Chance encounters with the clinical laboratory have led this year’s winners of the American Proficiency Institute (API) Scholarship to pursue their education in the medical laboratory science field. “Whether through a poster, volunteer experience, or advice from a valued teacher, exposure to the clinical laboratory may lead outstanding students to the field, said Sue Harmer, API President. “API is pleased to support future laboratory professionals through its annual scholarship program.”
API awarded $5,000 scholarships to: Ayah Atmani, a rising junior at CUNY College of Staten Island; Karissa Goodwin, a rising senior at Oregon Institute of Technology; Patrick Hoxie, a rising senior at Michigan Technological University; and Kira Kramer, a rising senior at Northwest Missouri State University.
“When I had the ability to come to this nation, I was baffled by how many opportunities there were here. Nothing fascinated me more than science,” explained Atmani. “A high school teacher of mine gave me a brochure for a workshop about antibiotic resistance in bacteria. It really sparked a passion in me. Medical laboratory science was what I wanted to do for my future.”
“I fell in love with the adrenaline inducing chaos that was methodical and sustainable,” Goodwin said of her time in a blood bank during a trauma event. “It felt like the most direct impact I could have on a patient. The blood products I issued saved lives.”
While volunteering abroad as a medical assistant in Ecuador, Hoxie sought to gain experience working in a clinical setting. “My original role was to perform phlebotomy, IV/IM injections, and collect vitals. While there I gained exposure to microbiology, chemistry, hematology, and parasitology. The scientists were always eager to teach me what they were doing.”
“During my second semester in school I took genetics, a required class. It was a class I never dreaded studying for. I enjoyed both the material from the lectures and the labs,” said Kramer. “The following semester, I saw a poster about clinical laboratory sciences, which made everything line up perfectly. I knew this was the career for me.”
After granting more than 75 scholarships to medical laboratory science students over the past 15 years, API increased the amount of its awards to rising college juniors and seniors this year. “API values these students and their important potential as future laboratorians,” said Harmer.