School of Health Professions

Students take 2nd place in MLS Bowl

MLS students at MLS Bowl


One of two student teams fields by the Division of Medical Laboratory Sciences placed second in a medical laboratory science bowl competition at the Texas Association of Clinical Laboratory Science Conference.

“It’s testing everything they learn in the MLS program in the core areas of immunohematology, chemistry, microbiology and hematology,” said Assistant Professor Tiffany Roerich Wafford,  MSTM, MLS(ASCP)CM, SBBCM, who served as the teams’ adviser, along with Associate Professor Cheryl Burns, MLS (ASCP)CM.

“The actual competition was nerve-wracking at first because we had never done it before,” said second-year master’s student Molly Chapa, one of the students who competed on the team that placed second to a team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “We had practiced a simulated version against the other team that went. It was pretty exciting because we had an audience. It was enjoyable to show off our knowledge.”

The MLS Bowl team earning second place included Chapa, Isabella Atkins, Anyssa Medrano, Graciela Hernandez and alternate Ana Esquivel. Competing on the program’s other team were Beverly Nystrom, Kiara De La Cruz, Rebecca Villalobos and Mary Huerta. Felix Morales served as alternate.

The program also had a team finish second in a “laboratory” Olympics, in which teams competed to see who excelled at various lab-themed challenges involving test tubes, pipettes, centrifuges and fake bodily fluid. Competing on that team were Wafford, Huerta, Morales, Nystrom and Villalobos.

The conference provided an opportunity for students to find out what students in other programs are learning, said Wafford, who also presented her research on antigen frequency among Hispanic blood donors.

“It’s important because they get to network and see how they perform against other students in other programs — and they did very well.”

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