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Community that Supports Her Career Calling

Ana Villa Abarca
Medical Laboratory Science
Ana Villa Abarca '19

Medical Laboratory Science student Ana Villa Abarca found her career calling and a sense of belonging at Stevenson.

With the encouragement of her chemistry professor as well as attending an Open House presentation as a tour guide, Ana changed her major to Medical Laboratory Science, realizing that this was her true calling.

In summer 2018, Ana accepted one of four open student positions held specifically for MLS majors at Sinai Hospital in Maryland—a paid position in the Microbiology Lab that she will hold until she graduates. Her responsibilities include specimen processing, testing, and set-ups.

“My favorite part of my major and internship is that it’s very hands-on learning,” she says. “For instance, in my Clinical Microbiology class, we learned about clinical pathogens and how they are present in a patient and also how to conduct the series of tests to identify the organism. Our lab classes reinforce what we learn in lecture and give us a glimpse of working in an actual laboratory, which is why I feel so comfortable at Sinai.”

In addition to being deeply involved in her Lab Science coursework, Ana is also involved in the National Residence Hall Honorary, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Alpha Chi Honor Society. Additionally, she is a recipient of the American Society for Clinical Pathology Foundation Laboratory Student Scholarship, and she is a member of the Color Guard in the SU Marching Band.

Ana is excited to finish her bachelor’s degree and, following graduation, she plans to pursue a position in the medical laboratory field. “At SU I was able to find my niche. It’s a place where I feel like I belong and people know who I am. The small community has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things, and I am better every day for it.”

"My favorite part of my major and internship is that it’s very hands-on learning," Abarca says. "Our lab classes reinforce what we learn in lecture and give us a glimpse of working in an actual laboratory, which is why I feel so comfortable at Sinai."
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