Skip to Main Content

Search NewsCenter

Top Stories

Scientifically Speaking: Lab Science

Fall 2012

Scientifically Speaking

Hands-on careers that specialize in a number of laboratory science fields await students with the right skills.

Katherine Gutoski went from uncertainty to clarity regarding the college experience. “When I was at a four-year school, I was unsure of what I wanted,” she says. “The nice thing about Fox Valley Tech is that it gave me a clear sense of direction.”


Gutoski, 29, of Menasha, is a second-year student in Fox Valley Technical College’s Laboratory Science Technician program. She came to the college with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but wishes she had gone into science earlier. “I was attracted to Fox Valley Tech’s hands-on labs to study science,” explains Gutoski. “Unlike a four-year school, this college is pretty focused on what students need to do to find their passion in the workplace.”

Launched in 2010, FVTC’s Laboratory Science Technician program is very distinct. “Our program is unusual in that it integrates environmental, industrial, food, paper, and water elements,” says instructor and department chair Julie Maurina-Brunker. “Students gain a broad range of skills required to work in many different types of industrial labs.”

Like all educational offerings at FVTC, the Laboratory Science Technician program was designed to meet the needs of area employers. Working with an active advisory committee, Maurina-Brunker developed effective hands-on curriculum to complement a strong internship experience.

Gutoski is currently interning at Badger Laboratories & Engineering, an environmental lab in nearby Neenah. Her role there is to help test samples from sludge and wastewater to ensure that all chemical levels are within legal limits. “I felt prepared when I came to work here,” she recalls. “No one expects you to know everything, but I certainly had a solid understanding of how to run specific equipment and perform laboratory tests.”

Like Gutoski, many FVTC Lab Tech students have already gone to school in another field. “While some of our students are recent high school graduates, many have a two- or four-year degree but have joined our program to gain career training,” says Maurina-Brunker. “Others are being sent by employers to gain new skills. One student returned to school because she could not get promoted. She finished last spring and was promoted to quality assurance manager right after graduation.”

As the lab tech program continues to grow, it will also change to meet new needs. “We have a lot of online and hybrid classes designed for working adults,” states Maurina-Brunker. “We’re also considering adding shorter certificate offerings in specific areas such as food, paper, or environmental science. For those who wish to continue their education, we’re developing agreements that will help our graduates transfer credits.”

Just this year, national food legislation was passed that will mandate more testing on imported ingredients before they can be used in production. “This will increase local and national needs for skilled lab techs,” Maurina-Brunker explains.

For Katherine Gutoski, the program has helped define her career path. “I’ve recommended this program to other people who enjoy science, chemistry, and microbiology,” she states. “It’s a great experience.”

“I definitely see myself continuing to work in a lab,” says Gutoski.

 

Career Diversity

Laboratory science careers are wide open when it comes to working in a variety of specialized fields, such as:
  • Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
  • Chemical Technician
  • Dairy Laboratory Technician
  • Environmental Laboratory Technician
  • Food Laboratory Technician
  • Food Science Technician
  • Industrial Laboratory Technician
  • Laboratory Quality Assurance Technician
  • Municipal Wastewater Plant Operator
  • Paper Testing Technician
  • Research and Development Technician
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Water and Wastewater Laboratory Technician

FVTC President's Blog


New This Week

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Focus on Alumni: Culinary Grad Ashley Nero

Focus on Alumni: Culinary Grad Ashley Nero

Mar 10, 2017

Q&A with Culinary Grad Ashley Nero

Student Ambassador Named to Tech College System

Student Ambassador Named to Tech College System

Mar 8, 2017

Mr. Shannon Shultz, Neenah, was named 2017 Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Ambassador ...

Engineering Student Earns National Scholarship

Engineering Student Earns National Scholarship

Jan 31, 2017

Eric Kovacevich, a student in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program, received a ...

Featured Photos

Featured Videos

Spring 2017 Focus Magazine

It's all about employability in the latest issue of Focus magazine, with features highlighting students, alumni & employers in Accounting, IT, Automation and much more.

Spring 2017 Focus Magazine

Upcoming Events

27 Apr 2017

Resume Review, Clintonville

4 - 7 p.m. | Clintonville Regional Center

Resume Review, Clintonville

Thursday, April 27 | Meet with an employment adviser to get assistance developing and preparing your resume, along with posting your resume on Wisconsin TechConnect.

29 Apr 2017

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

8 a.m.-Noon | Oshkosh Spanbauer Center

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

Either fly in or drive in for a French toast breakfast and explore the aviation training hangar and labs, visit with faculty and try out our full-motion Redbird flight simulators.

1 May 2017

Calendar

«April 2017»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
262728
3/28/2017 12:30 PM
56249

Troop Talk

Troop Talk is held every other Tuesday, and will help you transition from military service to college to employment.

Read more
293031
3/31/2017
68819

2017 FVTC FFA Career Development Event

41st annual Fox Valley Technical College FFA Career Development Event, Friday, March 31, Appleton Campus

Read more
1
2378
91011
1213
1415
161718
19
20
22
2324
4/24/2017 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
70959

On Campus: Silver Lake College

Thinking of transferring to Silver Lake College?

Read more
262829
4/29/2017 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
32912

Aviation Fly-In & Open House

Either fly in or drive in for a French toast breakfast and explore the aviation training hangar and labs, visit with faculty and try out our full-motion Redbird flight simulators.

Read more
3015
5/5/2017 - 5/6/2017
48947

Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association Challenge

Middle and high school teams from across Wisconsin will bring their concept vehicles to the college to measure efficiency, based on design criteria.

Read more
6

FVTC Social Media

Connect With Us banner

FVTC eConnect Newsletter Sign-up








CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above: