SERVEteams Assist KC Rescue Mission

MNU SERVEteams Squad'66 and Voices of Praise had the privilege of joining the ministry of the Kansas City Rescue Mission recently for an evening. Voices of Praise lead more than 80 men in worship.…

Read More
Sports
MNU Inducts 5 Into Athletics Hall of Fame

MNU Inducts 5 Into Athletics Hall of Fame

Mike Birge (football), Danny Hawkins (basketball), Penny Morin (softball), Matt Schneider (football), and Justen Wack (soccer) will be inducted on Homecoming weekend in October...(click title for more)

 
MNU Women's Soccer Camps

MNU Women's Soccer Camps

(click title for details)

 
Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

Wade Watkins Joins MNU XC/T&F Program

MNU Athletics is pleased to announce the addition of Wade Watkins to the MNU Track and Field/Cross Country program as Associate Head Coach...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
The early construction of our booth
The early construction of our booth
The early construction of our booth
Our booth was complete with a looping video & prezi about MNU.
The complete booth! Our steel structure was created by local artist and alum David Platter and topped with images of Kansas City and the MNU campus.
With plenty of space to simply hang out, we designed our booth to be an open and welcoming place.