Michael Smith is presented with the Technician of the Year plaque by his supervisor Dori Gabelmann at the Integrated Vivarium Services unit at WSU. Michael also received a $350 honorarium from the branch in recognition of his professional achievement.

Michael Smith, animal technician III in the Washington State University’s Office of Campus Veterinarian, received the Northern Rocky Mountain Branch of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Technician of the Year Award.

This award recognizes animal care technical staff that go above and beyond their job descriptions and is a tribute to the technician’s integrity, work ethic and excellence.

“Michael’s acute perception at identifying animal health problems is noteworthy by both veterinary and research staff. He is well-respected by fellow animal care, veterinary and research personnel,” said Nina Woodford, director of the Office of Campus Veterinarian and attending veterinarian.

Smith started as a time-slip employee in 2011 while enrolled as a student at WSU. He received his bachelor’s degree in natural resources in 2012. He pursued further training in laboratory animal science by attaining his ALAT certification. As an animal technician III, Smith is responsible for animal husbandry, colony management, medical treatments, and acts as the lead technician in the Biotechnology Life Sciences Vivarium.

“Michael was instrumental in helping our lab transition to each new method, and mostly importantly, maintain each new method. He also helped us brainstorm new ways to improve the specialized washing system and organized processes to our needs with the other vivarium technicians,” said Crystal Law, laboratory manager for the Hunt and Hassold laboratories.

The Northern Rocky Mountain AALAS Branch encompasses research academic institutions and biomedical companies in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The Branch serves its members with information, networking, and learning opportunities within the field of laboratory animal science.