Two students from Gloucester County College (now Rowan College at Gloucester County), Danielle Szczerbinski and Nicole Poznek, won first place in the Student Paper Presentation Award at the 2014 Greater New York Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Spring Symposium.
The two Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) students competed against 11 groups of students from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York on April 4-5 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. They attended the symposium last year as the only first-year students from GCC and watched the second-year students present.
Szczerbinski and Poznek presented on the new FDA-approved drug, Xofigo (Radium 223 Dichloride), a radiopharmaceutical dedicated for treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastatic disease. They were inspired by their clinical rotation experience at the University of Pennsylvania last year, where Szczerbinski and Poznek were able to interview patients who were undergoing the clinical trials.
"I felt that through our GCC education we were more prepared at the symposium than others," said Szczerbinski, a NJ STARS student. "The NMT program has helped us to gain a lot of hands-on experience with clinical rotations. It truly is an amazing program and I am very thankful for it."
"Nicole Poznek and Danielle Szczerbinski are exceptional students," said Program Director Laura Sharkey Pyle. "The knowledge, poise and confidence that these young girls demonstrated was exceptional."
The NMT program lasts for 21 months and encompasses four semesters and three summer terms. Besides taking core and liberal arts courses, the program requires clinical experiences, too. During clinical rotations, students may spend six to seven hours a day on their feet, moving patients and manipulating equipment. Graduates of the program are qualified for entry-level positions as nuclear medicine technologists.
"My dream is to work at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital because it is constantly evolving with new medical breakthroughs," said Szczerbinski. "I love that everyone is always learning something new. You see things at Penn that you wouldn't see or experience anywhere else."
Both students are 2014 GCC graduates with associate in applied science degrees in Nuclear Medicine Technology. They also received the President's Award for Achievement in Leadership and Service. In addition, Szczerbinski won the President's Award for Academic Excellence in NMT.
Rowan College at Gloucester County (formerly Gloucester County College) is located on a 250-acre campus on Tanyard Road, Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.