One solution to the problem of the increasing number of laboratory job vacancies in the U.S. is to provide financial support to aspiring laboratorians in Medical Laboratory Science or Technology programs. That is why COLA, a national laboratory accreditor and an advocate for quality in laboratory medicine and patient care, has awarded ten students studying laboratory science at U.S. colleges and universities with a $500 scholarship, for a total of $5,000. The COLAcares Scholarship awards are part of the organization’s GiveBack365 initiative, designed to foster awareness of careers in the medical laboratory industry and to attract more students to the profession.
The 2017 winners are: Binika Chunara, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Carrie Nienhuis and Kristina Adams, University of North Dakota; Cassandar Snyder, Elmira College; Concetta Capoen, University of Maryland; Jessica Marie Coffindaffer, Pierpont Community &Technical College; Mollie Devening and Sunni Gresham, Louisiana Tech University; Priscilla Hall, Southwest University; and Estefanie Rodarte, Southwest University at El Paso.
Each winner met the scholarship program’s exacting criteria, and demonstrated success in their respective institution’s laboratory science or technology programs. COLA established the scholarship program in 2012 to encourage greater participation in laboratory science programs and to create greater awareness of the importance of quality lab practices in the delivery of safe, effective health care.
“COLA is proud to provide this financial support to these deserving students,” said Douglas Beigel, CEO of COLA. “With a projected increase in the number of current laboratory job vacancies in the U.S., these scholarships will help the next generation pursue clinical laboratory science careers. Most importantly, it will enable them to make a difference in the lives of patients.”
COLA also has also funded a $25,000 endowment to expand the Medical Laboratory Technician program at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD, where the organization’s headquarters are located.