Hi! I’m an accidental scientist residing in the beautiful pacific northwest. I thought I was going to be an art teacher, and then a little bit of life happened…and here I am! Here’s a little bit about how I got here.
Right after high school, I scored a pretty sweet gig as a courier for a private pathology lab in Kansas City, Missouri. As a courier for the lab, I got to drive all over the city to various medical client locations and pick up body parts. Yep. I drove body parts all over the city. I did that for a little while, and loved getting a glimpse of the parts I was picking up from time to time as I brought them back to the lab. I remember watching my first leg dissection. At first, it was soooo gross! But over time, I became more and more intrigued. When a position opened in the lab for an assistant, I moved in. I totally attacked that job, and even started being able to assist with autopsies. I loved it so much, I decided I was going to do some science and get my butt to college.
I started at the University of Missouri intent on a Double Major in Nursing and Biology. I spent one semester as a nursing student, and decided it just wasn’t for me (Nurses, I salute you). I proceeded as a Biology major, and I gotta tell ya….I struggled. My whole life I thought I was going to be an art teacher! In high school I didn’t take any chemistry classes, or advanced math or anything like that. So when I got to physics, I tapped out. Ugh. I talked to an advisor and I decided to make up my own degree… “Interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in Health Sciences and Psychology.” While I worked on completing my degree, I worked two jobs. One as an evening shift supervisor in Histology at a private pathology lab, and the other as a lab assistant in Microbiology at University of Missouri Health Services. While I loved both jobs dearly, the job in histology required frequent exposure to many carcinogenic chemicals. When I took a medical microbiology course, I fell in love with micro (and it’s lack of toxic chemicals) and decided to veer that direction. I ditched the histology job and went full micro.
When I graduated from college, my beloved micro lab snatched me up. I did a year-long clinical rotation of all the benches in the microbiology lab. I worked on a variety of bacterial cultures, including urines, respiratory sites, deep wound collections, and sterile sites like blood. I also learned about parasitology, mycobacteriology (TB), and….my favorite…MYCOLOGY!! After my year of clinical rotations, I took a really hard test (sweated my way through it). I’m now board certified by the American Society for Clinical Pathology as a Scientist in the area of Microbology, M(ASCP)cm. If you’d like to learn more about my certification process, click here: http://www.ascp.org/Board-of-Certification/GetCertified#tabs-1
I eventually made it out to the gorgeous state of Washington, and here I am. I thought I’d take my loves of fungus, art, science, teaching, and photography and share it with you! Thanks for stopping by and hanging out!
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