Alumni Spotlight - May 2019
Caroline Doty '14
Caroline Doty had a couple of degrees under her belt before she found Oregon Tech. She earned a bachelor’s in biology from Clayton State University and a master’s in drug design from Northwestern University. Caroline began working in research because she wanted to help people, wanted to find those elusive cures and provide hope. She soon realized that her research meant being in a lab working with mice or human samples from many years ago. She longed to make a bigger impact and to have a human connection with her work. She decided to shadow a colleague for a day and that’s when she decided she would go back to school to become a medical lab scientist.
The research for universities that offered MLS programs brought Caroline to Oregon, where her husband had family. She discovered that Oregon Tech was the only school to offer a 4-year degree program in medical lab sciences in the state. With two prior degrees, Caroline was able to just complete the last year of the MLS program. She began her studies in 2013 and earned her degree in 2014. Caroline says she knew within the first few months of her new degree program that she had found the right fit and made the best decision for her career. Oregon Tech’s highly competitive program only accepts between 40-50 students per year and with five professors, that means everyone becomes well acquainted. The professors at Oregon Tech not only know their students academically, but they get to know them on a personal level which assists them when it comes time to finding the right match for each student’s externship placement. Caroline explained that students spend the last few months of their program at an externship site and that the faculty tries to match each student with a site that is the best fit for them. As a student, Caroline helped start the club TNT (Techs in Training) which has now transitioned to being the ASCLS Club, the student club for the national ACLCS (American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science) organization.
Caroline was placed at PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Washington for her externship and was hired there as a clinical laboratory scientist right after graduation. She very much enjoyed her new career but her former Oregon Tech professors knew that she also had an interest in teaching. She had taught previously in other universities so it was a natural progression when she was asked to step in as an adjunct professor to cover a professor’s medical leave. She was hired as a full time assistant professor in 2016 and has been doing that ever since. Caroline teaches Foundations in MLS and Introduction to MLS, for students who may be interested in pursuing the degree program. Additionally, she teaches Urinalysis, Molecular Diagnostics and Virology to MLS students and co-teaches a summer class for high school students called Medical Detectives.
Although she is now a full time faculty member for Oregon Tech, Caroline continues to work a few days per month at PeaceHealth. She finds the work valuable since it keeps her up-to-date on scientific advancements and provides her with anecdotal stories she can use in the classroom. Caroline thoroughly enjoys teaching and explains that she particularly enjoys hearing her students’ stories about why they chose to go into this field and she loves witnessing those “a-ha” moments when students make a connection between what they’re studying and their own lives.
Caroline says she’s hoping to stay at Oregon Tech for the long haul. In addition to teaching, she also serves as a clinical coordinator, helps students and alumni find jobs and conducts clinical site visits. She hopes to eventually earn a doctorate in adult education and continue her wonderful work with our Oregon Tech students and alumni.
~Becky Burkeen, Alumni Relations Manager