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Around the Dell

ments that you would use in the real world.” The course features a variety


Shelia Garren has been named special assistant

Trustees and will report

to board Chairman Stuart Fauber. “Ever since Ken and Sheila have been at the College, it has been a team effort,” he said. “She’s extremely active as far as a presidential spouse. At the May 13 meeting, the board voted unanimously to name her the special assistant to the presi- dent in recognition of her con- tributions to the College.” Mrs. Garren will continue to repre- sent the College at a variety of events, host various ceremonies and celebrations, and assist the president with fundraising. Mrs. Garren was recently ap-

pointed to the Presidential Spouses Task Force of the Coun- cil of Independent Colleges, a national organization of private college and university presidents and their spouses. This task force plans the annual spouses program at the Presidents Insti- tute, presents at sessions, and acts as a resource to new presi- dential spouses.

14 LC MAGAZINE Fall 2011 LC Board of

to the presi- dent by the

The chalk outline of Dr. Priscilla Ganni- cott’s body, with pools of blood at her wrists, remained in a chemistry lab for four weeks during the spring semester. The ten stu- dents taking forensic science gathered blood, hair, and DNA samples to figure out who her killer was. Dr. Gannicott, professor of

chemistry, is alive and well. In fact, she had lots of fun with her colleague, Dr. Allison Jablonski, associate professor of biology and biomedical science, as they worked through their fourth forensic science class. “Our strengths are well-

matched,” Dr. Jablonski said.

“You have to have those two cores (chemistry and biology) to offer this course.”

Students are immersed in the

science of blood splatter, finger- prints, drug detection, and ballis- tics, as well as insect and botanical forensics as they learn what it takes to conduct crime-scene investigations. They study arson, poisoning, computer forensics, and drug analysis. “People come out of this

course and say, ‘No way!’ or ‘Yes, I want to do this.’ There’s no middle ground,” Dr. Jablonski said. “The reality is much differ- ent than the ways television and media portray it.” To get evidence that’s admissi-

ble in court requires painstaking science that can take a lot of time.

“We try to give them the best ex- perience if they do choose to go out and do this for a living,” Dr. Gannicott said. “We use instru-

of guest lecturers, from on and off campus. The most famous visitor, who gave a lecture to the class in 2007, was Dr. William Bass, a forensic anthropologist renowned for his research on human bones and decomposi- tion. He taught at the Univer- sity of Tennessee in Knoxville, and still plays an active research role at the University of Ten- nessee Anthropological Research Facility, which he founded. The facility is more popularly known as “The Body Farm,” a name used by crime author Patricia Cornwell in a novel of the same name, which drew inspiration from Dr. Bass and his work. During the spring, students

heard from LC professors in physics, entomology, biology, and anatomy, as well as from an assistant medical examiner from Roanoke, Va. They visited LC’s cadaver lab and the state’s Forensic Science Lab in Roanoke. “I think the cool thing is it’s

very multidisciplinary,” Dr. Gan- nicott said. “We have so much fun creating these scenarios.” Apart from the blood, the

students seek other clues and use hair and fingerprints to de- termine who killed the person whose body is outlined on the floor. The killer? Dr. Jablonski did it.

Disabilities expert honored

Merrill Tolbert, associate profes- sor of human development and learning, was honored by the Challenged Sports Exchange for her

work with people with disabilities throughout Central Virginia.

Among her many accomplishments,

Tolbert helped start Project Daniel, an early intervention program for infants with disabilities; worked with the Laurel School for disabled children; prepared numerous Lynchburg College students for careers in therapy and counseling; provided aid to the Challenged Sports Exchange; and serving on the board of L’Arche of the Blue Ridge.

“Very quickly, she became the rec-

ognized expert in working with young children with disabilities,” Dr. Ed Pol- loway, LC dean of graduate studies, told Darrell Laurant of Lynchburg’s News & Advance. “When she first came, many of these children weren’t allowed to attend public schools. She helped to change that.”

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