Siemens–ASCP Celebrate 10 Years of Helping Students Reach Their Destinies
Monday, April 15, 2013
Medical laboratory science student Amy Faliano was on the frontlines of the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting tragedy last year. A part-time blood bank worker, she was called at 1 a.m. on July 20, 2012, by the University of Colorado Hospital to thaw plasma and send out multiple coolers of blood to give transfusions to shooting victims. Ms. Faliano is one of 100 U.S. laboratory professional students this year who received a 2012–2013 scholarship through the Siemens–ASCP Scholarship Program. Click here for the list of 2012-2013 Scholarship Winners by state.
“Writing the essay for the Siemens–ASCP scholarship changed my perspective about what I wanted to do in my career. The essay made me realize that I wanted to go beyond cytology screening. I thought about aspiring to a management position, learning more about molecular diagnostics, and teaching laboratory professional students. In the few years since I graduated, I have achieved all three goals outlined in my essay for the Siemens–ASCP scholarship.”
“The Aurora shooting tragedy was a defining moment,” Ms. Faliano said. “It impacted all of us. I felt horrible about it, but I felt a little bit of peace in my heart that at least I did what I could to help. That’s when I knew I loved blood banking.”
This year, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and ASCP commemorate the 10-year anniversary of its annual joint scholarship program, helping address the nation’s shortage of qualified medical laboratory professionals by promoting the profession and defraying students’ education costs. Since 2003, more than $1.4 million in scholarships to over 1,200 students has been awarded through the Siemens–ASCP Scholarship Program to deserving students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees in medical laboratory science or other areas of laboratory medicine.
While Ms. Faliano has a promising career path ahead, Erin McCarthy, a 2009 scholarship winner, is a testament to the Program’s success, landing a career as a Cytology Supervisor at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison State Laboratory of Hygiene in Madison, Wis., where her work includes screening for Pap smears and evaluating cytology specimens.
“Writing the essay for the Siemens–ASCP scholarship changed my perspective about what I wanted to do in my career,” Ms. McCarthy said. “The essay made me realize that I wanted to go beyond cytology screening. I thought about aspiring to a management position, learning more about molecular diagnostics, and teaching laboratory professional students. In the few years since I graduated, I have achieved all three goals outlined in my essay for the Siemens–ASCP scholarship.”
More students are applying for scholarships through programs such as Siemens–ASCP’s than ever. The still-sputtering economy and steep rises in tuition mean that more college students have to take out loans and find part-time jobs to pay for their education. According to The Economist, between 2001 and 2010, the cost of a U.S. university education jumped from 23 percent of median annual earnings to 38 percent. As a result, student debt has doubled during the past 15 years, and approximately 66 percent of college students take out loans for an average $26,000 of debt upon graduation.
“While attending the full-time cytology program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I was living off student loans and working part-time,” Ms. McCarthy said. “Economically, I was just getting by. Fortunately, I did receive the Siemens–ASCP scholarship for $1,000, enabling me to pay for bills and books. It also helped me to afford a great outfit for my job interviews, making me feel confident and professional.”
To learn more, go to www.ascp.org/scholarships.