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Chemistry majors get training

On April 7, 2016

Hands-on training for Grambling State University chemistry majors pursuing forensic chemistry concentration has gotten a boost in their field this semester.

Students enrolled in the course Physical Methods in Forensic Chemistry (FCHE 302), have analyzed evidence collected from simulated crime scenes.  This evidence includes fingerprints, handwritten notes, lipstick smears, bullet fragments, and shell casings.  

Courtesy photo Sgt. Rodney E. Pagans (right) explains some of the finer points of forensic chemistry to students  Daniel Jolla, Shermaine Shorter and Taiylor Watts.

Courtesy photo
Sgt. Rodney E. Pagans (right) explains some of the finer points of forensic chemistry to students  Daniel Jolla,
Shermaine Shorter and Taiylor Watts.

On Wednesday, March 30 Sergeant Rodney E. Pagans, an officer with the Grambling State University Police department, shared his expertise in crime scene investigation with students. 

Students enrolled in this course were engaged in an interactive lesson.   Sgt. Pagans demonstrated the techniques associated with dusting for fingerprints and lifting the fingerprints once visible.   

He gave tips on how to select the appropriate powder and the appropriate brush.  Students learned how to transfer the print to tape and then mount the tape to a card.  Sergeant Pagans highlighted the challenges associated with trying to lift “usable” prints from rough surfaces.  

Students were encouraged to participate in internships, as a way to gain valuable experience.  Several members of the class indicated “students learn even more when we have the opportunity to interact with individuals working in the field.”  

This forensic chemistry course is being team taught by Dr. Connie Walton and Dr. Leonard Moore Jr.  The forensic chemistry concentration was established at GSU in 2006.   

This concentration requires the student to successfully complete both chemistry and criminal justice courses.  The Forensic Chemistry Concentration prepares the student for a career in a federal or state crime lab as a Forensic Scientist.  

For additional information regarding the Forensic Chemistry Concentration, contact Dr. Walton at or Dr. Moore at

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