Thumbs Up to ASCLS!
We asked several ASCLS members “Why ASCLS?” We wanted to know why they joined ASCLS and why they have maintained their membership across the years. We wanted to know why they continue to choose ASCLS and why they find it beneficial. And we hope YOU will find something in their testimonials that will make you want to say “ASCLS…Why Not!”
Linda Gorman: ASCLS-Kentucky; ASCLS Membership Committee Region VI Representative
I actually came to the ASCLS table later than many of my colleagues. The medical technology program that I went thru did not have an instructor that pushed ASCLS. I think one of my teachers was an ASCP member and the other was an ASCLS member so it was a neutral zone when it came to professionalism. In my first job, it was all ASCP. In my second job (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) it was all about AACC membership. When I went to graduate school in Richmond, VA, I meet Barbara Lindsey, Donna Odom, and other Virginia ASCLS members, who really changed my life. I went to my first ASCLS meeting in Las Vegas, NV and loved every minute of the experience! Back then there was a Student Bowl, and I rooted for all the teams. I also met some of my previous professional friends from Iowa and North Carolina, while making new friends in the Chemistry Scientific Assembly that became life-long friendships. The Alpha Mu Tau graduate scholarship I applied for came thru and really helped pay some graduate school bills the next year. As I neared graduation I went to the next ASCLS annual meeting. I was applying for a teaching job, and met Sister Marie Vittetoe, also from Iowa. Marie invited me to come to Kentucky and interview for the chemistry instructor position (which I retire from in June 2015). At the University of Kentucky, I met a lot of ASCLS members like Anne Stiene-Martin, Pat Collins, Ken Martin, Astrid Force, and the list goes on and on. Over the next 35 years, while Kentucky was my base, Region IV and ASCLS became a bigger part of my professional life. State offices gave way to Regional offices, gave way to becoming Region IV Director and sitting on the ASCLS Board of Directors. All of the friendships made over those 35 years are dear to me and I know what others on the Membership Committee mean when they call ASCLS “family”. We are like family, coming to each other’s aid over professional challenges, but also coming together when tragedy or great joy happens to one of our own. I hope that for the rest of my days, I can be there for my ASCLS “family”. You all are the BEST!
Brandy Greenhill, DrPH, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
I joined ASCLS initially as a student but did not stay active. Over the years, Medical Laboratory Science provided me with many opportunities so when I became an Educator I felt it was important to promote the profession to my students. I initially became involved with my State society and Governance during our initial push for licensure. I think what I cherished most about this time was the friends I have made across Texas. I have leaned on them both personally and professionally.
My regional and national participation have evolved much slower over the last year. My Texas family encouraged me and had faith in me to represent our State and Region at the National level. Like Mary, this is outside my comfort zone but again found a supportive group that is helping me expand my opportunities and skills. I think the network of colleagues, mentors, and friends make membership to my professional organization invaluable.
Sharon Duessel, MLS, ASCLS-MO President, ASCLS Region VI Membership Committee Representative
I joined ASCLS as a college junior in 2006. Our class was planning on attending Missouri’s Annual Spring Meeting and ASCLS-MO (MoCLS at that point) offered discounted registration rates to student members. I became a member, had a blast with my classmates at the meeting, and continued on with my life. I stayed a member but didn’t become active until two years later when Missouri’s President (a former Professor of mine) asked me to become the New Professional’s Director. It took me a few years to become really involved after that but now I’m hooked.
I’ve held many positions, often more than one at a time, New Professional’s Director, St. Louis District Representative, Professional Affairs Director, Webmaster, Secretary, and now President.
I worked two jobs during my college career, working sometimes 40+ hours a week. Once I graduated I felt at a loss. Being constantly busy working towards a degree made me feel like I was accomplishing something. Once I finished my degree, however, I felt as if I was standing in place not getting anywhere. ASCLS provided me with a direction. Something to work towards, most likely for the rest of my life. Something that will never end, will always provide me with more goals to reach and a home for like-minded people who want to better the laboratory world. That is why I’m a member of ASCLS and always will be.
Diane Stumpf, ASCLS-Idaho President, Editor and Webmaster
I don’t have the traditional kind of testimonial…full of desire to be a true professional and all about taking pride in my profession. I suppose you could say that I am somewhat of an anomaly. I don’t know if you know much about me but I hate change. I am scared to death to do anything that is outside of my comfort zone…at least that was true before I joined ASCLS. I worked for over a decade in the lab and only saw my job as a paycheck, a means to an end. I did not get any personal or professional satisfaction from the work I did. Quite honestly, it was drudgery…graveyard drudgery…and I was always exhausted and glad to head home to my family. I got involved in ASCLS only because I was coerced into joining…now that is not exactly true but that is how it felt at the time! I was given a position and a responsibility…as the secretary. I have to say, the first Board meeting I participated in left me feeling like I was in a foreign country…absolutely nothing was familiar and it sounded as if they were speaking a foreign language! And then the worst possible thing happened…they wanted me to send an email! You see…I was completely off the grid…no email address, no computer, no internet…nothing! But…the challenge had been given and I spent the next week studying, inquiring and working until I had myself all set up to send my very first-ever-in-a-lifetime email …dated September 6, 2003! And that was just the beginning. Month after month, ASCLS demanded more of me and caused me to get out of what I thought was my comfort zone into new and unexplored territory and guess what I learned? I LOVED this new territory! I discovered that I was creative…I discovered that I could do hard things…I discovered that I loved my job and my profession…after all these years! Now, my life is so much richer than it was before ASCLS asked me to step out of my comfort zone. I love ASCLS and it doesn’t really have anything to do with what it has done for me professionally. It has far more to do with what it has done for me personally. ASCLS has changed me as a person in so many ways. So much of what I love doing now, I discovered because of my involvement in ASCLS…and I think I owe them something for helping me find my true comfort zone…right here in ASCLS!
Ninive Costa, ASCLS-MI, ASCLS Membership Committee Forum for the Concerns of Minorities Representative
I joined ASCLS as a student because I wanted to do everything in my power to get a job after graduating with Bachelor of Science #2. I could not afford to graduate a second time with no job prospects so I found everything I could join as a student.
The reason I stayed has to do with how well I was received by Andrea. Not to mention I loved going to the meeting, making new friends, learning, and even the incentive of going to places I had never been. The expo is so stimulating; I loved going around and meeting new people!
The more I got involved the more I wanted to do; my passion got carried away and now the plate is full!
Mallory Janquart, ASCLS-WI President-elect, ASCLS Vice Chair Member Recruitment and Region V Representative, ASCLS Leadership Academy, Class of 2015
I joined ASCLS as a student. At the time I did not realize all of the possibilities that ASCLS would give me as a professional. It was not until I was mentored by someone in my state to become more actively involved that I realized what a great resource ASCLS is for professionals. ASCLS creates a sense of community and purpose for the profession that I have yet to find in any other organization that I have belonged to or worked for. I have met so many great people from across the country that share my same passion. It is the sense of community that keeps me motivated to be actively involved in ASCLS.
Holly Weinberg, ASCLS Membership Chair, ASCLS Region VIII Leadership Academy Coordinator
I joined ASCLS because I believe deeply in the medical laboratory science profession and I want to give back to a profession that has enriched my life.
ASCLS is that final piece that defines who I am as a laboratory professional and as a person. Through ASCLS, I have made many dear friends across the country and have grown a Family. There are so many opportunities in ASCLS to build on what we do in the workplace not only on a technical level but also in the management and leadership arena. Through ASCLS, I have been able to participate in leadership training on a par with a Dale Carnegie training that would cost hundreds of dollars. We talk about continuing education – yes, ASCLS provides excellent continuing education at a very reasonable cost through on line courses, webinars, and most importantly local, state, regional, and national conferences. But the education that is gained from ASCLS is not only technical in nature, it encompasses all areas that round me as a person. The benefits of belonging to ASLCS are multiple but if I were to state one benefit above all others it would be the opportunity to be a part of a unique family that supports me and understands me; we have the same ethics, the same jargon, and the same goals for our profession.
To be considered a true professional, we must join with our peers in our professional organization, ASCLS, and work together to constantly improve who we are and what we do.
Mary Nagel, ASCLS-South Dakota, ASCLS Membership Committee Special Advisor
I joined ASCLS as a student because my Program Director said, “You will belong to a Professional Organization.” Those words “struck a chord” within me and I never dropped my membership. I thought of myself as a Professional and wanted to be in an organization that promoted my profession.
Little did I know at the time that I would become as active as I am in ASCLS. In the beginning, I used ASCLS state meetings to help me to become a Laboratory Manager by gaining information regarding billing, coding, and other management topics. I developed a network with laboratory managers across the state who were willing to help me from writing procedures to managing employees.
As I look back on 30+ years of belonging to ASCLS, the words “You will belong to a Professional Organization” still ring loud and clear for me. I have become a professional through ASCLS by gaining experience in State, Regional and National activities. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone, taken on challenges with job opportunities because I knew I had other professionals that would support me. Networking and continuing my education through ASCLS have been the biggest two benefits for me. Throughout my career, I have received job opportunities through the ASCLS network and have gained many life-long friends in the process.
Leslie Martineau, MS, MT (ASCP), SC Director, Laboratory Services, ASCLS Region I Membership Committee representative
Originally, I was asked if I would be interested in helping out with the local annual meeting. I was flattered and thought, “Of course, I can donate 1 to 2 nights a month to help out a good cause”. I started to work with our Annual Meeting Committee and, as they say, the rest is history.
My work with the committee led me to join ASCLS. Soon after becoming a member, I decided to run for the Board of Director position. I then became the ASCLS-CNE Legislative Committee Chair and am still attending the Annual Legislative Conference in Washington DC. As a new Laboratory Manager, Leg Day helped me to understand and be on the front lines of important issues that are facing our laboratories. In addition, attending the annual meeting has become something I look forward to every year. The meeting provides superior educational sessions, comradery, and has helped me to develop my leadership skills.
Through the years, I have held many different ASCLS-CNE Board positions including President, Director and Secretary. I continue to work on committees including Government Affairs, Membership, and the Annual Meeting as the Management Section Chair, Hospitality and Sponsorship. I also served on the National Government Affairs Committee, and am now on the National Membership Committee.
Among many other things, ASCLS has helped me to stay up-to-date with current regulatory and legislative issues effecting laboratories, understand how a National Society can strengthen a profession, and, most importantly, establish long lasting friendships.