Washburn University to partner with KBI for National Forensic Science Week

Washburn University is partnering with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for National Forensic...
Washburn University is partnering with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for National Forensic Science Week on Sept. 18-22.(wibw)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 4:31 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University is partnering with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for National Forensic Science Week on Sept. 18-22.

Washburn University officials said they have an event planned on Wednesday, Sept. 20 on the Washburn University campus in honor of National Forensic Science Week. The event will include a panel discussion with KBI scientists and other experts hosted by Washburn University. These professionals will be present to answer questions about employment, disciplines, internship opportunities and more from students.

The panelists will include:

  • James Taber, KBI, trace evidence
  • Jay Wessel, KBI, latent prints
  • Jessica Voegeli, KBI, firearms
  • Fletcher Turner, Shawnee County Medical Examiner’s Office, death investigator
  • Rebecca Vincent, crime scene investigator with Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab
  • Holly Cass, forensic supervisor with the Jackson County (Mo.) Medical Examiner’s Office

All week students can stop by the chemistry department in Stoffer Hall, room 312, for a surprise forensic treat.

“National Forensic Science Week is a fun way for all the forensic science disciplines at Washburn University to highlight our programs and give students an opportunity to explore areas they might be interested in,” said Kimberly Gerhardt-Whiddon, lecturer for criminal justice, Washburn University. “Forensic science encompasses anthropology, biology, chemistry, computer science and forensic investigation. These are diverse and distinct areas that all have one thing in common – they use advanced knowledge and tools to ensure justice is served.”

Washburn University officials noted National Forensic Science Week is organized and promoted by the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO), an association of forensic science professional organizations. The mission of the CFSO is to speak with a single forensic science voice in matters of mutual interest to its member organizations, to influence public policy at the national level and to make a compelling case for greater federal funding for public crime laboratories and medical examiner offices. National Forensic Science Week always falls on the third full week of September.

“One of the many advantages of studying forensic science at Washburn University is our campus is home to the KBI forensic science lab,” said Dr. Laura Stephenson, interim provost and vice president of academic affairs for Washburn University. “This affords our students many opportunities, from events like this, to studying in state-of-the-art, interactive classrooms and laboratory spaces inside the KBI building. Our close relationship with the KBI also provides internship and employment opportunities.”

Washburn University officials said the KBI forensic science lab opened on the Washburn University campus in November of 2015, housing the crime lab on one side of the building and Washburn University classrooms and labs on the other side.