Two Albright seniors, Leah Strausser and Drew MacDonald have been accepted into Tower Health’s eleven month Medical Laboratory Science program at the Reading Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science. They will begin training after graduating from Albright College this spring.
MacDonald, of Dover, Pa., is an Albright College Founder’s Scholar and a graduate of Dover Area High School studying biology/business administration at Albright. He is a member of the college’s NCAA Division III men’s swimming team, as well as vice president of both the Dearden Honor Society and Tri-Beta at Albright College.
Having originally considered a career as a psychiatrist, Strausser discovered through her Albright courses that she enjoyed the laboratory environment – making the Medical Laboratory Science program a perfect fit. At least a quarter of every Albright College course is dedicated to producing and implementing innovative ideas, often to solve societal challenges.
Working as a research student with Adam Hersperger, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, Strausser is taking part in ongoing investigation by Albright undergraduates into the role of ectromelia growth factor in the ectromelia (mousepox) virus. At the same time, she is delving into an evolutionary psychology concept called mate value with her senior thesis advisor, Susan Hughes, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of evolutionary studies at Albright.
“I’ve always enjoyed both biology and psychology, so I really wanted to focus on those subjects when I entered college,” says Strausser. “I’ve especially always been interested in the brain, and many biological aspects of the brain correlate with topics discussed in psychology, such as mental disorders and certain cognitive abnormalities. Brain chemistry and anatomy can impact human behavior, emotions, personality, etc. in a variety of ways, and it’s very interesting to learn about!”
Once immersed in the Medical Laboratory Science program,Strausser hopes to learn how to perform a wide variety of biological tests to benefit patients while working in a clinical setting.
“I have not worked in a lab setting where the tests performed are essential for diagnosing and treating patients,” says Strausser. “So, the work is meaningful, and will make me feel like I am contributing something bigger even though I am not interacting with patients.”
The School of Medical Laboratory Science was established in 1934 as The School of Medical Technology. Albright College graduate Morgan Rahtjen ’22 completed Tower Health’s Medical Laboratory Science program and her Albright degree in Biology: Biotechnology as part of a 3+1 program last spring, and is now employed in Reading Hospital’s clinical laboratory.