On April 19, April Nelsen presented a poster at the Day of Scholars at South Dakota State University. Nelsen works as a clinical coordinator and instructor of medical laboratory sciences and is also pursuing her doctorate in molecular biology. Her poster, “Identification of Pulmonary Infections with Porcine Rotavirus A in Conventional Pigs with Respiratory Diseases,” details work done toward her completion of that degree.
Working as an instructor and clinical coordinator while pursuing her Ph.D. keeps Nelsen busy. She says that schedules are key to managing her daily tasks, as is her ability to relate her work as a student to her work as an instructor. “The research I do and techniques I do for Ph.D. work directly relates back to MLS.” Being on the other side of the classroom has also allowed Nelsen a chance to grow as an instructor. She says that “as a mentor, I have grown by being the student again and understanding how a student reacts, feels, and understands.”
Dr. Sharrel Pinto, who oversees the department that houses the MLS program, believes that all our educators need to be “proactive lifelong learners,” and that Nelsen is one of them. “While many advance their learning through CE, a few like April take that extra step to earn another degree specializing in an area.”
Pinto believes it is important for administrators and administrations to support faculty who want to advance themselves professionally, like Nelsen. “Supporting faculty like April will ultimately benefit our program as she continues to bring back the knowledge she gains and techniques she learns into the classroom. “
Nelsen’s poster details an investigation into the presence of Rotavirus A in pigs with respiratory diseases. Rotavirus is a virus that commonly causes diarrhea or vomiting and is prevalent in pigs as well as young children. The goals of the study were to determine the prevalence of RV in the lungs of pigs with respiratory diseases and characterize its distribution and possible role in porcine respiratory disease complex pathogenesis. Nelsen’s work and poster were completed alongside Drs. Ben Hause and Chun-Ming Lin.
Nelsen intends to complete her Ph.D. in fall 2022. Some of the work and tools she has utilized throughout this project, including working with metagenomic sequencing, PCR and histopathology are ones she will be able to continue to use as the MLS profession grows.
See Nelsen’s poster by following the link below: