Medical Technology scholarship winner: Each test is a patient

Editor’s note: This is the second of two posts about a pair of Upstate Medical Technology students,  Angela Aponte and Matthew Jackson, who have won prestigious scholarships. Here is Angela’s story; Matthew was profiled in a previous post.

SUNY Upstate Medical Technology ASCP Siemens scholarship

Angela Aponte, Medical Technology student at Upstate, was awarded a national scholarship. Photo by William Mueller.

Upstate Medical Technology student Angela Aponte has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the American Society for Clinical Pathology/Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.

The national scholarship is awarded based on four criteria – knowledge; commitment to community; leadership, and career advancement.

Angela and Matthew Jackson, who will graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees, are the latest Clinical Laboratory Sciences students at Upstate to receive an ASCP/Siemens award.

Medical Technology chair Susan Graham, MS, said both were excellent candidates for the award because they excel academically as well as in the areas of leadership and service.

Angela, who will be featured in an upcoming recruiting video for Upstate’s Clinical Lab Sciences program and College of Health Professions, is very active in the community and on campus, where she is a resident advisor in Clark Tower.

“From the day we met in her admission interview, Angela has brought energy to the program,” said Graham, associate dean of the College of Health Professions. “She serves as a volunteer Student Ambassador for the Admissions Office, and has taken a leadership role in student government. As a class officer, she has spearheaded projects that have served to bring unity and camaraderie to her class and her campus community. Angela has consistently brought innovation and enthusiasm to our college.”

Angela, a native of Brooklyn, came to Upstate with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lehman College in the Bronx and wanted to expand her career options.

“A lot of people don’t understand the importance of this field,” she said. “Medical technologists help the doctors come to a diagnosis. We perform all the different tests. Without us they wouldn’t be able to get the results they get right away.”

Angela said the “awesome” faculty in Upstate’s Clinical Lab Sciences program (Medical Technology and Medical Biotechnology) goes above and beyond to help students. She also appreciates their valuable advice.

“I remember my instructors saying, ‘Treat every test you do as if it was your mom,’’’ Angela said. “You want to make sure what you’re reporting is accurate. Behind that test is a patient, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Angela’s favorite specialty in the field is blood banking, the testing and classifying of donated blood before it’s used in transfusions.

“I love blood banking. It’s manual, and there’s a lot of critical thinking,” she said. “If you have a transfusion that needs to be done right away, you have to make sure the blood is compatible with the patient. This is a life and death situation. It’s really hands on, and you have to know what you’re doing.”

Each year the ASCP and Siemens award scholarships to successful students to help balance their full-time studies and expenses at accredited Clinical Laboratory Sciences programs such as Upstate’s.  Last year, ASCP/Siemens awarded $182,000 in scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate medical laboratory students.

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