NAACLS is very pleased to introduce its new Board of Directors’ President, Maribeth L. Flaws, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, SM(ASCP)SI. Dr. Flaws has been involved with NAACLS since 2004 and has served NAACLS in many capacities. We are pleased to feature a Q&A with our new Board of Directors’ President:
Please provide a brief synopsis of your professional background:
I graduated from Mundelein College (now part of Loyola University in Chicago) with a BS in Chemistry and Biology and from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a PhD in Microbiology/Immunology. I started working in the clinical microbiology laboratory at Rush University Medical Center while I was in graduate school and discovered the profession. I started teaching microbiology in the medical laboratory science program at Rush shortly after I completed my PhD and have been teaching ever since.
Please tell us about your current professional position, title, what you do, how long you have worked in this position:
I am the Chairperson of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science at Rush University in Chicago IL. I have been the chairperson for almost 7 years. I am responsible for ensuring that there are students enrolled and qualified faculty teaching the courses in the three programs that we offer: MS in Medical Laboratory Science, MS in Clinical Laboratory Management and Specialist in Blood Banking certificate program.
How long have you served on the NAACLS Board? What positions have you held at NAACLS?
I have been on the NAACLS Board for four years having been nominated by ASCLS. I served as the Treasurer of the Board (2019-2020) and as President-Elect from 2020-2021.
I was a member of the Review Committee for Accredited Programs for 9 years joining as one of the first Diagnostic Molecular Scientist educators and served as the Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect and Chair of the committee.
I have been a self-study reviewer and site visitor for 16 years.
What goals do you have as the Board of Directors’ President?
Ensure that initiatives identified in the strategic plan are moving along and facilitate upcoming changes such as the transition of the CEO and consolidation of accreditation and approval processes as much as possible. I plan on being available and responsive to the needs of our program directors, volunteers, and staff.
Please tell us about your family.
I am married to my best friend and high school sweetheart, and we have three daughters. We also have a rescue dog.
What do you like to do for recreation or fun?
I like gardening, sitting by the pool and playing flute. I have played flute since 4th grade and the last few years I have been playing in a church ensemble and community band. Going to Chicago White Sox (baseball), Bears (football) or Blackhawks (hockey) games are among my favorite things to do.
How would you complete the following sentence: “The thing most people would find interesting about me is …?”
I did not complete a NAACLS-accredited MLS program and yet I have been in the profession for over 30 years and I advocate for this profession whenever I can.
Is there anything about you that you would like to add that I might have missed?
I am excited to serve as President of the Board, and I look forward to a fun, interesting and productive term!