UVU Science Alum Earns National Microbiology Certification
March 1, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Karissa Neely (801) 863-6807
Utah Valley University biotechnology graduate Daniel Olsen recently earned his certification as a Registered Microbiologist in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Microbiology.
To earn the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM) credential, Olsen first met rigorous educational and experiential eligibility requirements, demonstrating the essential knowledge and skills needed in a pharmaceutical and medical device microbiology testing laboratory. He then passed a comprehensive written examination.
“His becoming a registered microbiologist could be compared to a surgeon passing all the tests and requirements necessary for board certification,” said Virginia Bayer, chair of UVU’s Department of Biology. “In this way, patients know the surgeon is competent because he has been evaluated by his peers; and in the same way, the public can know that Mr. Olsen is qualified to make judgments in areas of pharmaceutical and medical device microbiology, as he has been judged qualified according to the experts in these fields.”
The NRCM is a voluntary certifying body, founded in 1958, that certifies microbiologists in the U.S., Puerto Rico and on six continents. The organization seeks to minimize risk to the public by identifying qualified microbiologists; encourage mastery of microbiological knowledge and skills that contribute to improving the human condition; and foster professional pride and a sense of accomplishment in qualified microbiologists.
Employers use NRCM certification to distinguish their company and attest to their employees’ competency. Olsen, a senior laboratory analyst at Nelson Laboratories in Taylorsville, Utah, said he was encouraged and supported by his employer to pass the exam.
“This is something Nelson Labs promotes pretty heavily. They provide training courses for the exam,” Olsen said. “And I was very interested in having that level of certification and experience.”
Olsen also is currently pursuing a master degree in molecular biology, and hopes to progress in his field at Nelson Laboratories where he currently tests medical equipment .
“The biotechnology program at UVU prepared me for this through all the hands-on work in the lab classes. This gave me the lab skills I needed, and the technical understanding I needed as background for the exam,” Olsen said.
Only a few years ago, Olsen was a teen who liked science but had no idea where to go with that interest.
“Shortly after I started my schooling, I got a postcard in the mail that said, ‘Do you like science? Try biotechnology.’ I tried it, and here I am,” Olsen said.
The American College of Microbiology, a component of the American Society for Microbiology’s professional practice committee, is responsible for certification of microbiologists and immunologists, accreditation of postdoctoral training programs, and other programs consistent with its mission of providing leadership in promoting the high quality and ethical practice of the microbiology and immunology professions for the benefits of human, animal, and environmental well-being.
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.