Jennifer Shaffer Class of 2019
Jennifer was born in Vallejo, California and lived there for four years before she moved to and was ultimately raised in San Antonio, Texas.
Her interest in Medical Laboratory Science began towards the end of her last semester at UTSA when she took microbiology lab. “The challenge and volume of content was enough to make at least half of the students in my laboratory section drop before the final drop date, but even so I worked my hardest to push through it, and microbiology lab proved to be one of the most fun, interesting, and relevant classes I’ve ever taken,” she said.
She really didn’t start to appreciate the medical laboratory field until early April of 2016 when she fell extremely ill. After two back-to-back ER visits, she was transferred to Baptist Medical Center to recover from a case of acute infectious colitis. “As an on-the-goer and outdoor adventurer, I’ve never felt more miserable in my life than I did in a hospital bed. I felt constrained and helpless, unable to live my active lifestyle, help my family, enjoy time with friends, and perform at my absolute best in all aspects of my life,” she said.
This is when she began to understand how important laboratory diagnostics were to answer the questions she so desperately sought. Her diagnoses often hung on the interpretation of her laboratory results. “It was probably the first time I was truly able to appreciate the work that medical laboratory scientists do,” she said.
“I feel that medical laboratory science compliments my introvert personality, satisfies my love for hands-on science, and quenches my thirst for discovery, answers, and results,” she said. Jenn hopes to contribute to a greater understanding and control of infectious diseases and wants to improve the overall quality of human and environmental health.
She chose UT Health San Antonio because of its excellent reputation, location, and proximity to home. It made UT Health the perfect place to continue her education. UT Health San Antonio’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program is one of the few programs in the nation that offer a Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences.
Jenn enjoys backpacking across the state of Texas with her friends and enjoys spending quality time with her and her fiancé’s families. She also spends a good portion of her time caring for her 12-year-old diabetic cat, Salem, and newly adopted kitten, Zelda.