Skip to main content

Catherine Hefner '16

Catherine Hefner
“I could have dealt with my experience in many different ways, but the path I chose was more rewarding.”

Picture a maturing adolescent striving to uncover her calling in life when she falls victim to a violent crime. For Catherine Hefner, this defining moment gave her two options – give up or fight for justice.

Now a junior at WVU, Hefner, used this unfortunate experience as a calling in driving her goal of becoming a passionate and ethical public servant through forensic science. It spiraled her decision not to sit back, but to study a career.

This desire to make a change in forensic science lead Hefner to be selected as a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, which is a TRiO program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The WVU McNair Scholars Program is a grant competition that serves first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented participants in preparation for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

As a WVU McNair Scholar, Hefner’s research focuses on the field of ballistics mentored by Forensic and Investigative Science Director and Associate Professor, Dr. Keith Morris. This research allows for advanced experiences that other forensic science field programs do not offer to students.