This award serves to recognize and reward ASCLS members who have demonstrated their leadership potential to the organization, and to provide these members with structured mentoring.

The Key to the Future Program is administered by the ASCLS Leadership Development Committee and is intended to assist constituent societies in the development of potential leaders to serve at local, state, regional and national levels of the Society. Additionally, the program encourages appointments and nominations of these highly motivated members to positions of responsibility within the organization that will further their leadership development.

Award: Recipients receive recognition and a unique Key to the Future pin at the annual ASCLS meeting. Constituent societies are encouraged to appoint/elect awardees as delegates to the ASCLS Annual Meeting.

Each constituent society should recognize their nominees by announcing their names at the constituent society's annual Awards Ceremony and presenting them with a unique item designated exclusively for this purpose. The names of the winners should be published in the constituent society newsletter.

Nomination deadline: May 1

Nominees are from a constituent (state) society. Each constituent society may recognize a maximum of three members per year. 

Method of nomination by a constituent society is to be determined by that constituent society. ASCLS recommends the current constituent society president be involved, with a suggested committee composition including the president, past president, president-elect and the previous year's recipients.

Key to the Future Recognition Program Online Nomination Form 

Questions may be directed to


  • Must be a new member (within three years), or a longstanding member who has recently increased his/her activity with the society
  • Must be an ASCLS member in the Professional, Ascending Professional, or Developing Professional categories of membership
  • Must have demonstrated leadership potential by directing at least one task force or project, chairing a committee with significant tasks, or performing exceptionally as a constituent society Board member or local/chapter officer; outcomes of this involvement must be considered outstanding, creative and of high quality
  • Must not have received this award previously

Previous Keys to the Future Recipients

Download a list of 2011-2020 Keys to the Future Honorees.

2020 Keys to the Future Recipients

Congratulations these 60 members from 33 ASCLS consituent societies who have dmonstrated their leadership potential to the organization.

Region 1

Central New England
Erica Maynard
Erica is ASCLS-CNE secretary and played an active role on the Annual ASCLS-CNE Convention Planning Committee.

New York
Aniqa Rattu

Region 2

New Jersey
JessieCheramyJessie Cheramy
Jessie is a student representative who has called into every monthly meeting since September 2019 and was highly involved in decision-making, group discussions, and had been planning fundraising events prior to COVID-19 closures, along with the New Jersey chapter board and committee members.


EmilyKamienieckiEmily Kamieniecki




Natalie Case
Natalie, over the past 5-10 years, has revived the Virginia state society. She has remained a promenent member of the state leadership and is an excellent leader.

Jenica Harrison
Jenica is the Virginia state society past president and led the state in two sucessful Virginia state annual meetings.

Barbara Kraj
Barbara has been an inergral part of the Virginia state society and updating our bylaws in 2019-2020.

Washington, DC
Nurcan Basar
Nurcan has been a clinical coordinator for the George Washington University Biomedical Laboratory Sciences Department for several years. She recently was promoted to a leadership position as a clinical education director and has implemented several initiatives that will streamline processes with clinical stuents.

CliffCymrotCliff Cymrot
Cliff is the vice president of the ASCLS-DC chapter and the current program director for the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences undergraduate MLS programs. He has evolved over the years and is showing great leadership skills. He is a team player and puts 100 percent effort into everything he does.


West Virginia
Jason Evans
Jason was Student Forum advisor.

Region 3

Jenny Gao
Dr. Gao has been very active in her state society, volunteering her time at state meetings and at conferences giving presentations. She is also actively involved with the ASCLS organization. She is currently serving as a member of the Abstract and Proposal Review Committee and also the Membership Community.

EmiliaMarreroGreeneEmilia Marrero
Emilia served on the CLEC Host Committee.



AaronOdegardAaron Odegard
Aaron served on the CLEC Host Committee and FSCLS Scholarship and Newsletter Committees.



Ogechi Ohaeto
Ogechi served on the FSCLS Scholarship Committee and chaired the Newsletter Committee.

Abby Carroll
Abby continues to contribute to ASCLS-Georgia's success by assisting with our Annual Meeting and representing the organization well with her professionalism and knowledge.

ShamonicaKing2Shamonica King
Shamonica has been very involved in our planning for the Spring Bi-state Meeting, including heading the Social Committee for the event. She also submitted a presentation for our state continuing education scientific event. Dr. King is also committed to the national level of ASCLS. She has presented a poster presentation at the last two national ASCLS meetings.

North Carolina
Nattasha Counta
Nattasha has stepped up to tackle leadership positions.

CarolineHendersonCaroline Henderson
Caroline has been extremely helpful with tasks and projects.



Susan Cooper
Susan has served on our Board of Directors and is an integral part of the operations of our organization.

Robin Latchem
Robin has served as one of our Board of Director members. She is an integral part of our operation, with her connections to APSU and a large pool of students/alumni. She is an active voice in the direction of our state society.

Andrew Smithen
Andrew has served as one of our Board of Director members. He has been instrumental in the planning and execution of our Spring Meeting in 2019, as well as planning for our 2020 meeting. He is working with a committee to get our state newsletter active, as well as other rebranding and graphic design for the state society.

Region 4

Crystal Austin
Crystal reached out to join ASCLS-IN earlier last year with an interest in participating on one of our board committees. She has been a wonderful asset to ASCLS-IN this year, bringing plenty of fresh insight and work experience to help enhance our board. We are very apprciative of her dedication and interest in the society and hope it continues for many years to come.

Melissa Wyatt
Melissa has gone above and beyond for the Kentucky society. She is passionate about the profession and demonstrates leader qualities each and every day. Melissa strives to improve processes and is eager to recruit and build the state society. She is key to the future of ASCLS.

CaitlynCroneCaitlyn Crone



BillieKetelsenBillie Ketelsen



Romina Selzer

Alicia Estlack

Heather Strange

Adrienne Davis Zapfe

Region 5

Cynthia Ngo
Cynthia is an exceptional chair of the State Meeting Program Committee and an exceptional Metro Junior Director.

North Dakota
Christie Massen
Christie has demonstrated high involvement in ASCLS in recent years. She is part of the Region V Leadership Academy; co-chair of the ND State Meeting; and attends annual, regional, and state meetings.

Larissa Unruh
Larissa has been on the Board of Directors for the past two years. She has joined the Leadership Academy as a participant.

Mari Volk
Mari is a recent member and co-chaired the ND State Meeting this year.

South Dakota
Tonia Benthin
Tonia completed her first year as president elect elect and will progress through Board of Directors positions to president.

Cassie Echols
Cassie is a Developing Professional who has contributed to ASCLS-SD and is involved with Legislative Days.

Iman Omar
Iman is an Ascending Professional who has contributed to ASCLS-SD and is involved with Legislative Days.

Isabel Cabrera
Isabel was a standout Developing Professional who will do great things for ASCLS-WI.

ElizabethDahlgrenElizabeth Dahlgren
Liz has stepped up in many ways. She is the vice chair of the Scientific Assemblies and is running for president-elect in the coming year.



LeahNaransLeah Narans
Leah has stepped up in activity during the last year to improve ASCLS-WI.



Region 6 

MasihShokraniMasih Shokrani
Masih has previously received Educator of the Year and Member of the Year. He is actively involved in our state, serving as Developing Professional Forum liaison and editor of ASCLS-IL Insights, our newsletter.


Alexander Campbell
Alexander stepped up to be ASCLS-Iowa president elect elect.

Bridget Greiner
Bridget stepped up to be ASCLS-Iowa president elect.

Leah was chosen as a Key to the Future because she is truly passionate about our profession. In her first year as an MLS she has done remarkable work promoting our profession while working in the blood bank at the University of Kansas Health System. She co-chairs the ASCLS-KS Promotion of the Profession Committee (PPC) and serves on the ASCLS national PPC. Leah has produced a new CLS promotional video that can be seen on the ASCLS YouTube Channel. The ASCLS-KS PPC has given 30+ recruiting presentations to area high school and university students. Before the COVID-19 crisis, Leah and the ASCLS-KS PPC were planning a silent auction during Medical Laboratory Professionals Week to raise money to provide travel grants so that more ASCLS-KS Ascending and Developing Professionals would be able to attend the Joint Annual Meeting.

ReneeHodgkinsS. Renee Hodgkins, PhD, MT(ASCP)
Renee was chosen as a Key to the Future for her dedication and service to our profession. She is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and she also serves as program director for the department's DCLS Program. She serves as chair of the ASCLS DCLS Oversight Committee, Region VI Secretary, and chair of ASCLS-Kansas Membership Development. Renee has presented at numerous state, regional, and national meetings, sharing her vision and passion for the DCLS as an essential member of the healthcare team. Under her leadership, the DCLS Program at KUMC opened in 2019 becoming only the third program nationally.

AndrewJonesAndrew Jones, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM
Andrew was chosen as a Key to the Future for his dedication to teaching and the promotion of the profession. Andrew is a clinical assistant professor in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He teaches laboratory courses in bacteriology and mycology/parasitology and management principles in healthcare. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Andrew continues to work two days a week in the clinical microbiology lab. He co-chairs the ASCLS-KS Promotion of the Profession Committee (PPC) and has done a remarkable job organizing, recruiting, and promoting our profession. Andrew presented A Case Study Review of Clinical Parasitology at CLEC 2020.

Awa Diop

Erika Martin

Region 7

Hope Hollyfield
Hope has been instrumental in the past several years in successfully writing a letter to the governor of Arkansas in an effort to urge him to declare Medical Laboratory Professionals Week for the state of Arkansas. She is recognized with the gold key in an effort to honor her hard work and dedication to the laboratory profession, as well as encourage her to continue to be a leader in ASCLS-AR.

JamesHollowellJames Hollowell
Developing Professional Vice Chair



Monika Paneru
Developing Professional Secretary

Mikayla Thompson
Developing Professional Chair

Region 8

Mindi Thurmon
Developing Professional Representative

Nicola Selfa
Nicola is fairly new to the ASCLS organization, and she volunteered to head the planning committee as chair of our 2019 ASCLS-Idaho Spring Convention. She brought together an amazing planning committee and was instrumental in the collaborative efforts of putting together a great convention. Our society believes that she has the potential to grow and become a leader in our society.

Michele Adams
Michele has become active again in our society and has been an incredible asset to ASCLS-MT. She is not only on our board but she is also on the national Government Affairs Committee. We are so fortunate to have her working so hard to keep Montana strong!

TiffanyAshworthTiffany Ashworth
Tiffany has been such a great addition to the Montana society. She was our student last year. This year she is our Ascending Professional and is also a member of our Region VIII Leadership Academy. We look forward to all the new ideas and energy Tiffany will bring to our Montana society!


Dani Bodeker
Dani has recently become active in ASCLS-MT. She's jumped in from the very beginning with an easy, ready to do anything you ask of her attitude. She is currently one of our Region VIII Leadership Academy students from Montana. We are so grateful to have Dani!

Barbara Harvey
Barbara is part of the 2020 Leadership Academy and has demonstrated numerous times her commitment to the society! She has jumped straight into the Wyoming delegation, taking over the secretary/treasurer position. She has also helped the Wyoming president with the Bylaws update and is always asking if any help is needed!

Otto Novota
Otto attended an event with the Wyoming president to promote the profession at the University of Wyoming.

Colleen Ricci
Colleen has helped with numerous projects to involve more students in ASCLS and helped facilitate more conversations with college students to enter the MLT/MLS program at Casper College.

Region 9

Mariah Alanis
Mariah is an active Ascending Professional Member and is co-chairing a regional CE event.

Fiona Lao
Fiona is the Centrifuge editor for the constituent society.

Region 10

Amanda Fulton
Amanda is serving as president of ASCLS-CA. She has been dedicated and working hard for the society. She has done an amazing job as president, even though she felt she didn't have enough experience to do so.