WVU medical technology students receive white coats, awards

Ceremony held May 2

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Students in the West Virginia University Medical Technology program took part in a rite of passage on Saturday as 30 clinical laboratory science students received their white coats.

The awarding of the coats marks the beginning of the clinical and final year of education. This year’s ceremony included the start of a new tradition: the graduating students presented the white coats to the rising senior class. This action symbolized the passing of the torch of knowledge and service to the next class.

“Clinical laboratory scientists are skilled health professionals who perform and analyze laboratory tests used to diagnose and treat diseases and disorders. They are the scientists of the hospital,” Martha J. Lake, Medical Technology Program director, said. “They analyze specimens for chemical and cellular abnormalities, identify bacteria and viruses that cause disease and provide safe blood for patients who need transfusions. There is a critical national shortage of clinical laboratory scientists, and the WVU graduates are highly employable.”

In addition to the white coat ceremony, 10 clinical laboratory science students received scholarship awards.
Each year, one senior student receives the Achievement Award. This is the most important award given in the program. The award is based on academics, performance of clinical skills and areas such as responsibility, leadership and dedication to the profession of clinical laboratory science. This year’s recipient is Emily Sinclair from Glen Dale.

Recipients of the Mark Erwin Memorial Scholarship for Medical Technology are selected on the basis of friendship, loyalty, trust, willingness to help fellow students and support WVU — all qualities exhibited by Mark Erwin, a 1989 Medical Technology graduate who died in 1994 when U.S. Air Flight 1099 crashed in Charlotte, N.C.

The scholarship was established by Mark’s friends from the class of 1989 and his family to provide a continuing tribute to the enduring qualities that made him a special student and friend. The recipient of this year’s scholarship is Kelly Russell from Valley Bend.

The Frederick “Dutch” and Doris Lange Holter Memorial Scholarship was established by Jean Holter, Ed.D., in honor of her parents, who valued education, medicine and WVU.  Holter is the former program director and is now retired from WVU. The recipient of the scholarship is Joshua Roach of Letart.

The Peggy Jean Witt Williams Memorial Scholarship was established in her memory by her family in 1992. The scholarship fund has provided support to many medical technology students. Recipients are selected on the basis of participation in the WVU scholars program and exceptional academics. The 2009 recipients of the Peggy Jean Witt Williams Memorial Scholarship are John Stone from Beckley, Dennis Helmick III from Farmington, Pa., and Kerry Shannon from Staten Island, N.Y.

The Dane W. Moore Scholarship was started in 1991 and endowed in 2005.  It is named for a former emeriti faculty in medical technology. The scholarship is given to the incoming senior student who demonstrates excellence in the microbiology courses of the junior year. The recipient for 2009 is Kelly Russell from Valley Bend.

The BF Love Scholarship is named for Betholene F. Love, Ed.D., the founding director of the medical technology program. The scholarship was established in 1985 by the alumni upon  Love’s retirement. It is given to the incoming senior student(s) on the basis of academic achievement. For 2009, the scholarship recipients are Erin Pennington from Hurricane and Joshua Roach from Letart.

The Alumni Association Scholarships are given to two students who have completed the first professional year and selected by the Alumni Association Committee from the juniors who submit applications. The recipients are Tara Braithwaite from Elk Garden and Jessica Russell from Bridgeport.

For information on the Medical Technology Program see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/medtech.



For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 05-04-09

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