Tell us more about your current academic experience. How does it relate to your graduate studies at WVU? What skillsets are you utilizing from what you learned?
Starting in fall 2022, I will be attending an online program at Eastern Virginia Medical School to pursue a master's degree in Reproductive Medicine. During my undergraduate experience at WVU, I learned essential skills such as how to pipette, how to view specimens in a microscope correctly, and how to use a hemocytometer. I now use other tools like a Makler in my studies, but both serve the purposes of counting specimens. Each of these skills has helped me become a better lab professional and continue pursing my education. I am looking forward to learning more Reproductive Medicine since that was not a topic of focus in Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics.
Why did you choose to attend WVU for your undergraduate education, and particularly the BLD program? What would you tell prospective students interested in IMMB about your experience at WVU, and particularly the School of Medicine?
I volunteered at my hometown hospital as a lab facilitator. Once I was able to see what professionals do in the lab, I knew this is the career I wanted to pursue. I chose WVU because it was only two and a half hours away from home. I wanted to go away to college but also close enough to drive home if necessary. I also fell in love with the WVU atmosphere. WVU campus is beautiful and easy to navigate. And football games are so much fun! If I could share a piece of advice with new students, I would say prepare to do a lot of hard work but also very rewarding work. The professors are very flexible, and they want you to succeed! Do not be afraid to go to them for help. Each semester in the program seems to get a little easier so stay positive and keep going!
Have you worked with any faculty or staff members who have an impact on you while at WVU?
I connected with Professor Harbert, who is now retired but taught me and my classmates each semester during the program. She was very passionate, knowledgeable, and had a great teaching style! She also served as my capstone advisor, and when I expressed my desire to be proactive in getting a head start, she was on board and very supportive, staying on top of all aspects alongside me.
Please tell us more about the Reproductive Medicine graduate program you are pursuing.
As mentioned previously, after being an Andrologist for a few months, I decided that returning for my master’s degree in this field would be highly beneficial to continue growing my own professional knowledge. Pairing this together with my laboratory skills used to perform my daily job, I would like to add this additional academic perspective to my tool belt. I have been thinking about obtaining a master's degree and once my career changed this seemed like the best time. The program itself is a hybrid program, with online and in-person laboratory components.
What do you currently intend to pursue as a career? Is there an experience you’ve had that made you realize why you chose this profession or specialization? What makes you excited about pursuing this field?
During clinical rotations, the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Morgantown was looking for students to shadow to see if they would be interested in the career field. I took this opportunity and I loved it! After graduation, I passed my boards as a medical laboratory scientist and began working. After some time, the position as an Andrologist at the Center for Reproductive Medicine opened. I saw this as a great opportunity, so I took the job and switched careers. I took the opportunity because of how exciting it was to see an embryo be created.
Will you share something unique or interesting about you that others may not know?
I have a few hobbies that I have really started to get into. One is stained glass, and the other is wood burning. I started taking stained glass classes in November 2022 and wood burning is something I just learned on my own. They're both pretty easy to do but do take some time to polish your skills.