With more than 400 in attendance, by all accounts, the 25th annual meeting of the ASCLS Clinical Laboratory Educators' Conference (CLEC) was a success. The meeting, held Feb. 19-21 in Denver, offered several days of educational sessions, receptions, roundtables and keynotes.
"We received many positive comments about CLEC this year ... especially Jake Norton's opening keynote about his climb to Mt. Everest and how he inspired attendees to 'climb' their own mountains in their lives; the time attendees had to network with colleagues; the time to visit with the exhibitors; and the variety of sessions offered," reported Joan Polancic, MSEd, CLS(NCA), director of education and project planning at ASCLS.
"In addition to some new pieces of information to use in their own programs, it is our hope attendees were rejuvenated and inspired by their participation at CLEC," Polancic said.
"From the verbal feedback I received, the overall impression of the meeting was that it was wonderful. I still have all of the program evaluations to go through, but many folks mentioned they loved the facility: they loved the openness and space. The food was fantastic. The evening event was interesting and relaxing. The light dusting of snow was enjoyable and the program was informative and educational," said Linda Comeaux, dean, School of Health, Sciences and Engineering , Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO, and general chair of the Denver meeting.
ASCLS bills the Clinical Laboratory Educators' Conference (CLEC) as "the most important annual event for faculty, administrators, directors, advisers and others in clinical laboratory science education."
The conference program offered a wide variety of substantive educational sessions from which to choose. Faculty at the forefront of clinical laboratory science education presented topics ranging from digital moviemaking to molecular analysis to the classroom civility.
Contagious Enthusiasm, New Dialogue
Mary L. Turgeon, EdD, CLS(NCA), MT(ASCP), Northeastern University, Boston, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, and CEO of Mary L. Turgeon and Associates, said, "The enthusiasm of educators at CLEC 2009 was contagious. It was very exciting to see so many new program directors and faculty, particularly hospital-based CLS and 2-year CLT programs. Some new laboratory assistant programs are also ramping up as job training for displaced workers. There are waiting lists of qualified students for entrance into many programs at all levels of the profession. This is great news as the projected workforce shortage is critical."
Rick Panning, CLS(NCA),MBA, former ASCLS president, enjoyed the networking opportunities afforded by CLEC. "As a laboratory administrator who is not an educator, I view CLEC as an opportunity for networking and finding opportunities for the profession to partner together on initiatives involving our practitioners, laboratory management and the educator community," he explained.
| Dr. Heuertz
"This meeting provided the opportunity for dialogue on important initiatives which will either impact the profession or advance the profession. These issues or initiatives include the doctorate in clinical laboratory science, the levels of practice career ladder initiative and the impact of government on our profession. For these initiatives advancing the profession, I am finding over the course of time, the dialogue keeps getting raised to a new level and we start to look beyond our territorial and personal concerns to how we can improve the practice landscape for the profession."
New Approaches, Directions
"The sessions on enabling student learning and what good teachers do were outstanding! I learned a number of new approaches to take with my students to improve their learning of concepts and principles in CLS education and disciplines," noted Linda Gorman, PhD, clinical laboratory science program director, University of Kentucky at Lexington. "And thanks to Kathy Waller, I will never use 'will enable to' in my objectives again."
Rita M. Heuertz, PhD, MT(ASCP), associate professor of clinical laboratory science, internal medicine, and molecular microbiology and immunology at the Doisy College of Health Sciences and School of Medicine, Saint Louis University, said, "CLEC is an excellent time for clinical laboratorians to learn new ways of educating students, be updated on new directions in the field and meet other professionals. For me, the Denver meeting was a time to learn more about research, molecular diagnostics and advanced degree programs in the CLS profession."
Next year's CLEC meeting, "Catch the Wave," will be held Feb. 25-27 2010 in Biloxi, MS. As the date gets closer, check www.ascls.org for details.
Matthew T. Patton (email@example.com) is editor of ADVANCE.