Profile of Tomorrow's Histologists

Two of the young histology students who received this year's student scholarships, share their stories.

Megan Hellie

I am honored to be the recipient of the Avantik Student Scholarship this year! I would love to share my story to hopefully help and inspire others who are interested in histology.

For my first three years of college, I attended Oakland University and now I am in the HTL program at Beaumont in Royal Oak, Michigan. When starting at Oakland I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare to help people but did not want to actually interact with patients so I started focusing on work behind the scenes in a laboratory. I found histology on Oakland University’s website and instantly wanted to learn more. It sounded perfect; working with tissue to aid in patient diagnosis.

To find out if histology is right for you I highly encourage job shadowing. I was lucky enough to be at a university that is affiliated with an HTL program so I was able to get introduced to it. Job descriptions are sometimes hard to understand without seeing the day to day workflow. Even at the start of my program I had no idea what a microtome was or what any special stains were. I thought I wanted a different career path but once I shadowed someone I immediately changed my plans to become a Histotechnologist.

This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of becoming a future Histotechnologist by going towards the HTL certification exam. The rest of the funds will be used for textbooks I have gotten throughout school.

The advice I would give anyone who is thinking about applying for a scholarship is to go for it! You’ll be surprised what you are capable of.

I am only 21 years old and I feel like I’ve done so much more than I thought I could and there is only going up from here.

I also recommend keeping an updated resume and have someone give input on your accomplishments because nothing is too small to include.

Once I graduate from my program my goal is to get a job as a Histotechnologist. I don’t know if I want to go into any specialties because I am still learning how big the histology field is!

Gregory Chan

I would like to start by thanking the National Society of Histotechnology for choosing me to be the recipient of their 2019 NSH Student Scholarship. When I first began my academic career in college I did not know much about histology. I only really had a rudimentary understanding that histology is the study of tissues. I had no idea that histologist was responsible for creating the microscopic slides I had looked at in Bio I.

While completing my Bachelor of Science in Biology at Temple University in Philadelphia, I enrolled into the histology course that was offered. It was then that I learned more detail about the history of histology as well as what a histologist does. The lab part of the course also allowed me to get a hands-on experience floating tissue on a water bath, picking it up with a slide, followed by staining with H&E.

Post-graduation I had received a job in a histology laboratory for a reference lab. I worked closely with grossing technicians and histotechs which eventually led me to pursue a histotechnology program at Indiana University School of Medicine. I then earned my ASCP HTL certification 3 months after finishing the Histotechnology program. I am now currently employed at Tampa General Hospital, the first and only level I trauma center in the Tampa Bay area. I could not have asked for a better place to continue my growth as a histologist.

I will be using this scholarship to help fund a capstone course which will result in earning an associate degree in histotechnology from Indiana University School of Medicine. I will be continuing my career at Tampa General Hospital to further develop my skills in the variety of tasks a histologist performs. I would also like to pursue a masters in pathology assisting.

Whether you know a lot or even just a little about the field of histology, I would highly recommend learning more about the day to day tasks of a histologist. Histology is a rewarding career and I have not met a single person in the field that would disagree.

Interested in scholarships for histology students?

Check out NSH's new student scholarship, the Symposium/Convention Student Leadership Scholarship, which will fund two students to attend this year's Symposium/Convention in New Orleans!

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