For the Bechmanns, an MLT degree is a family tradition

At the Commencement ceremony held in May 2023, Gabrielle Rapp graduated from the Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) program, becoming the third member of her family to earn the MLT degree at Cincinnati State.

Gabrielle’s sister, Sydney Bechmann (on left in photo above), completed the MLT degree in 2019. Gabrielle and Sydney’s mother, Rhonda Bechmann (on right in photo), graduated in 2011.

All three family members are serving the community as Medical Laboratory Technicians: Gabrielle and Sydney both work at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Rhonda works at Bethesda North Hospital.

Gabrielle said, “It feels amazing following in my mom’s and my sister’s footsteps.”

“I was exposed to lab life early because I used to go with my mom on ‘take your child to work day.’ I also used to tell people I wanted to be a ‘hippopotamus’ just like my mom because I couldn’t say ‘phlebotomist.’” Gabrielle added.

“My mom always told us we could do anything, and she inspired me as the first in our family to earn a college degree, even though she was a single mother raising four kids.”

“The MLT program wasn’t easy, but Dr. Kellee Fields, the MLT Program Chair, was always willing to help students who are dedicated and willing to work hard. I made it as a mom with four kids, just like my mom did.”

“Getting the MLT degree was the best decision I ever made– I love going to work every day and helping others through my knowledge of science and cells,” Gabrielle said.

“At Cincinnati State I gained the knowledge I needed for my career of choice, but no matter what your major is, I’d say if you feel like you can’t do it, you can!”

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