Student Feature: Iliane Miranda Fonseca
By Ruth Cummins
Iliane Miranda Fonseca knew as a child that a career in medicine would be her life’s passion, and that her brother would be the inspiration.
“He had a kidney condition, and he was always going to the lab to get his tests done,” said Fonseca, 25, a spring B.S. graduate in the UMMC School of Health Related Professions. “I was always curious about that, and that’s when I became very interested in labs.”
Fonseca, a native of Puerto Rico, is the first Medical Laboratory Science student to serve as SHRP’s class marshal. Her duties as marshal include lining up her classmates before they receive their diplomas and ensuring that graduation ceremonies go smoothly.
In addition to the honor of being selected marshal by her fellow SHRP graduates, Fonseca can lay claim to a 4.0 grade point average over two years.
“She is such a team player,” said LaToya Richards Moore, associate professor and chair of Medical Laboratory Science. “She’s just a hard worker. She’s always volunteering at the kidney screenings, and she goes out of her way to do more.”
Moore said the Clinton resident’s passion for her chosen profession is obvious. “She loves the laboratory. She wants to understand every aspect of the laboratory,” Moore said.
That drive was instrumental in Fonseca being named winner of the 2014 University Pathology Associates Award, given to the student who demonstrates the highest standards in professionalism and interpersonal and communications skills in laboratory knowledge.
She’s also winner of the Regions Medical Laboratory Sciences Scholastic Award, given to the student with the highest academic average, and the 2014 Outstanding Immunohematology Award, given to the student with the highest academic average in immunohematology.
This summer, Fonseca will compete nationally as SHRP’s nominee for the Sidney D. Rodenberg Memorial Scholastic Award.
Being selected class marshal “was totally a surprise,” Fonseca said. “English is not my first language, and it’s been hard for me, being in a new country and taking classes in English. I’m just happy to know that my professors are very happy with me.”
Her plans include taking certification tests this summer and applying for a UMMC laboratory position. “I want in the future to take more classes and get my doctorate,” Fonseca said.
“He’s doing great now,” Fonseca said of brother Rolando, four years her junior.
And, Fonseca said, he remains her inspiration.
“We’re helping people to get their correct lab results so that they can get a correct diagnosis,” she said.