MCCC Alumnae Danielle Campoli and Nadine Clement are on the Frontlines Fighting COVID-19

Story by Brandon Johnson

West Windsor, N.J. – What is the most important skill students learn in Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Medical Labortory Technician (MLT) program? For alumnae Danielle Campoli and Nadine Clement, it was the art of pipetting.

“There was a lot I have taken from MCCC MLT program,” Campoli said. “One of which was learning to have great pipetting skills. The program helped me to understand the methodology behind the PCR testing we perform and apply critical thinking.”

Campoli, who graduated in 2018, works at the Virtua Health System in Voorhees while Clement, who graduated in 2017, works at the CentraState Medical Facility in Freehold.

Like their fellow MLT graduate Nicole Torrone, Campoli and Clement are working on the frontlines of New Jersey’s fight against coronavirus, running Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests (PCR) to detect the virus’ DNA sequence.

For Clement, the MLT track wasn’t always in her future. She started at Mercer in the Nursing program, but switched over when she realized she didn’t want to be “center stage”.

“I always wanted to be in the medical field and was inspired by many family members that are in that field, however I slowly realized not everyone wants to be center stage, and that’s okay,” Clement said. “So, I asked myself what could I do in the field that still helped, but doesn’t have to interact with patients at the bedside all day long in order to make a difference?”

She found that medical lab technicians could play an integral role, despite not having regular face-to-face contact with patients.

“After doing some research and talking to the MLT program director, Lisa Shave, I found a light at the end of the tunnel and instantly applied to be on the waiting list,” Clement said.

In Campoli’s case, her light at the end of the tunnel shone brightest when she was working as a Registered Medical Assistant. When she decided that she wanted to further her education, Campoli assumed nursing was the path for her.

“I wanted to stay in the medical field, still help people and, make a difference in the work I do,” Campoli said. “Deep down I wasn't sure if I was making the right choice.”

Only after taking a few nursing courses did Campoli fall in love with microbiology and, at the suggestion of her professor, switch her career focus to become an MLT.

“This was perfect career for me,” Campoli raved. “I love knowing the ‘why’ of a medical condition and being the detective to find out what is causing the patient symptoms. This is when I changed my career to be a MLT and was one of the best decisions I ever made!”

Despite the long hours and ever-present risk of infection, Campoli and Clement are proud MLTs who embrace the challenges, and rewards, of the job.

“If you like to be behind the scenes to help patients, love science, are great at problem solving and are detail oriented, want job security, and to be high in demand, are a great multitasker, and want to work somewhere stimulating, this a great field to look into. It’s never a dull moment in the lab,” Clement said.

Campoli added, “This is such a growing field and there are so many ways you can apply the skills you learn in this program to become a great MLT, all while knowing that you make a difference in all medical decisions. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help someone in need.”

Are you ready to help us keep our students on track to finish classes and graduate? Then share and support our MCCC Student Emergency Fund. Donating at, or by texting MercerMatters to 41444, will help keep students enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every dollar matters!

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nadine clement

Nadine Clement '17 is serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working as a Medical Laboratory Technician at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, N.J.

danielle campoli

Danielle Campoli '18 made the switch to become an MLT after a microbiology course changed her career outlook