Upward Bound brings University

by Robert Koch

A murder is about to occur, and Bobbie Rush’s forensic science class will gather Monday afternoon at the Mississippi River Flats to analyze the crime scene.
Although the murder is staged, the lessons are real.
The students, sophomores from several Minneapolis high schools, are participating in the University-hosted Upward Bound program. The federally funded program gives high-potential, low-income, first-generation college students a glimpse of University life.
Rush’s 18 students are attending five classes while living in Territorial Hall.
“This is all real hands-on,” said Rush, a General College science instructor for TRIO, the umbrella organization covering Upward Bound.
For now, Rush’s students are caught up in forensics and hope to show their ability at Monday’s “crime scene”.
“It’s all what we learned put together,” said LaCresha Payne from Minneapolis South High School.
During the last several weeks, Payne and her classmates have studied dental records, psychological profiles and crime scene foliage. They’ve also dissected pigs, taken field trips and welcomed guest speakers to their Appleby Hall classroom, which is replete with petri dishes and beakers.
On Thursday, Dan Bergman, a forensic scientist from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension showed slides of real crime scenes and gave the students tips for their Monday assignment.
Afterward, the students analyzed their own fingerprints.
Bruce Schelske, formerly co-director of Upward Bound, now serves as director of the TRIO student support services.
“Part of the idea is to really sort of expose them to what college life is about — to make it seem real, make it seem obtainable,” Schelske said. “This is them coming here and seeing it.”

Robert Koch welcomes comments at [email protected]