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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI graduate student awarded prestigious cytotechnology scholarship

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – February 17, 2005 -- Nicole Crothers, a University of Rhode Island graduate student studying cytotechnology, was awarded a highly competitive scholarship from the American Society of Clinical Pathology.

She is not only the first URI student to ever receive this award, but also the first recipient from Rhode Island in 20 years.

“I am thrilled to receive the ASCP scholarship since it is such a prominent society in the field of cytotechnology,” said Crothers, of Carolina, R.I.

Cytopathology is the microscopic study of cellular samples from body tissues. Cytotechnologists are the medical laboratory professionals that evaluate specimens from various body sites to detect evidence of disease at the cellular level.

“Nicole is an outstanding student. I am not surprised that she received this award. She received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from URI and was accepted for a very competitive full-time internship at Amgen in West Greenwich,” said Gregory E. Paquette, URI clinical professor and director of Biotechnology and Clinical Laboratory Science Programs.

URI’s graduate program in cytopathology is divided into two phases. In the first, students enroll in a 12 -month clinical internship at the Rhode Island School of Cytotechnology, which is sponsored by Women and Infants and Our Lady of Fatima hospitals. Students are eligible to become a certified and/or licensed cytotechnologist upon completion of the internship. The second phase is a part-time, evening program at the URI Feinstein Providence campus with courses in advanced clinical practice, education, management, and research.

“We are very pleased that Nicole won the scholarship. It reflects well upon her, as well as on URI and the Rhode Island School of Cytotechnology,” said Evelyn Riddell, the education coordinator for the program.

Program Director Barbara Klitz was a recipient of the ASCP scholarship the first year it was offered and was recently featured in an article in Laboratory Medicine magazine about the initial winners of the award.

“Nicole Crothers is our class leader in GPA,” said Klitz. “She is a well rounded individual and balances the challenges of a full time internship, part time work, and her social life admirably. She exhibits maturity in choices and excellent test taking skills. We anticipate that Nicole will have great success whatever path she chooses to follow. She will become an outstanding cytotechnologist and most likely contribute to the field in a significant way.”

“The accomplishments that Barbara has achieved suggest that Nicole is also headed on a similarly successful path,” said Riddell.

“I became interested in cytotechnology about a month before graduating from URI with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology,” said Crothers. “Dr. Paquette introduced me to the field, and the idea of working on cancer detection and early detection really appealed to me.

“I am very grateful to the ASCP and very excited to both be learning cytotechnology and to be on the path to becoming a cytotechnologist,” Crothers said.