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Forensic Science graduate students earn Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship

Jacob Bennett, Shelby Morgan
Two students in Marshall University’s forensic science master’s degree program are recipients of the Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship. Jacob Bennett and Shelby Morgan will each receive $1,000 as winners of the scholarship, which was established by Tamela J. White-Farrell to honor her father and her mother.

Bennett is from Shady Spring, West Virginia. He graduated from Marshall University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in biotechnology and digital forensics and information assurance. As a student in the Forensic Science Graduate Program, he is completing four areas of emphasis: Crime Scene Investigation, Digital Forensics, DNA Analysis and Forensic Chemistry. Bennett interned this summer at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Forensics Laboratory.  His research project is titled “Performance Checks of QIAGEN® EZ1 Advanced xLs.” He plans to graduate in May 2022.

Morgan is from Hurricane, West Virginia, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forensic chemistry from Marshall in 2020, with minors in biological sciences and criminal justice. As she works toward her Master of Science in forensic science, she has emphases in forensic chemistry, DNA analysis and crime scene investigation. Morgan spent the summer of 2021 interning at the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  Her research project is titled “Validation of Concurrent Quantitation of Ethanol, Acetone, Methanol, and Isopropanol via Headspace/Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/Flame Ionization Detection.”  She also expects to graduate in May 2022.

“Shelby and Jacob are excellent graduate students,” said Dr. Catherine Rushton, director of the forensic science program at Marshall.  “They manage their time well by juggling a full course load and working part-time, while maintaining excellent grades.  Additionally, they demonstrate their leadership abilities as officers in our student organizations.”

For more information about the Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program, visit