Mary Lambert, respiratory care laboratory assistant, along with two of her students, Alena Woodhouse and Suzanee Ortiz, participated in the annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Career Fair event at Long Branch High School in February.

“I enjoy interacting with the high school students,” said Lambert who has participated in the event the past four years. She said the event aims to show the high school juniors and seniors the many different occupations and education options in the STEM fields. “I really love representing Brookdale at the event,” said Lambert, a Long Branch, NJ resident.

“The students were curious as soon as they saw the pink lungs,” said Ortiz. At the career fair, they brought models of regular lungs and smoker’s lungs for the students to see and touch.

“We explained the difference between a smoker’s lungs and regular lungs,” Woodhouse said. She added that the students were very interested and said they would share the information with family members who are smokers.

Woodhouse, who will graduate in May, said she decided to pursue respirational therapy because her son has asthma. “I wanted to educate myself about what was going on with him,” said Woodhouse, a Long Branch, NJ resident. “I have really learned a lot.”

Ortiz came to the decision to major in respiratory therapy because of a family member as well. She said her grandfather suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure. “I feel like I was drawn here for a reason,” said Ortiz, a Morganville, NJ resident who will graduate in May.

Lambert explained many students join the program because they have a family member with respiratory health issues. “They are familiar with respirational therapy after having a family member with upper respiratory problems,” said Lambert.

Both Ortiz and Woodhouse plan on working in hospitals after graduating in May and continuing their education to get their bachelor’s degrees.

Photo caption:

(From left to right) Brookdale student Alena Woodhouse, Laboratory Assistant for Respiratory Therapy Mary Lambert, and student Suzanne Ortiz recently participated in the STEM Career Fair at Long Branch High School on February 1.