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UTPA graduate receives highest test score in the nation
Posted: 09/19/2001
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Wendy Gillum, a December 2000 graduate of The University of Texas-Pan American, recently received the highest score in the nation on the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) National Certification exam.

Gillum took the ASCP certification exam in March, during the first quarter administration of the exam, along with 327 other students and received a score of 800. The second highest score was 749.

"I wasn't expecting to get such a high score because I thought the exam was difficult," Gillum said. "But I feel pretty honored."

Gillum was part of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program (CLS), a 15-month allied health professional program designed to prepare students to become clinical laboratory scientists or medical technologists.

After two years of attending school at Trinity University in San Antonio, Gillum transferred to UTPA where she enrolled in the CLS program. From the beginning of her college career, she always knew what she wanted to do.

"I always wanted to do something in the medical field, and working in the labs was the most exciting part about the program," she said. "It is a challenging program because you have to be in class all day, but it's well worth it."

"The faculty of the clinical laboratory science program are very proud of Wendy's accomplishments," said Karen Chandler, department coordinator and professor. "This is an exceptional achievement, and graduating from the clinical laboratory science program will prepare her to fulfill many exciting roles."

Gillum is currently working as a clinical laboratory scientist at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen where she tests various specimens provided by doctors.

CLS practitioners or medical technologists perform laboratory tests, which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The CLS professional is also responsible for confirming the accuracy of test results and reporting laboratory findings to the physician. They may also evaluate patient test results to determine the need for follow-up or confirmatory testing.

For more information on the CLS program, contact Karen Chandler at (956) 318-5269 or by e-mail at kchandler@panam.edu.