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Faculty to Host Detective Workshop for Middle School Girls

Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2012

Westminster College faculty Dr. Deborah Mitchell, Dr. Helen Boylan, and Dr. Betsy Ford will conduct Empowering Detective Girls Everywhere (EDGE), a workshop for middle school girls, Friday, April 27, from 4-7 p.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center's Berlin Student Lounge.

The EDGE program was developed by Mitchell, professor of English and film studies, and Boylan, associate professor of chemistry, to promote science and reading to middle school girls.  It was modeled on their popular Westminster cluster course, "Tracking the Criminal through Science and Literature."

Westminster College ranks first in the nation as the "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)," according to

Workshop participants will read a short detective story, "H2O and the Case of the Disappearing Volcano," written by Ford, professor of English emerita.  The story is part of a collection about Tamara, a young science enthusiast who uses current forensics techniques and historical detective work - à la Sherlock Holmes - to solve a mystery. 

Participants will meet the author, discuss the story, and perform some forensic science to solve a mock crime.

Registration is free and includes dinner and a copy of the short story.  Registration deadline is Friday, April 20.  Contact Doreen Matune in the Drinko Center at (724) 946-6096 or email to register or for additional information. 

Mitchell, who has been with Westminster since 1992, earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Youngstown State University and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

Boylan, a Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 2001, earned a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.

The workshop is sponsored by Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning with support from The Grable Foundation.

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  Visit the Drinko website for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

Dr. Helen Boylan
Dr. Deborah Mitchell
Dr. Betsy Ford