In 2003, AACC’s President at the time, Dr. Sue Evans, formed an Annual Meeting Task Force charged with making recommendations on how to improve the association's annual meeting that was chaired by Dr. Mary Lou Gantzer (2001 AACC President).
Based on the task force’s discussions, Dr. Evans said, “It became clear that promoting our profession needed to include the recruitment of young scientists and more students into the field, as well as more involvement, recognition for, and input from the younger members of AACC.”
A subcommittee, composed of Drs. Tom Annesley, Larry Broussard (2008 AACC President), and Ann Gronowski (2011 AACC President), therefore set out to evaluate the association’s student/trainee activities and ultimately recommended the formation of a student committee within AACC.
With approval from the AACC Board of Directors, Dr. Gronowski was asked to chair the Young Clinical Chemist Advisory Group in January 2004 to further develop the structure and function of the proposed student committee. The advisory group included Drs. David Grenache (2020 AACC President), Linnea Baudhuin, Demetra Callas, and Steven Goss, with Dr. Stephen Kahn (1997 AACC President) contributing as a senior advisor.
Following a survey of AACC student members and members under 40 years of age, the advisory group decided to expand the eligibility criteria for the proposed committee to include early career professionals in addition to students/trainees. The advisory group also outlined goals for the committee and wrote its vision statement: “To develop opportunities and programs that support and encourage career development in the clinical laboratory sciences.” As a final touch, they named the new committee the "Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians," which is now commonly shortened to SYCL (pronounced "cycle").
In May 2004, with Dr. Grenache serving as the first Committee Chair, SYCL was officially launched to serve the needs of AACC’s younger members and to recruit, develop, mentor, and provide opportunities to new members.
The society’s executive committee initially consisted of a small group of SYCL members selected from their peers, tasked with representing the larger SYCL membership and leading the development and support of the society's goals. Today, the SYCL Core Committee consists of 13 SYCL committee members appointed by the AACC President and reports directly to the AACC Board of Directors.
Reflecting on how SYCL has grown since its inception, Dr. Gronowski said, “It is so gratifying to see that SYCL has become a successful training ground for energetic young members who want to be more involved in the association.”