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2020 Grad Works Two Jobs to Help Fight Against COVID-19

by Gabrielle D'Amico

Emily Kamieniecki ’20 went straight to working not one but two jobs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after graduating from Wilkes University in May.

In her first job, the medical laboratory science major helps match donor organs with potential patient recipients as a tissue typing laboratory scientist. In the evenings, she works in the molecular pathology laboratory triaging COVID test samples from seven hospitals.

“The lab is often overlooked as a vital step in the diagnostic process,” the Lafayette Hill, Pa., native says. “Laboratory scientists are working tirelessly to make sure all the COVID testing gets done in a timely fashion and patients are accurately diagnosed.”

Kamieniecki, who earned the Outstanding Research Award in Biology at Wilkes, honed her laboratory skills as an undergraduate student, including paid summer research positions. She used genetic techniques to quantify microbial communities with Dr. Caroline Fortunato, studied shrew parasites with Dr. Michael Steele, and examined causes of nest failure in declining songbird populations with Dr. Jeff Stratford. She presented her research on microbes at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in San Francisco.

“Wilkes University provided me with unique opportunities that set me up for success in my career as a medical laboratory scientist. Each summer I participated in student research projects,” notes Kamieniecki, who recently achieved board certification. “These experiences set me apart during my application and job-hunting process. I also had an exceptional academic advisor, Dr. Lisa Kadlec, who helped me every step of the way.”

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