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Southern Wins National Super ‘Cell’ Bowl

PHOTO | Southern

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College won the 2021 National Super Cell Bowl Championship.

The team competition tests medical laboratory students’ knowledge of blood cell morphology using the CellaVision app and CellQuiz game. The bowl is sponsored by Medical Lab Lady Gill and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).

Morphology experts from around the world developed this extensive blood cell image library for students and laboratory professionals. The competition provided the students with a fun way to test their knowledge in cell morphology and compete against other laboratory students across the nation.

The seven-week competition began October fourth and consisted of teams from 72 Colleges and Universities across the nation. Teams were made up of students from both AAS MLT and BS MLS programs. The country was divided into the Western, Midwest, and Eastern regions.

“Touchdown” were awarded to the teams with the best scores each week.

Weeks one through four had teams competing within their regions. The top two teams in each region advanced to the week five playoffs. The teams that made it to the playoffs competed for one of the three semifinal spots in week six. The top two teams competed in week seven to be champions.

Southern finished first in the East to advance and finished third in the nation week 5. Southern picked up the pace in week six, receiving the Touchdown Award for the week and moving on to the week seven finals of the competition battling against Weber State Universities’ MLS program. Southern took the title by identifying 30 cells in an amazing time of 20.9 seconds. Weber had a score of 30 cells in 22.28. Finishing third place was Northeast Wisconsin Technical College with a score of 24.09.

Southern MLT student, Erin Garretson, was named MVP with the best individual score of the competition - identifying 30 cells in 20.9 seconds. She also received a specially designed Hematology Hero backpack for her efforts.

Other Southern students who achieved perfect scores and identified 30 cells in less than 60 seconds were: Megan Cochran, Summer Collins, Stacy Conley, and Tiffany Copley.

Southern team members also included: Kaitlyn Coleman, Rebecca Collins, Elexus Havis, Kayla Lowe, Kristy Newsome, Joseph Sigmon, Jill Sparks, Shania Topping, Garrett White, Jaidyn Adkins, Brandon Arthur, Tanya Ball, Summer Butcher, Haylie Ellis, Krystal Hensley, Alexis Lusk, Callista Ransier, Kelsey Slone, and Margaret White.

Shirley Dardi, Professor and Coordinator of Medical Laboratory Technology at Southern said she learned about the Cell Bowl competition from the ASCP BOC Program Director's support group that she joined at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Directors shared resources and ideas for teaching in the difficult circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

“I almost didn’t enter the competition out of concern for time management as we transitioned back to the classroom this semester from virtual learning,” Dadi said. “I actually submitted our application on the last day of registration.”

Dardi along with MLT Instructor Christy Spry say they couldn’t be more proud of the students. “Throughout the competition, they continued to amaze us each week with improved scores,” Dardi said. “This competition motivated the students to practice and improve their abnormal cell identification skills in a fun, interactive way. This win shows that with hard work and dedication there isn’t anything they can’t achieve.”

Southern President, Dr. Pamela Alderman said, “These students have brought pride to our MLT program, Southern WV Community and Technical College, and the state of West Virginia. We are so proud of them.”

Southern will receive a trophy, ASCP BOC study guides, and Interactive Practice Exam Bundles for each team member. Southern will be featured in ASCP's Critical Values and have live interviews on the Medical Lab Lady Gill YouTube channel and the eLABorate Topics podcast to showcase the program and reach out to prospective students.


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