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Lexie Edwards, who will graduate with her second bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2020, discovered a match with clinical laboratory science in the Department of Allied Health Sciences after earning a degree in biology in 2018.

“I’ve always had an interest in science. The human body really fascinates me,” Edwards said.

As a biology major, Edwards, a first-generation college student, realized she wanted a to pursue a profession that included more work in the laboratory.

“This program is a lot of hands-on experience, which is nice, because you usually don’t get that experience just as a bio major. But here, you’re actually in the lab, doing it yourself,” Edwards said.

Edwards, who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease as a child, said the experience spurred her to pursue a career in health care. After she graduates with her degree in clinical laboratory science, she hopes to work locally in a hospital lab, perhaps in blood banking, where she has completed one of many clinical rotations.

“Not only are we getting to learn about what’s actually happening in the real world, but we’re getting to experience it. Getting to see what it’s like in the field for yourself while you are still in school is such a cool thing,” Edwards said.

Edwards, from Franklin, North Carolina, said the small class sizes and a lab tour solidified her decision to return to school.

“I really liked the faculty,” Edwards said. “I’m able to be in the lab all the time, which I had really enjoyed from previous courses in biology.” […] “It’s really humbling to be a part of.”

Edwards is the 2019-2020 Susan Lanning-Taylor Clinical Laboratory Science Program Endowment Fund scholar.

“Receiving the Lanning-Taylor scholarship was just a huge relief for me,” Edwards said. “There’s only so much work that you can do when you’re in a nine-hour rotation every day and also have schoolwork. It’s just a nice buffer to have.”