Delaware Tech students receive national honor award

Georgetown –Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) students Joyce Hastings, of Lewes, and Zackary Hurley, of Delmar, received National Student Honor Awards from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

These honors, awarded every year, are based on academic achievement, leadership ability, community activities, professional goals, and endorsements from faculty and community leaders.

Receiving this award is very meaningful for both Hastings and Hurley.

“It was quite an honor for me to receive the national students honor award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology,” said Hastings. “ASCP is the national accreditation board through which I will become certified as an MLT once I graduate from the program here at Delaware Tech.”

“This award reminds me that I’ve been doing the right thing by focusing on my education and career first,” said Hurley. “All of the sacrifices that I have made in the last two years will pay off as long as I keep my focus.”

They are both exceptional students who were drawn to MLT for different reasons.

Hastings, a native of Sussex County, has a master’s degree in virology for the University of Delaware; she chose to study MLT after she was unable to find a job in the field upon her return to Sussex County.

“I feel that I am receiving a quality education that includes essential hands-on practical experience,” said Hastings, who is completing the two-year degree in one year. “My professional goal is to get a good, recession-proof job in a medical lab in the Sussex County area.”

Hurley has always been interested in health care but was not sure what he wanted to do until he discovered MLT.

“Everyone I knew swore that I would go on to become a doctor, but I’ve found that direct patient contact is simply not for me,” said Hurley. “Being an MLT will allow me to work behind the scenes, but at the same time, I will still contribute my piece of the puzzle.”

Hastings and Hurley are co-presidents of Medical Assistant Laboratory Technician Association (MALTA) on campus. In that capacity, they have been involved in several community activities including a road clean-up and collecting items to donate to Bear Hugs for Babies, a Rehoboth-based nonprofit that provides supplies for newborns. They conducted monthly bake sales to raise money for the purchase of laboratory equipment for an MLT program in the Congo. MALTA also hosts an annual blood drive at Delaware Tech for the Blood Bank of Delmarva.

Sherrie Shupe, instructional coordinator for medical laboratory technology at Delaware Tech, is extremely pleased that the students received this award.

“The National Student Honor Awards not only recognize the students' scholastic achievements but also their service to the college and the community,” said Shupe. “These students are the future leaders of the laboratory. I am proud to have taught them and look forward to them being my colleagues.”

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