The 2019-20 ASCLS Leadership Academy class met for two days before the ASCLS-AGT Joint Annual Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, last June. The group got to know each other while enthusiastically performing group activities, listening to presentations, and participating in active discussions.

This year’s class of 11 participants represents nine states and one U.S. territory, spanning from Alaska to Puerto Rico. They have varying levels of experience in the profession, professional organizations, and ASCLS, but all are enthusiastic and ready to prepare themselves to step into leadership positions in the profession. Meet the new class of the ASCLS Leadership Academy!

Dr. Elinette M. Albino – Puerto Rico
Elinette was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in a town at the center of the island. From primary to high school she has participated in scientific activities including state and international scientific fairs. In high school and college, she became seriously interested in science and spent her summers doing research. Elinette has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey campus, and later completed a certificate in medical technology.

She has a master’s degree in clinical biochemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus. Her daily experience observing health tendencies in the Puerto Rican population and her interest in producing clinical research solutions led her to enroll in the PhD program in biomedical sciences at the Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her passion in genetics led her to execute two post-doctoral involvements and several publications in cardiovascular genetics, cancer, and oxidative stress.

Elinette is currently an assistant professor in the Medical Technology Program of the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. She also works as a consultant for genomic services and advanced diagnostics in the areas of
oncology, neurology, and women’s health for Puerto Rico and the southeastern U.S. region of Quest Diagnostics. She has participated in different national and international scientific forums, addressing various topics of interest and impact on public health. Elinette is passionate about scientific research and community service. But her family role is the most important. She is married to José, and both have been blessed with three girls and one boy: Camila, Amaia, Eliana and Josú.

Hosanna Anyatonwu – Texas
Hosanna graduated in August of 2018 from Texas Tech University Health Science Center where she received a post baccalaureate degree in clinical laboratory science (CLS). She joined ASCLS in January of 2019 as an ascending professional with the desire to become an active member of the CLS community. As a certified medical technologist at the Heart Hospital of Austin, she truly loves her job, patients, and coworkers.

Crystal Austin – Indiana
Crystal has lived in Indianapolis her entire life. She attended Indiana University (IU) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She obtained her medical technology degree in 1998 from IU School of Medicine.

Her first position was as a generalist working for Mid America Clinical Laboratories. She has worked for several laboratories in the Indianapolis area primarily as a generalist. Her first leadership position was with Wishard Memorial Hospital working as night shift supervisor and soon after was promoted to core lab technical supervisor. She went on to work for Indiana University as technical supervisor of operations where she oversaw 23 outpatient laboratories.

She attended Indiana Wesleyan and obtained her master’s degree in business administration. Currently she serves as laboratory manager at Veterans Hospital in Indianapolis. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. In her free time, sheenjoys spending time with family and friends.

Sophia Chandrasekar – North Carolina
Sophia is a native North Carolinian and currently lives in Durham with her husband. She graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2014 with degrees in biology and anthropology, and in 2016 she obtained a degree in clinical laboratory science.

She began her career at UNC Health Care’s McLendon Labs-Core Laboratory as a student employee and was hired as a full-time employee in 2016. She was promoted to lead technologist over gas chromatography in January 2019 and has just begun her new role where she is also the weekend supervisor on days.

She is starting her term of past president of the North Carolina Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (NCSCLS) and is also currently illustrating the second NCSCLS adult coloring book. She encouraged colleagues to attend the Region III Triennial Meeting in Pensacola Beach, Florida, in September, as she was part of the planning committee. She has also served on state meeting planning committees and is the webmaster and social media handle for NCSCLS. When she is able to find spare time, she spends it playing and designing video games with her husband, and doodling and crafting anything she can think of.

Cliff Cypriot – Virginia
Cliff was born and raised in Queens, New York, and currently lives with his wife in Northern Virginia. Cliff is the current MLS program director at George Washington University (GW) in the Biomedical Laboratory Sciences Department. Prior to his arrival at GW, Cliff worked as a medical laboratory scientist at a medium-sized 200-bed hospital in upstate New York and taught as an adjunct instructor for the State University of New York at Orange.

In addition to his program director duties, Cliff teaches a range of courses within the MLS program, both online and face-toface, such as Hematology I and II, Clinical Microbiology Lab, Immunohematology Lab, and Molecular Diagnostics Lab. For a brief time, Cliff worked for Advance Magazine for Laboratory Professionals providing storylines for the comic strip, “Lab out Loud,” that he worked on with his brother-in-law. He has been a contributor for several chapters in the Textbook of Diagnostic Microbiology, by Mahon, Lehman, and Manuselis. He is also the treasurer of the Capital Area Society (D.C.) chapter for ASCLS. He holds certifications in ASCP, AMT, and AAB in medical laboratory science.

In his spare time, Cliff enjoys spending time with his wife, as well as reading and writing science fiction stories. He is excited to be part of ASCLS’ Leadership Academy and can’t wait to utilize what he’s learning to help the next generation of laboratory professionals and the profession as a whole.

Galina Dronova – Minnesota
Galina is the lead of the largest outpatient clinic for Park Nicollet Health Systems where she was engaged in process improvement, training, and program management. Her credentials and education include a BS in clinical lab science/med technology (ASCP), BS in microbiology, and a medical technologist certification. She has an extensive background in lab science and research, experience in training higher education, and an energetic drive to learn and improve.

Her involvement in ASCLS began by first shadowing and then becoming the chair for the Minnesota Clinical Laboratory Collaborative. She was encouraged to keep growing in the ASCLS community by her mentor, Jean Bauer, and applied for the national Leadership Academy. Currently, she is the metro area junior director of the scientific assembly and is looking forward to contributing to a Society that helps develop professional growth and build lifelong connections.

In her spare time, she likes to talk a lot about rock climbing.

Billie Ketelsen – Michigan
Billie is a Michigan native, spending her entire life in the Detroit area. She currently resides in Royal Oak with her husband, stepdaughter (14), son (6), and daughter (5). Billie has been a medical professional for over 10 years with most of her experience centered around blood bank.

In between her blood bank careers, she worked in biomarker research, a position that allowed her to learn and use advanced skills in the laboratory. She is currently the blood bank manager at Beaumont Health Royal Oak, a level-one trauma center, 1,100-bed hospital. Billie is passionate about patient safety and is currently a volunteer on the ASCLS Patient Safety Committee, which keeps her up to date on new research and ideas. Her other passions include blood wastage, quality, and professionalism.

Within the ASCLS-Michigan society, she is beginning her role as Immunohematology Scientific Assembly co-chair. Billie is excited to be a part of the 2020 Leadership Academy Class and looks forward to learning from others in the profession.

Stephanie Moore – Alaska
Stephanie is originally from Kentucky. Growing up she lived in several states. She graduated from Spencerian College in Louisville, Kentucky, with a degree in medical technology in 2006. Stephanie started her career at a small hospital in east-central Kentucky. From there she moved on to working at an Equine Hospital.

Stephanie moved to Sitka, Alaska, in 2014. She is currently the point of care coordinator and laboratory technical coordinator. She is currently furthering her education. In her free time, she enjoys reading and going on hikes with her husband and six-year-old son.

Jasmine Pante – California
Jasmine is a Northern California native and currently resides in Monterey. When she was younger, she aspired to serve her community in the medical field but realized her talent for clinical laboratory science at the end of her undergraduate career. She has a BS in genetics from the University of California, Davis, and her post-baccalaureate degree in clinical laboratory science from Heritage University in Toppenish, Washington.

She’s worked in the field for three years, working as a clinical laboratory scientist (generalist) at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, California. In December 2019 she will transition into senior clinical laboratory scientist, point of care, and quality. She often has questions for current laboratory methods and thinks of possibilities to improve laboratory workflow and patient care by volunteering for projects such as new instrument validation, auto-verification software, and leading the Lab Unit Council.

To balance her ambitions and stresses in her career, she maintains a yoga practice as an instructor and lifelong student. She currently instructs yoga classes at her hospital to all employees. She also enjoys travelling to new places, new experiences, and especially making time for her family, boyfriend, her pup Dustee, and friends—no matter how busy her life becomes.

Cherika Robertson – Arkansas
Cherika is a native of Arkansas, having grown up in rural South Arkansas, and currently lives right outside Little Rock with her husband and almost six-year-old son, Harper. She currently works as assistant professor in the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She has been a laboratory professional for 14 years, with extensive experience in areas of hematology, blood bank, and cytogenetics.

Professionally, she is actively involved in ASCLS, serving at the national, regional, and state levels. She currently serves as vice chair of membership services on the national Membership Development Committee. On the state level, Cherika serves as the president of the ASCLS-Arkansas society. She has been involved in planning state conferences, providing continuing education and networking opportunities to laboratory professionals from across the state. Cherika’s passion for recruitment and retention of laboratory professionals is evidenced by her enthusiasm for the profession, and her role as career ambassador 2.0 for the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Romina Selzer – Michigan
Romy was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but currently lives in Ferndale, Michigan. She graduated from Wayne State University with a BS in clinical laboratory science in 2009 after completing her internship at the University of Michigan Health System. She started her career as a generalist at a local Children’s Hospital but became a dedicated blood banker in 2013 when she accepted a position at Henry Ford Hospital in downtown Detroit. In 2017 she was promoted to senior medical technologist and has been in that role since then.

She is active in patient safety and blood utilization committees within the hospital, as well as being involved in ASCLS at the state and national levels. She’s a current member of the Membership Committee in Michigan, helped plan state meetings as committee member and vice chair, and served as district representative for the past two terms. She will take over as finance chair for the next two fiscal years in Michigan.

On the national level, she’s attended national meetings and has served in the P.A.C.E.® Committee and is very excited to be a part of the current Leadership Academy class. She’s passionate about her career and profession, but also loves traveling and going to new places. So, chances are, if she’s not home, then she’s probably on a plane to her next adventure.

The 2019-20 Leadership Academy faculty include former Leadership Academy faculty and former students who guide discussion of academy expectations, leadership and communication styles, and the history of the profession. Those
participating include Lindsey Davenport-Landry, Kathy Doig, Brandy Gunsolus, Heather McLaughlin, Elissa Passiment, Rebecca Rogers, and Kim Von Ahsen.

The group will have two additional face-to-face meetings—one at the 2020 Legislative Symposium in March and then at the 2020 Joint Annual Meeting in Louisville in June. The class attends online sessions and completes independent reading and assignments during the year. Making videos, developing presentations, shadowing an ASCLS committee, working with a mentor, and managing projects are part of the curriculum. Additional topics include being the face of the profession, time management, team building, conflict management, advocacy skills, developing new leaders, and strategic planning. Speakers include Suzanne Butch, Janelle Chiasera, Lindsey Davenport-Landry, Jim Flanigan, Mary
Ann McLane, Deb Rodahl, Rebecca Rogers, and more.

Suzanne Butch has retired from her position as manager of clinical pathology quality assurance in the Department of Pathology at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan.