August 8, 2018

Aleesha Klein, Bismarck, N.D., a May 2016 graduate of Mayville State University, is working in pathology/histology at CHI St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck. She works both in the pathology gross room, grossing in specimens, and also in the histology side of lab cutting, embedding, and staining slides. She has found her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minor in chemistry to serve her well in her new career.

Aleesha was at Mayville State for two years. The courses she took, including botany, cell biology, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology and lab, quantitative analysis, probability and statistics, and organic chemistry and lab, each prepared her in some way for her current position in the hospital lab.

She says, “Botany and cell biology taught me how to prepare and know what I am looking for when using the microscope to look at a slide. Invertebrate and vertebrate zoology taught me about dissecting and anatomy. My chemistry-based courses were very important for the histology part of my job in immunohistochemistry and other special staining for tissues.”

Klein is grateful to the faculty members at Mayville State and feels the one-on-one learning experiences were beneficial.

“Dr. Mehus’s classes were my favorite because I enjoy zoology and anatomy very much. He was always helpful to ask questions and would go beyond just regular class to help me search for jobs and opportunities,” said Aleesha. “I had a great experience and interaction with all Mayville State faculty, even if they weren’t my professors. They truly were there to help me and always went above and beyond!”

Aleesha was involved in extra-curricular activities that helped her find new friends and become more focused, serving as president of the Pre-professional club and treasurer of the Science Club. “Juggling my classes, work, and extra-curricular activities helped me become more focused by teaching me time management. Pre-professional Club helped me to know how to network and to meet people for jobs and other opportunities. Participating in clubs looks good on a resume too!”

Klein was fortunate to begin her job at CHI St. Alexius Hospital in May of 2017. She plans to gain more experience in the gross room and possibly go back to college to become a certified pathology assistant. She encourages students who aren’t really sure what to do with a biology degree to research the possibilities thoroughly. “I did not even know pathology technician or histology was an obtainable job until I checked it out and applied. I thoroughly enjoy what I do in the lab and think others will too. There are so many jobs in a hospital that a person could pursue after earning a biology degree.”