SLU Investigative and Medical Sciences Student Wins Multiple Awards at ASCLS Annual Meeting

Saint Louis University Investigative and Medical Sciences student Kayla Schmidt was recently named the winner of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) National Student Research Paper Award and the ASCLS Undergraduate Research Poster Competition at the organization’s annual meeting in San Diego, California for her presentation “Development of a Microscopic Method to Diagnose Hemoglobin C Conditions in Underdeveloped Countries”.

Kayla Schmidt Taking Questions

The ASCLS Student Research Paper Competition awards the winner with an expenses-paid trip to the organization’s annual meeting, a cash prize and the opportunity to present his or her paper in front of a national audience. The ASCLS poster competition strives to encourage participants to present their research findings at the national level and provides a platform for laboratory education programs from all across the country to highlight some of their talented students. Schmidt was presented with a plaque and cash prize at an awards ceremony held at the meeting.

Schmidt was very excited to receive the news from the ASCLS that she had won the Student Research Paper Award and would be heading to the organization’s annual conference to present her work. She was shocked, though, at the end of the conference to hear that she had also won the Undergraduate Poster Competition.

“I was sitting in the awards ceremony near the front and I heard my name called for the award and could not believe it,” Schmidt said. “I had talked to some pretty awesome undergraduates, so it was a big surprise to win…I was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions. It was a great experience!”

Schmidt became interested in this research topic during her junior year when she was shadowing some seniors in the lab. She later became directly involved in the research and, as a senior, traveled to Haiti on a mission trip and was inspired even further to continue this research when she saw first-hand the life-changing impact this work can have.

Associate Professor Tim Randolph, Ph.D., MT(ASCP), has been working with Schmidt on this research for two years and was very pleased to see her accomplishments recognized.

“Winning the ASCLS national student research paper competition is quite an honor, and to also be given the top award in the student research poster competition speaks to the quality of Kayla's research,” Dr. Randolph said. “She is one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic undergraduate research students I have had the pleasure of mentoring in my nearly 30-year tenure at SLU. I am proud of her accomplishments and look forward to continuing our research together in the coming year.”

Find out more information about SLU's Investigative and Medical Sciences program.

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 13,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.