COTC unveils new Digital Comparison Microscope in Forensic Science Technology

| June 30, 2015
(L-R) Brianna Smith, Kate Shipley, Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., COTC President.

(L-R) Brianna Smith, Kate Shipley, Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., COTC President.

NEWARK – Central Ohio Technical College announces the newest addition of a state-of-the-art Unitron CFM Digital Comparison Microscope to the Forensic Science Technology program.

“This is basically two microscopes that allow you to view two different specimens side-by-side,” said Kate Shipley, MSCJ, Forensic Science Instructor at COTC, “It is one of the most widely-used microscopes in forensic science because it allows you to compare an acquired piece of evidence versus a known piece of evidence.”

This advanced technology gives forensic science students at COTC an opportunity to use and experience real world equipment in a classroom environment.

“This microscope will be no different than what students will see in forensics labs, so that is a big deal,” said Kevin Reardon, Director of the Institute of Public Services and Safety. “It’s the real world application of what they use in their future work environment,”

“Students practice manipulating the two different microscopes,” said Shipley. “It is a skill that is then transferred to their job. So they have the experience and they know how to use it from the start.”

This is a great opportunity for students like Brianna Smith, second year forensic science student at COTC, who said, “I am very excited about this new piece of equipment. You are able to see more detail and get a still frame shot of the evidence. We use this type of comparison microscope for bullet casings that we may find at crime scenes. After we fire test shots from a firearm, we take those test shots and compare them to the striation marks on the evidence found. So we will be able to take still frames, and even zoom in more than we were able on the previous microscope and even print those images for comparison.”

The addition of the Unitron Digital Comparison Microscope coincides with the redesign of the Forensic Science Technology program at COTC.

“This is part of keeping the program current because when we change the curriculum to reflect the new Ohio Board of Regents standards, we will have a completely brand new forensic science program,” said Reardon.

The new program means students will be finishing the program faster and spending less money in the process. These updates will be complete in the 2016-17 academic year.

COTC’s Autumn Semester begins August 26 and students interested in the forensic science program can start any semester. Graduates may find career opportunities as forensic lab technicians, death investigators, and many continue their education at one of many partner colleges in Ohio.

Individuals seeking more information on the Forensic Science Technology program at COTC should contact Forensic Science Instructor Kate Shipley at (740) 755-7097 or [email protected].

Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty, and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio that operates four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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