Arsenic is usually a topic thats hard to swallow, but Suzanne Bells hefty dose of forensic science will have West Virginia University students hungry for more at next weeks Faculty Dinner Series event.

On Wednesday (Nov. 15), the chair of WVU s Forensic Identification Programand former forensic chemist with the New Mexico State Police Crime Laboratorywill delve intoArsenic and the History of Forensic Science.The dinner will begin at 6 p.m., immediately followed by her presentation, in the Mountainlair Gold Ballroom.

Bells talk is geared for forensic science majors or those who just want to learn more about the intriguing world of whodunit.

My talk isnt technical,Bell said.It tells how forensic science really evolved out of the crime of poisoning. Its got some case studies, and it talks about arsenic which for years was the primary cause of questionable death.

WhileCSI,the TV show, is the closest most people will get to cracking murder cases, Bell has made a career of collecting evidence, analyzing clues and testifying about crime scenes.

She received her bachelors degree from Northern Arizona University, where she majored in chemistry and police science. She also holds a masters degree in forensic science from the University of New Haven and a doctorate in chemistry from New Mexico State University.

In addition to the New Mexico crime lab, she has worked as a technical staff member in the Environmental Chemistry group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In 1995, she joined the chemistry faculty of Eastern Washington University and

Working with the Washington State Patrol developed a bachelors degree program in chemistry with a forensic science emphasis.

Bell began teaching at WVU s Department of Chemistry in 2003 and was appointed chair of the Forensic Identification Program this past July. Her current research focuses on toxicology; forensic microspectrophotometrythe technique of measuring the light absorbed, reflected or emitted by a microscopic specimen at different wavelengths; and chemometrics, the application of mathematical or statistical methods to chemical data.

Bell has been active in the forensic professional community for many years. She is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Scientific Working Group on the Analysis of Seized Drugs as well as a fellow of the American Board of Criminalistics.

She recently penned the textbook Forensic Chemistry and is also the author of the Encyclopedia of Forensic Science and Dictionary of Forensic Science.

Faculty Dinner Series

The faculty series is part of WVU s Sophomore/Junior Year Experience, a package of programs and services aimed at helping students succeed in college. Other presentations are planned for Jan. 29, Feb. 27 and March 20.

Wednesdays menu includes Chicken Cacciatore and pasta, Italian blend vegetable width=100%s, tossed salad and lemon meringue pie.

The free event is open to WVU sophomores and juniors. Space is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students interested in attending should e-mail as soon as possible.

Sophomore/Junior Year Experience on the Net: