The New Professionals and New Members Forum is showcasing a member who exhibits pride in ASCLS, demonstrates hard work, and has excellent leadership skills. For this issue, we would like to spotlight Gretchen Brocksmith. 

Gretchen received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2008. She began working at Exxon Refinery in Baton Rouge and wanted more out of her career. Her mother introduced her to Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) and before she knew it, she was enrolled at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge in CLS. She completely fell in love with Clinical Laboratory Science. She finally felt like this is where she belonged and could finally make a difference in someone’s life.  

At the LA-MS Bi-state convention, a friend nominated her for the Louisiana Student Forum Chair. This is where she found her love for ASCLS and her passion for laboratory science grew significantly. Since then, she has held positions at the State, Regional, and National levels. She has attended the Legislative Symposium twice and the National Meeting 3 times. Philly was her 4th time!! 

She has found a zeal for government affairs and a love for being a voice for our Society. She enjoys being an advocate for students, new professionals, and new members. ASCLS has given her great opportunities and opened many doors for her. Being a part of a Society has taught her how to be a team player, how to be a leader and how to be follower. More importantly, it has shown her we truly care about our profession by putting the patient first, we uphold safe laboratory practices, and report out quality work. Currently, Gretchen is the 2016 New Professionals and New Members Forum past Chair, Leadership Academy graduate, in the Membership Program, a member of DAC, and New Professional for GAC. 

Gretchen is now living in Metairie, LA where she works in the Hematology Laboratory at Ochsner Medical Center in the New Orleans. Ochsner is the #1 Liver Transplant hospital in the nation. She volunteers for many activities Ochsner offers such as King Cake Festival where kids and adults alike enjoy king cake from all over the city and play games for prizes. She also helped collect and sort can goods for Second Harvest. This year, for Lab Week, she was on the laboratory committee and contributed to the games, prizes, and food for all lab professionals in the hospital. 

She is a very social person. She enjoys going out and meeting different and new people. She is not afraid to introduce herself to you. She also loves the outdoors. Some of her hobbies include running, biking, and weightlifting. She also enjoys hiking and swimming. She absolutely loves going to the beach. Some of her goals include volunteering more not only at her hospital but in her community as well.