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Biotechnology brings woman to new career

KANNAPOLIS — Alice Glines is a clinical assistant with the Duke University MURDOCK Study, a job she got after graduating from the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College two-year applied science program in biotechnology in 2011.
Today at the age of 60, she is part of the team that works at the front lines of clinical research to engage people throughout Kannapolis, Cabarrus and parts of Mecklenburg, Rowan and Stanly counties to join the study.
“If we don’t reach out to the community, we don’t have a study,” she emphasized, “We reach out to area hospitals and schools, festivals and health fairs. Churches have been wonderful. I will go talk to anyone who will let me in their door.”
Glines previously owned a restaurant and then worked for a parts supply company in the motorsports industry. When the company went under in the recession, she decided to attend Rowan-Cabarrus.
“My husband, who is a chemical engineer, sort of led me into the biotechnology field,” Glines said, “and I come from a family of nurses so that sort of led me into the medical field. I wanted the two to go hand in hand (which) caused me to develop an interest in clinical research. I love research, and I love people.”
Once she got into the core classes of the biotechnology degree program, she was surprised at her aptitude for the subjects. “I loved the sciences,” she recalled. “I loved biology and microbiology. The sciences came easier for me than math. I hadn’t had science before so I didn’t how much I’d enjoy it. It came pretty easy.”
She recognizes the ability of Rowan-Cabarrus to integrate older students. “I saw how much they helped seniors transition into school,” Glines said. “They had IBM and Philip Morris, and the racing industry all go down during the recession. They held our hand. Other colleges were not equipped. They didn’t know how to pull us in and make us comfortable enough to fit in.”
At this point, Glines does not see herself taking on another career. She is still amazed at the job she has and how much she enjoys it. “I never dreamt that I’d be here where I am today. I did not think this is the turn my life would take,” she commented, “but I’m happy that it did.”

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