WPI Professor and Daughter Co-Author Paper

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. Worcester Polytechnic Institute chemistry Professor Ladislav Berka of Paxton, Mass., and his daughter, Karen, a forensic chemist at the Indiana State Police Laboratory in Indianapolis, who lives in Ft. Wayne, Ind., are the co-authors of "Developing Student Speaking Skills: A Project/Independent Study in Forensic Science." On Aug. 23, the father-daughter team presented their paper at the 210th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Chicago. The article has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Chemical Education. "The paper describes a PQP-project given at WPI in 1991 and 1993," says Professor Berka. "Karen (a chemistry major who graduated in 1986) helped me plan the activities in this project and served as guest speaker. The idea for the project originated with a PQP that Karen took with me as the sole participant in 1986."

Karen was profiled as "The Nancy Drew of the Crime Lab" in the Summer 1992 issue of the WPI Journal. In addition to the presentation with her dad, Karen also presented two other papers she co-authored with a colleague. "Karen's research and writing demonstrates that WPI's academic program gives excellent preparation that enables its students to make independent contributions to their professions."