College students use their skills to help fight the pandemic

Coronavirus

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Real-world experience without a degree. More than two dozen students at Wichita State University are using their skills to fight the pandemic. 

The students come in for nearly five hours a day. Some build COVID-19 testing kits that go out into the community and throughout the state. Others prep the samples to be tested. This makes it quicker for Kansans to get results while adding some experience to students’ resumes. 

“It’s students figuring out what works, what does not work,” said student Lindsey Deegan. “We started off making a couple of hundred test kits a day, and now, we’re making 8,000 test kits a day.”

“Especially with the medical field, I feel like it’s really hard to get in there before you graduate, so here just gives me an awesome opportunity to be able to be in a lab and see what it’s like to be in the lab setting of the medical field,” said Kristen Stuck. 

Students are getting paid to use what they’ve learned in college classes, at the lab. 

Majors from biomedical engineering, computer science, finances, and many others participate in this opportunity. 

Nicole Ukoefreso is a recent graduate and is working as a lab tech. She said it’s giving her the skill she needs before heading to medical school in the spring. 

“It gave me some insider knowledge that I don’t know that I would’ve had without being a student,” said Ukoefreso. 

The students said the opportunity is great and the reward for helping the state during the pandemic is even greater. 

“It’s such a great feeling to know that I am helping them ease their mind in this crazy time,” said Deegan. 

“Being able to be in this lab and knowing that I am like helping all these people and trying to stop the spread,” said Stuck. 

“We’re all doing our part, my part includes working at this lab and doing all the things that we need to do so we don’t have to keep dealing with this,” said Ukoefreso. 

The students have put together 100,000 test kits in two months, with plans to hand out 20,000 more on Monday to USD 259 and Sedgwick County. 

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm