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Under the Scope: October 2023

Nominee: Bonnie Brown

Bonnie Brown

Nominator: Angelica Perez

Bonnie is one of the most patient and knowledgeable staff here, she is more than willing to help without needing to be asked. She always maintains a positive spirit and is very caring for the staff and work that she is surrounded with no matter how intense the workload gets. She has been an excellent teacher, and her patience has allowed for me to feel more comfortable learning hematology. Bonnie is more than willing to give a lending ear or hand, along with her contagious smile.

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I have actually worked here two different times. My 2nd time started back in April 1991.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I like the variety of medical conditions we work with. It’s fascinating. For example, even though the height of the Covid-19 pandemic was so difficult, it was great to see how everyone cooperated and shared knowledge even across countries. I have also really enjoyed the opportunities to teach others in the field.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
I didn’t set out to join this field. I went to college looking to graduate in 4 years with a fulltime job. I had good scores in science during high school and my on my SAT, so I went with science.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I like to read and travel. Also, my husband and I recently got E-bikes, so we have been having fun going on rides together.

What is your dream vacation?
I will actually be going on my dream vacation next spring. My husband and I are going to do a trip in Europe. We are starting out in Switzerland and then traveling the Rhine to Amsterdam to see the tulip festival.

What is your favorite movie?
Shawshank Redemption and The Blues Brothers.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would absolutely retire.


Nominee: Julie Kruger

Nominator: Angelica Perez

I am in awe of how much Julie is such a great team player, there have been numerous times she is helping others on a bench she is not assigned to. I walked into work one weekend being swamped with differentials and/or problems, and Julie logged in to CV2 with no question or complaint and got started when she still had her own work to start on. She is the epitome of "see work, do work".

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I started in 1986 working as a lab assistant.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I would say the people and how everything is constantly changing. I have been here for 30 years, so there are people here who are like family to me.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
When I was a lab assistant, I really enjoying the testing and thought it was something I would enjoying going forward.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I love trying new foods, especially from other cultures. I also enjoying gardening and maintain my yard.

What is your dream vacation?
I would like to go to Germany. My ancestors are from there, so it would be interesting to see if I could find some family there. I would also want to go and see all the old architecture.

What is your favorite movie?
I love the Lord of the Rings and watch the whole film series once a year. Moonstruck is another favorite of mine as well.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would be a landscaper, a baker, or a florist. I would need something that allows me space in the countryside to have a lot of dogs.


Nominee: Mariah Leidinger

Nominator: Shujie Yang

Mariah is an excellent scientist in CPT lab. She works professionally, efficiently, and is always very kind. We love to work with her and get her help for all the embedding, H&E staining, and IHC staining. Thank you, Mariah for your outstanding work in CPT lab.

How long have you been working in Pathology?
I started out in Pathology as a research assistant in Ohio but moved back to Iowa in 2012 and started work with the university.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I enjoy the research side of things here. We have a great team that is always supporting each other. I also appreciate that this environment acknowledges people have families. I know I can take time off to care for them.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
I got my degree in Biology and enjoy the lab environment. I am an introvert, so it is nice to work independently. I also enjoy the hands-on work and being able to see the tangible results of my efforts.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Time for hobbies is hard to find, but when I do get time, I enjoy relaxing watching TV or listening to podcasts. I tend to watch true crime documentaries or romantic comedies.

What is your dream vacation?
Somewhere tropical, on a beach, where I can get relax and be lazy. I would want it to be all inclusive, so I don’t have to think about food or drinks.

What is your favorite movie?
It’s hard to pick one. I would say my favorites are While You Were Sleeping, Office Space, Shawshank Redemption, and When Harry Met Sally.

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I would love to work in a bakery. I enjoy baking and decorating, so it would be perfect to work in the back where I can be creative.


Nominee: David Nelson

David Nelson

Nominator: Anonymous

Mr. Nelson is truly one of the best supervisors I’ve had the pleasure of working for. He is very encouraging and understanding and is always searching for ways to improve the laboratory. Mr. Nelson is always ready to answer the many questions I have, and never makes me feel bad for not knowing how to do something. He also understands that I am a student first and is accommodating when it comes to classes and exams.

How long have you been working in Pathology?
It will be 37 years in November. I started out as a Student Phlebotomist and moved to fulltime after graduation.

What do you enjoy about working here?
I enjoy interacting with all different levels of people. We’ve got good people here and my position lets me work with all types. I also appreciate that management values our input.

What made you decide to become a lab professional?
Honestly, I was never planning on it. Opportunities arose and UIHC is a great place to work.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I run marathons. I have ran marathons in all 50 states and done some abroad as well. In fact, I will be competing in Tokyo this coming spring. Since I am a Chiefs fan, I also travel with my wife to go see their games.

What is your dream vacation?
I have been able to travel to a lot of places for marathons, but I would like to go to Ireland or Iceland someday.

What is your favorite movie?
I am a big Mel Gibson fan, so I would say The Patriot and Braveheart.  

If money was not a factor, what other profession would you choose?
I was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed that. I have thought about what it would have been like to form a career in the military sometimes.