MLS student, professor featured in IHEP documentary

Tille Richards MLS

A student and professor in Medical Laboratory Science have put this SDSU Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry program on the map. Donald Richards, a senior in MLS, and Pat Tille, who directs the program, are featured in a documentary created by the Institute of High Education Policy.

Richards and Tille were filmed on campus for the documentary that will debut during IHEP’s National Summit on Dec. 3, 2013, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  Both Richards and Tille are invited to attend the premiere as the guests of IHEP.

“The experience of having a camera crew of five or six people following me around campus was unique,” Richards said.  “The IHEP chose me to represent the nontraditional students who are redefining access to higher education in the 21st century.”

Richards had been accepted to enter the MLS program in 2011 when he was called up to serve as a staff sergeant in civil affairs in the US Army in Afghanistan. There he  spent a year working with civilians on the battlefield. He returned to SDSU to begin the program in 2012.

“It is truly an honor for one of our seniors, our program and SDSU to be featured in this film. Don is one of a large group of students who are dedicated, work-hard and continue to represent the MLS program and SDSU with the highest quality and commitment to laboratory science,” Tille said.

During the conference, participants from institutions and students will be recognized for their contributions to higher education. In addition, Richards will be participating in a student question and answer session with policy makers, business professionals and representatives in higher education.

“This documentary gives national recognition of the quality of the MLS program and SDSU,” said Jim Rice, head of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

Richards, from Jackson, Minn., is in his final semester at SDSU and has been accepted to complete an internship at the Southwest Regional Mayo Health Laboratory.  He is considering employment in the Army Medical Services Corp after he graduates.

The Medical Laboratory Sciences program is a professional allied-health program that prepares students for careers in medical laboratory science or related fields. SDSU is the only university-based program within South Dakota.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to promoting access to and success in higher education for all students. Based in Washington, D.C., IHEP develops policy- and practice-oriented research to guide policymakers and education leaders, who develop policies that will address our nation’s most pressing education challenges.


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