Medical Lab Technician Students Do Internship Rotations at Montefiore

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Assoc. Prof Diane Banks Inspires Students to Combat ‘Learned Helplessness’

Diane BanksWhen accomplished BCC Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Diane P. Banks was a student in high school, she says she felt math was overwhelming and difficult to grasp and decided to circumvent calculus in college. “I used to think I was not good at math, despite performing well in exams. My struggles in the subject were overshadowing my good grades, and I felt demotivated. This perception of not doing well created a mental block that prevented me from attempting and excelling in math. This phenomenon is known as Learned Helplessness. However, I realized that I needed to identify and overcome that mindset to achieve my goals.” said Dr. Banks.

The concept of Learned Helplessness – or its antithesis, Growth Mindset – is one Dr. Banks has continued to study throughout her career. And she uses her knowledge in this area as the basis for her teaching in the Medical Lab Technician (MLT) program at BCC and to find resources to help every student succeed.

“I find complete and utter joy when I’m able to help dedicated and motivated BCC students go through this journey with us,” said Dr. Banks, who recently was awarded the Board of Certification’s (BOC) Lab Superstar Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology, among other prestigious recognitions.

Dr. Banks, the MLT program director, has worked with a former BCC student, Natalie Velez-Welsh (employed full-time by Montefiore Medical Center as the Pathology Reference Lab Manager), who is assisting in building a strong community partnership between BCC and Montefiore. Students in the MLT program can intern at Montefiore, completing rotations in microbiology, hematology, clinical chemistry, blood bank transfusion medicine, immunology, urinalysis, and coagulation.

Medical Lab Technician Students Do Internship Rotations at Montefiore

Natalie interned at Montefiore when she was a student and graduated from BCC last spring. Now she serves as the co-Student Coordinator of the internship program, acting as the liaison between BCC students and Montefiore. She manages students at the Moses site and looks forward to hopefully expanding the internship program to Einstein and the Montefiore North division.

Natalie serves as the internship liaison while assuming her other responsibilities at Montefiore, which include overseeing all specialized testing that goes out to respective laboratories. Her goal is to improve the onboarding process for student interns and make the intern experience a positive one for both the students and Montefiore. Additionally, Natalie plans to pursue a four-year degree program that will enable her to be a licensed clinical lab technologist and enhance her already jump-started career in Pathology.

If she could talk to her younger self, as a student at BCC during the many times in which she wanted to give up, Natalie would say, “Stay focused and keep going despite the challenges you may face while you’re going through school. Set high expectations for yourself. It will be worth it in the end.”

Congratulations to BCC’s Diane P. Banks, Ph.D., MPH, MLS (ASCP)cm on receiving the Lab Superstar Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification.

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