Professor and Program Director, Clinical Laboratory Sciences/Medical Technology
What is your job title?
A: Professor and Program Director, Clinical Laboratory Sciences/MedicalTechnology
Please give a brief description of your job, specifying what you do
I am an administrator of an undergraduate program in Clinical Laboratory Sciences/Medical Technology. This major educates people about Laboratory Medicine and all of the laboratory tests that are done in medicine to help the physician diagnose what is wrong with the patient. There is a show on TV, "CSI" and the people who work in the laboratory are doing work that is similar to what we do. For this part of my job, I do a lot of paperwork including such things as schedules, budgets, meetings, etc.
I also teach
several courses including Human Biochemistry, Transfusion Medicine
and Advanced Pathophysiology. In addition, I coordinate all of the
clinical internships for our students at 11 different hospitals in
Clinical Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, Clinical Microbiology, and
Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine. So for instance, I
spent all of today visiting all of the Junior and Senior students at
their clinical internships at these hospitals. I also have a research
laboratory. I and my students examine the effects of alcohol on human
breast cancer cells. We do experiments to see if alcohol
causes changes in the cancer cells and makes them grow more compared
to cancer cells that are not exposed to alcohol.
What have you been working on or teaching lately?
A: This semester, I teach a graduate course, Advanced Pathophysiology. Yesterday, I talked about atherosclerosis which is about how your blood vessels get fat in them and is related to heart disease and heart attacks.
What most interest you in your job?
A: Working in the laboratory with my students and teaching medicine.
What do you like the least about your job?
A: All of the paperwork
What has your career path been?
A: I wend to college and earned a BS degree in Medical Technology. I worked for 10 years in a hospital clinical laboratory doing many different types of medical laboratory tests in Clinical Hematology, Clinical Chemistry and Blood Banking. Because my daughters were young, I usually worked the second shift. For that reason, I did not do many microbiology tests and experiments because most of the microbiology work was done in the day time. During this time, I went to graduate school part-time and eventually earned a MS in Biology.
I decided to try
teaching college and liked it very much. In order to get a full time
job teaching college, I went back to graduate school and earned a
Ph.D. in Biochemistry. I have been teaching college and doing
medically related research for a long time and still really like the
Was there any person who inspired you to do what you're doing
A: There were some men who were my professors in graduate school who gave me a lot of encouragement to pursue a career in science at the university level. They are still friends of mine. When I was young, I only had 1 women science professor who was also very helpful to me.
What attracted you to this career when you were in high school?
A: I really loved biology and laboratory work and I was a candystripper volunteer at my local hospital. This got me really interested in a career in medicine. When I was a volunteer, I used to bring specimens to the clinical laboratory, and I got
very interested in what they were doing there.
What careers in your field do you see as promising for the
A: Currently, this is the best job market I have every seen in Clinical Laboratory Sciences/Medical Technology. A BS degree allows graduates to go into medical laboratory work, forensics (like the TV show, CSI), veternary hospital labs (because animals need to have laboratory tests in order to help the vet diagnose what is wrong with them), the biotechnology industry, the biomedical device industry or the pharmaceutical industry. Right now, this is one of the best medical careers to go into because there is a big shortage and it will be like this for many years to come. Also with a BS degree in this area, you can have a career in medicine or in industry. Very few, if any other, science majors allow you to do this
Many of our
graduates also have gone onto graduate school in different sciences,
physician assistant programs and medical school. Some
have earned MBAs and other types of administration degrees.
What advice do you have for young women who want to work in your
A: Take as many math and sciences courses as you can in high school to get yourself ready for the courses you will need in college. Careers in science are the future of the 21st century and we need everyone who has the interest. Science is NEVER boring, always changing and challenging, and most of all, FUN!