Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UIS Clinical Lab Science team places second in state meeting

By Courtney Westlake

Woolly mammoths that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago were tough and tenacious, and the Woolly Mammoths at UIS are carrying on those characteristics.

The UIS Clinical Laboratory Science student team, named the Woolly Mammoths, took second place at the Illinois state meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science held April 29 through May 1 in Lisle, Illinois. The team included students Gillian Grasher, Lindsey Rolando, Sarah McGee and Lauren Hefer.

“Congratulations to these students who studied hard for this competition,” said Linda McCown, chair and program director of clinical laboratory science at UIS and one of three advisers for the team, along with Dr. Jim Veselenak and Dr. Wayne Gade.

The competition is the annual state meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Illinois and includes two days of continuing education sessions, exhibitors and business meetings. UIS’ team also had success last year at the meet, placing first in the state.

In the Student Bowl competition, teams must answer questions about medical laboratory topics such as immunohematology, clinical chemistry, medical microbiology and hematology.

The team from UIS practices once a week during the spring semester as preparation for the competition, McCown said.

“Preparation for the competition is not only fun - we use practice games - but it helps the students review material that they have learned during the past two years,” she said. “And the state meeting, the students get to meet and network with other students and professionals from around the state and see how important it is to be active in their professional organization.”

Receiving such top honors in this state meeting is a true testament to the success and dedication of the clinical laboratory science program at UIS and its students.

“The alternate, Nicole Schupp, is currently a senior in our program, and the other team members all have jobs as clinical laboratory scientists and passed their national certification examination. Two are working here in Springfield, and the other two are in Missouri and Michigan,” McCown said.

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