Medical Lab Tech Alum Journeys from Nigeria to Science Career in America
was born in Washington, D.C., Sandra Orimilikwe left for Nigeria
when she was seven years old. So, in 1993, when she returned to
the United States and began taking classes at Mercer County Community
College, she was new to the American college system. With some prior
credits from the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, she wasted
no time jumping into coursework at MCCC, earning her associate degree
in Medical Laboratory Technology in 1995.
"I loved my Mercer experience," Orimilikwe said. "All
of my professors, especially [Program Coordinator] Jane O'Reilly
helped to prepare me for my career in medical technology."
She notes that when faced with difficult assignments, she found
the MCCC Learning Center and participation in study groups to be
graduating from Mercer, Orimilikwe worked as a medical lab technician
in the Hematology Department at Helene Fuld Medical Center in Trenton
for two years. Then, she was ready for new challenges. Orimilikwe moved
to North Carolina to continue her education at the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte. As an experienced lab professional, she was able
to get a job in the lab at the Carolinas Healthcare System while attending
According to Orimilikwe, she was well-prepared for the rigors of UNC's
Biology/Medical Technology degree program. "MCCC is well structured
to prepare students for a four-year college. I was able to transfer most
of my Mercer credits to UNC, which helped me earn my bachelor's degree
in only two years," she said. She notes that with so many transferrable
credits, the cost of her schooling was manageable.
Orimilikwe is now employed at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson and
Johnson Company, where she formulates and tests various types of blood
serum that are then sold to laboratories in the United States and abroad.
"Our blood bank products help to determine blood groups and other
information needed before blood transfusion. I am proud to be part of
the group that carries out this life-saving work."
more alumni success stories here.
to Home Page
to Alumni & Friends