COLUMBUS, Ohio (WC)-- A college internship sparked an interest in the field of organ donation and transplantation, and today that spark has flamed into a passion. After spending two years as an organ recovery coordinator matching donors with potential recipients, today Lauren Gezo ’16 oversees organ donation programs at multiple hospitals in the Columbus, Ohio, area.
Tell us about what you do — and what you love about what you do.
Following my graduation from Westminster, I attended the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine where I obtained a biomedical science master’s degree with a concentration in human donation science. After graduating from grad school, I moved to Columbus, Ohio, where I began my career in the organ donation and transplant field as an organ recovery coordinator at Lifeline of Ohio.
There were less than 500 individuals in the United States who had a job similar to mine. My primary responsibility was to oversee the organ donation process from medical treatment of the organ donor to locating recipients. After staying in the role for two years I transitioned into the role of strategic hospital development coordinator at Lifeline of Ohio where I oversee the organ donation programs at multiple hospitals in Columbus.
I see how much of an impact organ donation can have when I see transplant recipients who have been given a second chance at life. I truly feel that I have the best job out there as there is nothing better than having the opportunity to save and change lives every time I go to work.
How did Westminster prepare you for your post-college life?
During my time at Westminster College I was able to complete two internships, one of which I used for credits, at the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. This is what kickstarted my passion for organ donation and transplant. I was able to complete many projects within my psychology courses which related back to organ donation. Westminster supported my passion throughout the years.
Describe a Westminster experience that inspired you.
One of my most memorable experiences from Westminster is my independent study where I furthered my capstone project. The independent research process and writing a paper for publication taught me so many valuable life lessons. It also prepared me for writing my grad school thesis.
What makes the Westminster College experience unique?
Westminster College truly allows you to be whoever you want to be. During my freshman year I was a member of the women’s soccer team as well as the dance team and dance theatre. I then became a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and Tri-Beta, the national biology honor society. My interests were vast at Westminster and the students, faculty and staff all supported me and gave me the tools I needed to succeed.
To learn more about Westminster’s molecular biology major, please visit www.westminster.edu/molecularbiology.