COSAM News Articles 2020 May Recent COSAM Graduate Pursues Hospital Lab Career

Recent COSAM Graduate Pursues Hospital Lab Career

Published: 05/19/2020

By: Carla Nelson

Recent Auburn University graduate Sydney Sommers plans to use her degree through the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) to do the important work that will allow doctors to make patient diagnoses. Originally from Huntsville, Ala., Sydney recently graduated with a degree in clinical laboratory science and plans to work in a hospital laboratory.  

Sydney’s original plan was to pursue a career in forensic science, but after she began taking clinical laboratory science classes at Auburn her goals shifted.

“The clinical laboratory science classes are mostly aimed towards teaching how to work in a hospital laboratory,” Sydney said. “However, they also provide so much more interesting information that isn’t taught in other majors. They focus heavily on teaching human physiology and the etiology of diseases and disorders. These courses really helped me realize that I wanted to work in a hospital laboratory. I felt that this was a good way to help people while being in the background.”

Sydney spent three days shadowing in Huntsville Hospital’s lab this past summer. After that experience she said she has never been more confident in her decision to pursue this career.

“This profession is much more important than most people realize,” she said. “It is the lab results that allow doctors to make diagnoses.”

During her time at Auburn, Sydney was a teaching assistant for basics to laboratory science and parasitology/clinical immunohematology. She said taking on this responsibility was a step out of her comfort zone.

“I’m a pretty quiet person, and I have never been much of one for public speaking,” she shared. “I quickly began to really enjoy the position and I got more comfortable speaking in front of groups. I am incredibly thankful for these experiences and I feel they helped me grow as a person.”

She was also the treasurer for Lambda Tau, the honor society for laboratory science, made the Dean’s List several times, received the Achievement  Scholarship and two scholarships from the 278th Regimental Combat Team. In her free time, Sydney enjoys spending time at Chewacla State Park and teaching herself to play musical instruments.

Sydney has been selected to attend the Emory Healthcare Medical Laboratory Science Program starting in August. This is a clinical internship that will provide her with the knowledge and experience required to work in a hospital laboratory. After the completion of this program, she will receive a second bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in medical laboratory science and will be eligible to take a certification exam.

Sydney said she appreciates that the COSAM curriculum was challenging.

“Because of that, I had to put in so many hours of hard work to understand and do well in these classes,” she said. “I believe that because of these classes, my work ethic and motivation has increased. I also feel that I am a much more determined and confident person because of my COSAM courses and experiences.”


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