Mentoring Profile: Laurie Gillard, MS, MLS(ASCP), SBB, College of Health Sciences

The Rush Women Mentoring Program fosters professional development and a sense of community and collaboration among women faculty at Rush University. In this series, we highlight program mentors and mentees and learn more about how mentoring has impacted them.

Laurie Gillard, MS, MLS(ASCP), SBB, assistant professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Health Sciences, and program director, Specialist in Blood Bank Technology Certificate, joined Rush in 2014.

Tell us about your background.

I began working in a clinical laboratory in 1983 and later pursued a specialty in immunohematology. In 2001 I went back to school to earn my Specialist in Blood Banking Certification and my master’s degree. After completing my SBB program, I began teaching in the SBB program at University of Illinois at Chicago.

What inspired you to get into your field?

I was inspired to join this field by my interest in immunohematology and my concern for patient safety.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

I teach both face-to-face and online through a web-based SBB program, which I direct. It’s both very challenging and very satisfying, and I thoroughly enjoy working with the graduate students.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

I think mentoring is very important. I view myself as a mentor to my graduate students, and I derive great satisfaction from seeing them grow professionally. It’s an honor to be a part of their journey.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

The most important thing is to be passionate about one’s chosen field. It’s important to recognize where one’s interests lie; in my case, it’s working with patients and donors, promoting the profession and keeping the patients and donors safe.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

When the weather is nice, I like cycling. When it’s not so nice, I like to stay inside and read a good book. I also enjoy traveling.