On April 22, 2009, seven senior forensic science students at Seton Hill University took part in the first annual Forensic Science Symposium, where they displayed posters and answered questions about their research projects and internships.

Five of the students completed a research project at Seton Hill University and two completed internships at the Westmoreland County Forensic Detectives Unit and the Carnegie Science Center.

“The research topics include three based on DNA analysis, one analyzing trace evidence on an FT-IR microscope, and one examining techniques for determining muzzle to target distance for a firearm. The research is not trying to create new techniques, but rather examining current techniques and giving the student hands-on experience with those techniques here at Seton Hill,” said Barbara Flowers, instructor of forensic science.

The symposium gave the students the opportunity to answer questions about their work and explain what they did throughout their last year.

“The event is also useful for underclassmen. They can see topics that were evaluated by the other students and get a feel for what they need to do in the future,” Flowers said. “I already had one sophomore contacting me about her internship. “

Last fall, Nicole Float acquired an internship with the Westmoreland County Forensic Detectives Unit. Float responded to various types of crime scenes in Westmoreland County.

“I believe it is important to acquire an internship in any field because every company is looking for experience. I was very fortunate to be able to get this internship. I was not really into field work, but this internship changed my perspective,” said Float, president of the forensic science club.

The students completed 150 hours of internships and research projects, which included writing a paper on their experience, the poster presentation and the oral presentation.