Ashley B.

Ashley B, SkillsUSA

Brunswick High School 

Frederick County Career and Technology Center

Maryland CTE

Ashley - Project Lead The Way Biomedical Sciences

Why did you choose this CTE Program of Study? 
I have always been interested in science and medicine. At the time, I wanted to be a physician, specializing in oncology. The biomedical sciences program focused greatly on anatomy and physiology as a whole, which applied to the physician side of my career goal at the time. The program also taught molecular techniques and concepts, which are applied in oncology research.

How did your CTE Program prepare you for college and a career?
The program taught me valuable lab skills that the majority of high school students do not have. These skills played a major role in helping me obtain an internship during high school at the National Cancer Institute at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. The first internship I completed at NCI laid the groundwork for successive internships at NCI, as well as played a large role in helping me obtain my current position in the Critical Care Medicine Department at NIH’s Clinical 

What Academic subjects were important to your success in your CTE program? 
The most important academic subject to my success in biomedical sciences was biology. 

Describe any teachers or relationships that supported you?
My biomedical sciences teacher, Mrs. Kathy Koops, was the most supportive teacher I had throughout high school. She has provided support both in the classroom during high school and out of the class room as I started college and my career. Another relationship (which is directly attributable to me attending the biomedical sciences program) that has provided me support through school and my career is Dr. Katherine Stagliano.  She was my first mentor at NCI, and she still supports me as I begin my career in medical research.  

What are you currently doing since graduating high school?
I earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree from Stevenson University in Biotechnology. I have also conducted research in a variety of areas at Stevenson and the National Institutes of health. I was a research intern for five years in two different laboratories at the NCI while I was in college. As part of my undergraduate degree at Stevenson, I researched anti-malarial resistance and parasite prevalence in the white-tailed deer population in Maryland. Since graduating from Stevenson, I have joined the research department of the Critical Care Medicine Department at NIH’s Clinical Center. My current focus is viral immunology, in human and non-human primate studies. 

Did you earn any college credit or industry recognized credentials while in high school? If yes, what?
Yes, through the PLTW Biomedical Sciences program I earned credit for BIO113 (General Biology 1) from Stevenson University. 

What would you tell an incoming freshman or a middle school student about CTE? 
CTE programs provide an educational, professional and skills base that gives you an advantage over most high school graduates. They also help you figure out if you really want to pursue a career.