Students Give Biology Department a Helping Hand

Students Give Biology Department a Helping Hand

February 23, 2018
Article submitted by Biology Department Faculty

Running biology labs at a community college is not an easy task – fortunately, Cleveland Community College’s Biology Department received two sets of helping hands! Cleveland Early College High School seniors Ruchi Patel and Amiee Littlejohn approached department chair, Rebecca Hare, at the beginning of the 2017 fall semester with an interest in working as volunteers. While CECHS does not require volunteer hours to graduate, 350 hours are needed to earn the Humanitarian cord worn with graduation robes, and to fulfill requirements for the Beta Club and National Honors Society. They specifically wanted to volunteer in biology for a better understanding of their major.

Lab assistants dissect a sheep's brain.
Amiee Littlejohn (left) and Ruchi Patel dissect a sheep’s brain.

Under the direction of Biology Instructor, Dr. Adrienne Williams, Patel and Littlejohn helped keep the labs maintained and running smoothly. There are always labs to set up and take down, aquariums to monitor, test tubes to clean, petri dishes to fill with media for hungry bacteria, supplies to organize, and experiments to troubleshoot. Patel and Littlejohn logged dozens of hours helping biology instructors keep labs maintained and running smoothly. They also enjoyed assisting. “Pouring plates is peaceful,” said Ruchi Patel. “And wearing the big [heat-resistant] gloves made me feel like a welder.”

“I liked seeing the outcome of organization from chaos,” said Amiee Littlejohn.

More importantly, helping assist in the preparation of the microbiology lab inspired both to take the course in microbiology at CCC in the spring semester.

After graduation, Amiee Littlejohn plans to attend North Carolina State University or the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Ruchi Patel is considering Stanford University or the Research Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.