Volume 36 Number 2 | April 2022
Suzanne Butch, MLS(ASCP)CMSBB, DLMCM, ASCLS Leadership Academy Class Coordinator
This year the 2021-22 ASCLS Leadership Academy Class began its activities at the ASCLS, AGT & SAFMLS Joint Annual Meeting (JAM) in June of 2021 and had the opportunity to meet face-to-face again at the Laboratory Legislative Symposium in October. In addition to monthly virtual sessions, the group has had the opportunity to attend the Emerging Laboratory Managers Collaborative Conference (ELMC2) and PRISM: Pride · Respect · Inclusion · Support · Momentum events, adding to the already packed curriculum giving practical training and development of leadership skills. This year’s class is diverse, and each participant adds varied perspectives to the discussions. Meet the members of this year’s class.
Thotabaddage Sachiko (Sachi) DeSilva, Maryland
Sachi’s current position is clinical coordinator of the George Washington University Biomedical Sciences Department, working with students and clinical facilities throughout all 50 states, as well as some international clinical sites. She is the ASCLS-Capital Area Society Membership Committee assistant chair, organizing and participating in numerous “meet and greet” events and fundraising activities in the DC metro area. She has attended multiple ASCLS Annual Meetings. In addition, she has volunteered at Educate Lanka Foundation for the past 10 years to provide mentorship, guidance, and raise funds to support disadvantaged children, mostly in South Asia.
Graciela Lopez Gamboa, Virginia
Graciela works at the Biomedical Laboratory Science (BLS) department at George Washington University as an adjunct assistant professor since the fall of 2019. She is a member of ASCLS and the ASCLS-Capital Area Society, currently serving as Fundraising Committee chair. In the past year she has attended the 2021 Clinical Laboratory Educators Conference (CLEC), the Joint Meeting between ASCLS-Virginia and ASCLS-Capital Area Society, the 2021 JAM, and the Laboratory Legislative Symposium. She also works as the instructor for the dual enrollment medical laboratory science-phlebotomy technician pathway, a career technical education program at Alexandria City High School in Alexandria, Virginia, through a partnership with George Washington University. Through her work she has volunteered as an on-site lab assistant to the lecturers in the Medical Laboratory Summer Immersion programs and as support staff for the online Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP). Her volunteer work in the community includes Catholic Charities and the Arlington Free Clinic, both entities which help to coordinate accessible healthcare.
Alexandra (Ali) Nussbaum, Minnesota/Wisconsin
Ali has been very active since 2015 as a student within ASCLS-Wisconsin as the Student Forum chair, New Professional chair, and later becoming an at-large member of the Board of ASCLS-WI. She has served the state society in many roles including being the Political Action Committee (PAC) chair for several years, vice-chair of the Awards Committee for three years, and co-chair of the ASCLS-WI 2021 Virtual Meeting Planning Committee. She has served as a delegate to several ASCLS Annual Meetings and representative at several Laboratory Legislative Symposia. At the regional level, Ali is the Region V PAC trustee and is currently working on the Symposium Planning Committee. On the national level, Ali has served on numerous committees as a student/new professional but currently is the vice chair for the PAC and is serving on the Leadership Development Committee. Ali has been honored with both the national ASCLS Voices Under 40 and Ascending Professional Leadership Awards. Additionally, she has volunteered with the St. Paul Magic Special Olympics as a coach, as well as doing numerous other smaller volunteer activities in her community.
Austin Korczak, Minnesota
Austin has been working as a medical laboratory scientist for the past five years in a variety of hospital and clinic settings throughout Minnesota until last year when he did a short stint as a travel technologist in Oregon. One of Austin’s philosophies is that “We are defined by the experiences that we choose to give ourselves,” which led him to accept a position as a volunteer at AmeriCorps teaching preschoolers how to read. Additionally, he is also a ballroom dance instructor in training. Austin intends to return to healthcare by teaching MLS at the university. He has been active in ASCLS-Minnesota and is serving as exhibits chair for the Clinical Laboratory Collaborative (CLC) Planning Committee and the Region V Symposium. Austin started meditation at a young age, and he became president of his AC Early Risers Toastmasters club to overcome his trepidation in public speaking. Communication and meditation remain the two biggest passions in his life.
Caitlyn Crone, Michigan
Caitlyn has a position in the Microbiology Department at William Beaumont Hospital and co-teaches a microbiology lab at Oakland University. She has been very active in ASCLS-Michigan, including serving as District 3 representative, Membership chair, and as a moderator for educational sessions. She was recently voted in as the Ascending Professional chair in ASCLS-MI when the current chair needed to step down. She has also served as a delegate to the ASCLS Annual Meeting. She was awarded the Key to the Future Award in 2020. She has worked with the Beaumont Process Improvement Committee and has been an evaluator for MLS candidates. She is also an advisor for students creating a case study presentation for both Beaumont’s MLS internship and microbiology categorical programs.
Suzanne Butch is a Consultant in Clinical Laboratory Quality Management in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
From left: Sachi DeSilva, Graciela Lopez Gamboa, Ali Nussbaum, Caitlyn Crone, and Austin Korczak.
Photo by Suzanne Butch