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NIU students excel in cell competition

November 8, 2021

It wasn’t just fun and games when a team of NIU Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) students battled others from around the country in the first-ever National Cell Bowl sponsored by The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

MLS students Samantha Ortiz, Elaina Kinney, Brooke Gainer, Kieran Van Vliet, Yesenia Garcia Rivera, Josh Naser, Rebekah Gonzalez, Presli Lovell, Jasmine Parra and Soyoung Park put their skills to the test during the National Cell Bowl of hematology students, a month-long event designed to help students hone their skills while preparing for the ASCP Board of Certification exams.

“Ample evidence shows student engagement is essential for learning,” said Rouzbeh Chegeni, assistant professor of Medical Laboratory Sciences, NIU School of Health Studies. “Gamification of learning is one way to increase student engagement, and the National Cell Bowl created an opportunity for MLS students to do so.”

The Cell Bowl uses a free study tool where students take weekly quizzes and then the team’s faculty submits their team’s best score. Chegeni said aside from making learning fun, tournaments like this promote a sense of community and enhance collaboration skills.

“I am very thankful to our students who participated in this event and grateful to colleagues in the MLS program, school of Health Studies and the College of Health and Human Sciences who encourage such activities,” Chegeni said.

NIU students’ four-week score landed them in ninth place out of 30 teams in the Midwest.

Learn more about NIU’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program.