What do fly maggots on a corpse, taking blood pressures and operating stage equipment have in common? WVU Days in the Kanawha Valley.
West Virginia University faculty members will discuss these and other topics when they visit high schools in Boone, Kanawha and Putnam counties Sept. 23-25 as part of the Universitys annualroad showto promote higher education and WVU academic programs.
Our faculty always look forward to going into the public schools and sharing their expertise with students, WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. said.These presentations give students a small taste of what a college class is likean experience that will hopefully persuade them to pursue a post-secondary education.
Jim Amrine, a professor of entomology in the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, will lecture on the science of forensic entomology and how it relates to solving crimes.
Corpses attract several species of blowflies, which lay eggs and produce maggots that feed off the decaying body, Amrine said. Under the right conditions, forensic entomologists can determine how long a person has been dead by examining the various developmental stages of the maggots on the body.
In some cases you can get some pretty good estimates of how long a body has been at the scene based on what species of blowflies you find, the temperature and other conditions,he said.You can go backward to when the flies laid their eggs to determine the approximate time of death.
Amrine, who has assisted with criminal investigations since the late 1970s, will pass around a jar of maggots and a box of preserved insects to give students a bugs-eye view of the insects one might find on a body.
While Amrines talk will focus on the dead, Cynthia Armstrong Persily will lecture about a profession devoted to keeping people alive and well.
Persily, the School of Nursings associate dean for academic affairs for the southern region, will go over various nursing careers, from pediatrics, obstetrics and trauma to nursing education, nurse practitioner and nurse anesthetist. She will also discuss high school subjects that are prerequisites for a nursing education, including 12 hours of science courses.
Well also be talking a little about the nursing shortage nationwide and the career opportunities that presents in the future,Persily added.
Students in Joshua Williamsons workshop will learn what it takes to make stage performers look and sound good.
Williamson, assistant professor of lighting and sound design in the College of Creative Arts, will explain the fundamentals of running stage equipment. He will also demonstrate how to properly operate lighting equipment, speakers, microphones and sound playback devices.
I involve the students with as much hands-on activities as the facilities will allow,Williamson said.
Besides the faculty lectures, WVU administrators and students will visit area middle schools to present college awareness programs. These presentations will focus on career choices, college expenses and time management.