Three med tech students win scholarships
Scholarship winners are, from left, Michelle Evers, Alaa Mahmoud and Kathleen Schieffer.

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12:29 p.m., March 11, 2010----Three seniors in the University of Delaware's Department of Medical Technology -- Michelle Evers, Alaa Mahmoud and Kathleen Schieffer -- have received scholarships from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

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Mahmoud and Schieffer were awarded Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Scholarships, which are funded by Siemens and administered by ASCP. Funding for Evers's award comes from ASCP.

“Due to the specialized nature of our upper division courses, we limit enrollment to 25-30 students in each class,” says department chair Anna Ciulla. “This is a testament to the quality of our students that three of them were selected for these awards, when only 50 were granted nationwide.”

Recipients of the scholarships are chosen based on academic achievement, leadership abilities, community activities, professional goals, and endorsements from faculty and community leaders.

Mahmoud, an Honors Program student who plans to go to medical school, chose medical technology as a major because it provides a “great background” for that career path.

He already has a number of achievements to his credit, including co-authorship of a review paper in Frontiers in Bioscience, published as the result of an independent study he conducted with Mary Ann McLane, professor in the Department of Medical Technology. He is also writing a senior thesis for his candidacy of a degree with distinction this May, with the data contributing to McLane's National Institutes of Health IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (NIH-INBRE) grant.

In addition, he and Schieffer each developed two Web-based case studies in a junior-level honors course, and the pair accompanied McLane to Washington, D.C., in March 2009 as advocacy participants in the Legislative Symposium sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

“They both showed a willingness to go beyond regular coursework to expand their educational opportunities,” McLane says. “I fully expect both of them to continue this attitude in their future careers in healthcare.”

Schieffer will begin working at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after she graduates in May.

“I chose medical technology because I wanted to be in a major that would challenge me while enabling me to learn about all aspects of the medical field,” she says. “We not only gain knowledge about laboratory testing but also learn how to apply that knowledge to diagnosis and treatment. The field is a good choice for anyone who wants to know about the basics of medicine, since many of a physician's decisions are based on the laboratory test results that medical technologists provide.”

“Katie consistently proved to be a person of outstanding character and professionalism,” says Heather Walters, Microbiology Laboratory coordinator. “She worked at Christiana Hospital on the weekends during her senior year while maintaining excellent grades. I am pleased her superior effort and determination to excel are being rewarded.”

Evers currently works in a hospital lab and, after graduation, plans to either continue that work or go on to earn a master's degree and become a physician's assistant. “This is a great major,” says Evers, “because it offers students a wide variety of opportunities after they graduate.”

“Michelle has shown a growing professionalism by being a member of ASCLS and ASCP,” says McLane. “She also volunteered to be a student representative on the ASCLS awards committee, which chooses the winners of various national awards to be given at the society's annual meeting in Anaheim in July.”

Article by Diane Kukich
Photo by Ambre Alexander

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