SCF Recognizes National Student Employment Week April 7-13

(Bradenton, Fla., April 4, 2013) — In recognition of National Student Employment Week April 7-13, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) celebrates the success of Saida Jennell, SCF’s first student in the new A.S. in Biotechnology Program to land a job at a local biotechnology company.

Jennell, a Sarasota resident, works at Cambryn Biologics as a development technologist to make fibrin sealants from naturally purified blood plasma proteins. Fibrin glue, which has been used since World War II for anchoring human skin grafts, is used in modern day surgeries to stop bleeding and promote faster healing without causing adverse reactions or inflammation. 

A native of Russia, Jennell came to the United States in 2006 with a degree in physics. Since her desire was to work in a lab setting, she was pleased to discover that SCF’s new Associate in Science in Biotechnology Degree Program gave her the perfect opportunity to combine her interest in health care with her passion for medical technological innovation.

She attributes her success to qualified and caring professors who mentored her and helped her develop the right skills for her job at Cambryn Biologics. Jennell has continued completing her coursework and plans to graduate in Fall 2013.

“SCF professors are brilliant. They have great experience, they are very approachable and they always find time to give you extra help if you need it. You just have to be willing to give the time,” she said.

Dr. Matt Thomas, SCF assistant professor, natural sciences, was instrumental in connecting Jennell with Cambryn Biologics for a summer internship that led to her full-time job.

“A couple of years ago, it was unimaginable for students at this level to experience and work with materials that traditionally have been used by advanced bachelor-level or graduate students,” Thomas said. “Here at SCF, we help students develop advanced skills and confidence that make them marketable and employable in the biotechnology field,” he said.

SCF’s biotechnology students learn laboratory skills and are trained in advanced molecular biology techniques used in both research and industrial environments.

Designed to prepare students for employment as technicians in laboratories and industrial settings, SCF’s program meets local, statewide and national workforce needs by partnering with area biotechnology companies and providing highly qualified employees. The program provides another career choice for students interested in science, nursing or other health care fields.

Marc Paquin, chief operating officer for Cambryn Biologics, is equally pleased with the quality of training that Jennell received from Thomas and other SCF professors.

“I'm a firm believer in specific academic training provided by SCF’s biotechnology program, and I look forward to the future graduates that SCF will continue to produce,” Paquin said.

Since the program began in Fall 2011, several other students have been placed in internships at local biotechnology companies. There are 83 students enrolled in the program, and the first class will graduate in May 2013.

Biotechnology is used to detect and cure diseases, analyze DNA, generate fuel sources for efficient energy production, improve productivity and disease resistance in food crops, analyze environmental contaminants and conduct pharmaceutical and clinical testing.

Potential workplace environments for graduates include laboratories specializing in food safety; environmental quality control; the production of new medicines; forensics; alternative fuels; bio-manufacturing; biomedical device and manufacturing development; and industry, academic and government research.

Visit for more information about the program.

Saida Jennell
Saida Jennell, SCF Biotechnology Student

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