Dr. Yasmen Simonian (2005)
Running even faster in 2005
Submitted by: Tim R. Randolph, Hematology/Hemostasis SA Chair
Of the many ways that Yasmen “Yas” Simonian can be accurately described, first and foremost, is a clinical laboratory scientist (CLS). Laboratory medicine is as much a part of her soul as faith is to the clergy.
Yas reflects her loyalty to our profession in a multitude of important ways. Yas is a laboratorian, an educator, a recruiter, a mentor, a spokesperson, a leader and an overall ombudsman for the clinical laboratory. With each passing year, she discovers new trails to blaze and new ways to give. Yas became one of us in 1975 (you are welcome) when she received her Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology at the University of Utah. She began her laboratory career immediately as a clinical laboratory scientist in the blood bank at the University of Utah Medial Center. Within two years, she was promoted to the Research and Special Hematology/Oncology Division, where she participated in research activities and in the instruction of medical students. After only two more years in the Research and Special Hematology/Oncology Division, Yas was asked to serve an additional role as laboratory supervisor, while she was simultaneously working on a master’s degree. When Yas received her Master of Science in Medical Technology from the University of Utah, she was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Weber State where she currently serves. Since that time, Yas was promoted twice to achieve full professor, was granted tenure, became department chair and earned her doctorate in health education.
I have known Yas by reputation for over 10 years but have come to know her personally over the past three years through her faithful service of ASCLS in the scientific assemblies. Yas is the former Chair of the Hematology/Hemostasis Scientific Assembly and has quietly mentored me in this position after assuming the co-chair position for all the scientific assemblies. Yas has served ASCLS tirelessly over the years in many other capacities. Yas became a member early in her career and has maintained continuous membership. She has served multiple positions in the Utah Society for Clinical Laboratory Science to include several positions on the board: SA chair, general meetings chair and president. In addition to her roles in the scientific assemblies, Yas has served on the Committee on Educational Affairs, National Awards Committee, National Credentialing Agency (NCA) Hematology Exam Committee, Reviewer of the Journal of Clinical Laboratory Science, various positions within ASCLS Region VIII and as a national delegate on many occasions.
Over the years, Yas has been honored with several awards that typify her accomplishments. In her second year as a university professor, Yas was awarded Teacher of the Year at Weber State University. The following year, she was honored with her first of many ASCLS President’s Omicron Sigma Honor Roll for Outstanding Service Awards. Through the next 15 years, Yas was honored many times at Weber State University with such awards as Outstanding Advisor, Outstanding Teacher (two more times) and the Hemingway Faculty Vitality Award. During the same time interval, the Utah Society for Clinical Laboratory Science saw fit to award Yas with the Medical Technologist of the Year Award, and Outstanding Contribution and Innovations in Education Award. In addition, ASCLS recognized her accomplishments through her induction into the ASCLS Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity as well as receiving the Kendall Award for Professional Achievement in Education.
In the last four years, Yas has received six significant honors. In 2001, the City of Ogden, Utah awarded her the Spirit of the American Woman Award in Higher Education. Weber State University honored Yas with the Presidential Exemplary Collaborative Award in 2003 and the Crystal Crest Master Teacher Award in 2004. Also in 2004, Yas was recognized by the International Conference on Teaching and Learning with the Innovative Teaching, Learning and Technology Award for her work with the web-based CLS curriculum offered at Weber State University. In 2005, Yas was awarded the John S. Hinckley Fellow Award from Weber State University and is now a nominee for the 2005 U.S. Professor of the Year.
It goes without saying that Yasmen Simonian, PhD is an outstanding leader in clinical laboratory science. Her plethora of accomplishments speak for themselves. But what these accomplishments fail to express is her personal character. Yas is a person of extraordinary integrity. She says what she means and she means what she says. She has a way of defusing tense situations and refocusing negative energy in a positive direction. Yas is also known for her energy, her enthusiasm and her contagious smile. She lights up any room she enters while quietly depositing her wisdom and guidance.
Thank you, Yas, for setting the bar so high. May we too, shoot for the stars.