By Kate Hunger
When Rebecca Jasso reflects on what persuaded her to enroll in the clinical laboratory science program at UT Health San Antonio, she credits two people: her father and Cheryl Burns M.S., MLS (ASCP) Associate Professor.
“My father, who is a fellow UT Health San Antonio graduate, led me to the degree, as he recognized my strengths in the field of science,” Jasso says. “He found the program and got me in contact with a faculty member.”
Jasso’s conversation with Burns was pivotal, as it convinced her she had found her educational and professional path.
“I knew this was the place for me,” says Jasso, who currently is the lab manager for seven oncology clinics in San Antonio and the Hill Country.
“Without my comprehensive education from UT Health San Antonio, I would not have been able to make such a significant advancement in such a small amount of time,” Jasso says.
Following graduation, Jasso accepted a position as a histocompatibility technologist in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) Laboratory at University Hospital, where she received invaluable experience working on the transplant team. Three years later, she joined the staff of an oncology clinic, where she gained additional laboratory experience in hematology.
The medical laboratory sciences program at UT Health San Antonio set her up for success, she says.
“I was able to seamlessly move from HLA to hematology even after several years.”
While working in the oncology clinic, Jasso became more involved with the quality control at the laboratory and was able to use some of the skills she learned in her management class. Within two years, she advanced in her position and recently was promoted to laboratory manager.
Jasso says she is grateful to the program faculty and proud to be an alumna.
“To any students interested in becoming a clinical laboratory scientist, this is where you want to be,” she said. “Your career opportunities after graduation are endless.”