MarissaHitsonMarissa Hitson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology when she realized she didn’t have many job prospects with that degree. The Ocoee, Tenn. native remembered a high school teacher had been a medical technologist.

“I remembered her saying how she enjoyed her job due to the laboratory aspect,” said Hitson. “I decided that medical technology would allow me to continue my microbiology training as well as allow me to be a part of the healthcare filed with a focus on the laboratory.”

Hitson has excelled in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program. She won the CLS Outstanding Student and the CLS Scholastic Award this year. She is the outgoing president of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Student Association and led her classmates in community activities such as health screenings with the minority health project and working along with the Birmingham AIDS Outreach. Hitson said her chosen field makes a difference.

“Though you may not be directly involved with patients, it is critical to realize the importance of your job and the impact it will have on other’s lives,” she said.

Hitson realizes that in her current job as a medical technologist in the blood bank at University Hospital in Birmingham. She will continue working there when she graduates on Saturday (Aug. 6) with a masters’ in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

“After graduation, I will take my certification exam,” said Hitson. “I also hope to be able to relax and enjoy no longer being a student.”