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International Pathology Day

Medical Laboratory Students’ ASCP Award Opens Doors for Their Futures

Monday, June 04, 2012

When Jennifer Nagy and Ryan Goffredi talk about laboratory medicine, they are so enthusiastic that it is not hard to imagine anyone listening to them not wanting to pursue the same career path. Ms. Nagy, after working for a year after graduating from college is now earning a master's degree in the field, and Mr. Goffredi is almost finished with his clinical rotation program. Both students received the ASCP Student Honor Award for their academic, leadership, and community involvement achievements. Each is committed to the profession of laboratory medicine and represents two of the 421 medical laboratory professional students who received the ASCP Awards in 2012.

“You have to treat every specimen like you would the person behind it.”  
—Jennifer Nagy

Ms. Nagy, 24, is a two-time winner of the ASCP Student Honor Award, having also received it during her undergraduate education. Both she and Mr. Goffredi said they have always been fascinated with science, learning of the career possibilities in laboratory medicine while in college. Ms. Nagy graduated from Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa., with a bachelor’s degree in the science of medical technology. She worked for one year as a medical laboratory professional at St. Vincent's Hospital in Erie, Pa., and is now pursuing a master’s degree in health science and pathologists’ assistant from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.

In her coursework and her career experience, Ms. Nagy was struck by the variety of experience she accumulated. “Everywhere I went, I saw something different,” she said. “Every day it’s something new.” Many of Ms. Nagy's clinical rotations have been at teaching hospitals, and she expressed an interest in mentoring future laboratory scientists as her career moves forward.

Mr. Goffredi, 23, said a visit by several laboratory scientists to members of the Microbiology Student Association at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Co., is what sparked his interest in a laboratory science career. “I realized that laboratory science takes the knowledge and education I’ve gained in the classroom and applies it in a unique way to real world situations,” he said. “I enjoy the responsibility of it. Laboratory science is an important part of the medical field.”

Mr. Goffredi will graduate from the clinical laboratory science program at the Colorado Center for Medical Laboratory Science on June 29. Despite the busy schedule of his many clinical rotations, he made a presentation to the Microbiology Student Association at his alma mater. “I was really able to excite some students about the profession,” he said.

Both Ms. Nagy and Mr. Goffredi see their work in the lab as an extension of the work their counterparts have directly with patients. “You have to treat every specimen like you would the person behind it,” Ms. Nagy said.

“You know the results you're turning out affect the patient directly,” Mr. Goffredi added.

Ms. Nagy and Mr. Goffredi said receiving the ASCP Honor Award will play a role in their futures as they contemplate their next career moves. “I feel honored recei

ving the award twice,” Ms. Nagy said. “It will be beneficial in seeking employment opportunities.”

“The award is fantastic,” Mr. Goffredi said. “It shows I'm on the right career path and will open up doors for the future.”

To see the full list of students who received the ASCP National Student Honor Award, click here. For more information about the Award and eligibility, visit www.ascp.org/NSHA.


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