Industry Tour Series: Rochester General Hospital

September 24, 2014

Welcome back to our STEM Series:  Summer Teaching Institute Industry Tours.  In this series we are highlighting the local industries that welcomed our Summer Institute participants this summer.  Read more about the Summer Institute here.  This installment focuses on Rochester General Hospital.  


Teachers Tour Rochester General Hospital on 8/12/14

When we arrived at Rochester General Hospital, we were warmly greeted by Dr. Lucy Sheils, who escorted us through a beautiful atrium, complete with player piano and a café, to the centrally-located lab facility. As soon as we walked through the door, we were in a bright, clean, and busy medical laboratory.

We were welcomed to a conference room with coffee and bagels/sweet treats where we met more of the staff who hosted our visit. There were some opening remarks by Dr. Sheils, including information about the upcoming shortage of medical technologists – who comprise most of the lab staff – due to retirements and increased demand. She introduced us to her specialty, pathology, including her path from high school though medical school to where she is today.

Students at the Rochester General Hospital Clinical Laboratory Technology Program

Students at the Rochester General Hospital Clinical Laboratory Technology Program

Dr. Roberto Vargas talked more about the Medical Technology training program at the hospital including information about the various entry points to a career in the laboratory side of medical practice. These opportunities range from phlebotomists who are required to have a HS diploma through opportunities at the Associates degree, Bachelors degree, up through Medical School. The function and interaction of each of five laboratory specialty areas was described to us by Dr. Roberto Vargas/Microbiology, Lorraine Francisco/Chemistry, Maureen Shoenberger/Hematology, Hal James/Histology, and Glenda Spencer/Blood Bank. Each of these specialists then gave us a tour through their area that included tissue preparation including sectioning a colon, microscope slide preparation and staining, drug testing and specimen culturing, blood analysis including an impressive automated system that moved samples to various test equipment. The laboratory staff was, without exception, extremely welcoming, cheerful, and enthusiastic. They clearly enjoyed sharing what they did and how they did it with us and were both conscientious and proud of their work.

As teachers, it was an extremely useful tour from the perspective of understanding medical laboratory practices as well as informing us of additional career opportunities to discuss with students. Most focus on becoming a nurse or a doctor because that is the most visible part of the profession but there are many other opportunities for work that is both in demand and a good career choice in terms of working conditions, opportunity, and compensation.


Kathryn Jensen, Vanguard Collegiate High School

Thank you very much to the staff of Rochester General Hospital’s Laboratory for a wonderful morning!

Kathryn Jensen is a Science Teacher (Chemistry) at the Vanguard Collegiate High School, in the Rochester City School District.  She participated in the Summer STEM Teaching Institute offered by the Finger Lakes STEM Hub.

Finger Lakes STEM Hub Launch

April 30, 2012

Sara Silverstone

Each month since December of 2010 I have had the privilege to facilitate a remarkable collaborative group of leaders in education, government, higher ed and community organizations as we developed a regional Hub of the Empire State STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Learning Network. We developed a mission, vision, goals, working committees and action items for the year. In the past week we began inviting influential community leaders to join our Board of Champions. We have big plans and a wonderful, energetic and diverse group to carry them out. This is networking at its best!

Nearly every day I read about economic problems whose solution is to develop a technically trained workforce who can fill the jobs of the 21st Century. Students graduate without the skills employers are desperately seeking, and as a result, half of all of recent college graduates are either jobless or underemployed while great jobs are remain unfilled. Clearly there is a gap between what we are teaching our young people and what they need to learn in order to find good jobs.

What can leaders from business and education do about this disconnect, which adversely affects everybody?  By coming together in agreement about the elements of a high-quality 21st Century education and ensuring that that is what our students receive, the double-edged problem of unemployment and lack of a skilled workforce can be addressed. For too long, industry and education operated in separate silos, unaware and unconcerned about their common needs.

With the launch of the Finger Lakes STEM Hub, our region joins a statewide and national STEM learning network which enables all constituencies to acknowledge our common goals and work across sectors to address our nations most pressing technical and economic problems.

Over the next few weeks, participants in the Finger Lakes STEM Hub will share their perspective on how STEM education can address our most pressing problems and how the Finger Lakes STEM Hub can contribute to these solutions.

Changing Old Fryer Oil to Biodiesel Fuel @ Nazareth College

April 22, 2009

Today is Earth day. We want to recognize Nazareth College of Rochester for their environmental efforts or green initiatives.

This year, Nazareth College acquired the BioPro 190 as part of their efforts to help the environment. There are 18 colleges in the US using this machine. The BioPro 190 changes the frying oil used in the college’s cafeterias  to biodiesel fuel. The fuel is then used to run the diesel vehicles and lawn mowers on campus. Nazareth College is the only college in the region that is making their own biodiesel fuel.

As Bob Sanderson, Nazareth Grounds Manager, said: “It’s really not about economy for Nazareth College. It’s about ecology.”

I hope this inspires other local and national colleges and universities to follow on Nazareth’s footsteps!

PS: I just hope it doesn’t smell like french fries when they’re driving the cars or lawn mowers or they’re going to want to run to the cafeteria to get some as it happened to me while doing this post! 🙂