Hassan Aziz, PhD, CLS(NCA), department head and associate professor, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, GA
Q: What prompted you to enter the laboratory profession?
Dr. Aziz: Since childhood, I knew I wanted a career in the healthcare field because I always found medicine and the human body fascinating. When I started exploring different professions, the laboratory industry was suggested to me. At the time, it sounded like a good paying career with great job security. I later discovered the inherent rewards that came from caring for and helping others.
Q: What were your family and friends' opinions of you pursuing a career in the laboratory profession?
Dr. Aziz: My parents believed in the power of education and hard work to liberate the mind and to enhance the quality of life. I am forever grateful for their patience, support and understanding through the many years.
Q: How did you obtain your first job in the laboratory industry?
Dr. Aziz: Early in my professional life, I discovered a personal truth that I have no limitations other than those I choose to impose upon myself. I believe everyone brings to the world unique talents, gifts and abilities, and some of mine include my strong will and my determination to be successful in all my endeavors.
For my first job in the laboratory industry, I became a salesman for a laboratory company. I still remember the day when I walked into the corporate office to inquire about any openings. That same day, I was interviewed by the general manager and was hired on the spot. For about 2 years, I was very successful and accomplished a professional goal, but it was time to move to another chapter in my life-pursuing a graduate degree.
Q: What would you consider your first big break in the laboratory industry?
Dr. Aziz: My promotion to a laboratory director position. My doctorate degree was a remarkable milestone as well.
Q: What piece of laboratory technology would you not want to live without? Why?
Dr. Aziz: The microscope! My two favorite areas are microbiology and hematology. Examining the microscopic details of a Gram smear or performing a manual differential is very enjoyable.
Q: Discuss a significant advancement you've witnessed in the laboratory industry.
Dr. Aziz: The introduction of molecular biology, especially in the area of infectious diseases.
Q: What are the greatest rewards of your work?
Dr. Aziz: As a professor and department head of the Medical Technology Program at Armstrong Atlantic State University, I have learned a great deal and I have been honored with success through positive evaluations, academic awards and, most importantly, tangible student achievements. As an educator, I want to help students gain an understanding of the subject matter and find enthusiasm for the field.
Students are characterized as consumers making educational purchases from among the various services offered by the education industry. As I devote a great deal of my time to my students, I am currently involved in various professional activities. I am an active member of several national professional and scientific societies and organizations. I am quick to share my expertise as a service to the local community.
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