ULM logo
ULM MLS students and faculty earn honors at conference

Published September 04, 2015

University of Louisiana at Monroe medical laboratory science (MLS) program faculty, students, and alumni recently attended the 83rd meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) in Atlanta.

This meeting is a premier event for all laboratory professionals and offers more than 60 hours of approved continuing education delivered by experts in the medical laboratory field. In addition to the educational sessions, the Clinical Lab Expo provides the medical laboratory professional hands-on experience with the latest in laboratory science and technology. ASCLS also holds all of the society’s governance sessions during this meeting.

Jessica Lasiter, assistant professor, Karen Williams, adjunct professor, and James Gardner, 2014 MLS graduate and medical laboratory scientist at Glenwood Regional Medical Center, served as Louisiana delegates at the ASCLS meeting. Chosen state delegates attend all ASCLS governance sessions, which conclude with the House of Delegates meeting.


“I am grateful to represent my state society at the national level as a delegate for the ASCLS meeting,” Lasiter said. “Seeing ULM medical laboratory science faculty, students, and alumni involved professionally at the national level makes me proud. The national meeting allows each a fantastic opportunity to learn, network, and interact with peers and serve.”

Five MLS senior students attended the ASCLS meeting. Anna Cavalier of New Iberia served as the Louisiana Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (LSCLS) student forum chair; Beth Hughes of Shreveport served as the ULM MLS society chair; and Lacy Falke of Pitkin served as the ULM MLS society co-chair. Christen Diel, and Shelbi Jowers, both of West Monroe, represented ULM as well.

From left:Lasiter, Cavalier, Jowers, Diel, Gardner,Falke, Hughes, Williams 

Falke described ASCLS as, “More than just some organization; it is a family.  It is amazing how close you can get with people after just a few days.”

Two students from the ULM MLS program received funding to attend the national ASCLS meeting through travel grants.

Hughes was one of six ASCLS students nationwide awarded a Beckman Coulter student travel grant. Falke was one of five ASCLS students nationwide awarded an ASCLS student forum travel grant.

Hughes said, “My favorite part at the ASCLS annual meeting would have to be the Clinical Lab Expo. It was an amazing experience to see all the instrumentation and technology."

"I was like a little kid on Christmas morning walking through the expo. It took practically a whole day just to walk through the expo. At the expo, I performed in the Pipette Challenge where I received a silver medal for my pipetting skills.”

“I did try to get involved in our profession more at the annual meeting by running for Student Forum Chair,” Hughes continued. “Although I did not get elected, it was a wonderful opportunity to get my name out there and have that experience of meeting new people throughout my campaign.”

Hughes was later appointed to serve as the regional student forum chair for the upcoming year.

Hughes was also the only student awarded the Education Scientific Assembly (ESA) Student Case Study award at the ASCLS Members Award Ceremony. The ESA of ASCLS supports an annual competition for research papers and case studies. Case studies address any unusual, interesting and unique manifestation of a disease etiology, pathology, clinical syndrome, complications and prognosis known or unknown. Hughes’s case study was titled “Kallamann’s Syndrome: The Uncommon Hormone Deficiency in Women.” She received a $500 cash award.

Williams was selected to serve on the 2016 ASCLS Leadership Academy. The ASCLS Leadership Academy is designed to prepare ASCLS members for current and future leadership roles in the organization by providing a structured program of study of critical leadership topics. Williams will serve the state society (LSCLS) as president-elect for the next two years.

Lasiter, Evan Ashley (B.S. ’13), and Mallory McCarty (B.S. ’13), received the Web-based Publication Award for the Louisiana Society for Clinical Laboratory Science quarterly newsletter “Bayou Tech.” Medical laboratory professionals contribute to the newsletter by submitting articles that are published in Bayou Tech. The newsletter placed second nationwide.    

The mission of ASCLS is to make a positive impact in health care through leadership that will assure excellence in the practice of laboratory medicine.