NAACLS is very pleased to introduce its new Board of Directors’ President, Yasmen Simonian, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM. Dr. Simonian was a nominee from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and was elected by the NAACLS Board of Directors as Representative in 2008. She served as Member-at-Large from 2009-2013, Vice President from 2013-2014 and President-Elect from 2014-2015. She is the Dean and Professor at the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
We are pleased to feature a Q&A with our new Board of Directors’ President:
Please provide a brief synopsis of your professional background:
My BS and MS degrees are in Medical Technology (old name for Medical Laboratory Sciences), specialized in advanced hematology and hemostasis. My PhD is in patient education and counseling.
Please tell us about your current professional position, title, what you do, how long you have worked in this position:
I work at Weber State University (WSU) as the Dean of Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke College of Health Professions from 2008 to present. Our college is the largest at WSU. We grant 33 different degrees and graduate the most students per year. I am in charge of eight departments, School of Nursing, Radiologic Sciences, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Administration Services, Respiratory Therapy and Emergency Care and Rescue. All the departments are at least in the top ten in the nation in their specific disciplines.
I was the chair of Medical/Clinical Laboratory Sciences department for twelve years. I started in the CLS Department at WSU in 1981, and I am still here. I was the first female and first from our college to be named the Presidential Distinguished Professor. The CLS/MLS department was the first in the nation or perhaps worldwide to offer totally online degrees from WSU.
How long have you served on the NAACLS Board? What positions have you held at NAACLS?
I have been on the Board since 2008 and been involved with NAACLS since 1998 as a reviewer, site visitor, and on various task forces, on RCAP [formerly CLSPRC] and as a Board Liaison to PARC.
What goals do you have as the Board of Directors’ President?
To continue with the solid work that assists institutions achieve accreditation. Be able to stay transparent, maintain institutional integrity and be a student and an educator advocate. In addition, since many institutions are connected more to the international arena, I would like to explore our global connections further.
Please tell us about your family.
My Armenian family (Mom, Dad and brother) immigrated to USA in 1967 from Tehran, Iran for a better life and more opportunities for advanced education. My brother is an accomplished artist and we have very supportive parents.
What do you like to do for recreation or fun?
Dance, listen to music from different countries and cultures, and travel to places that I have not seen yet, cook and have parties with family and friends.
How would you complete the following sentence: “The thing most people would find interesting about me is …?”
I am fluent in five languages.
Is there anything about you that you would like to add that I might have missed?
I am a strong advocate of human rights and cancer prevention. I help and support international causes. I like to educate people in taking control of their healthcare.
Thanks for asking, Yas