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Meet the Leadership Summit Speaker: Michelle Sprawls

Learn more about vital skills and learning opportunities for new lab managers at the 2022 Leadership Summit

MaryBeth DiDonna

MaryBeth DiDonna is lab design editor and digital events editor for Lab Manager. Her work for the lab design section of the publication examines the challenges that project teams...

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Michelle Sprawls
Director of science, culta

As Lab Manager’s 2022 Leadership Summit draws closer, we invite you to get to know the laboratory and management professionals who will be speaking at this exciting event. 

Michelle Sprawls, director of science at CULTA, will speak on “Identifying Management Resources and Training Opportunities.” Michelle will discuss the responsibilities, specific deadlines, and significant expectations that come with a new management role—which can be especially intimidating for those who didn’t necessarily expect to become a lab manager. 

This presentation will discuss where “new to management” managers can locate relevant resources, create employee training courses tailored to multiple learning styles, and how to fill open positions and quickly transfer knowledge to incoming staff during turnover. Learn how to develop a plan to efficiently meet deadlines, manage a business, develop a budget, and more. 

Read more about Michelle’s biggest lesson learned in her career, what you mind find her ordering in a coffee shop, and the crucial skill she recommends that all lab managers develop. Register today at for your chance to learn from Michelle’s experience and insight at the 2022 Leadership Summit. 

Q: What are you most excited about in regards to your Leadership Summit talk? 

A: I’m excited to share my experiences and to bring insightful information that will be useful and helpful to new managers transitioning into their roles from the bench.

Q: What is the biggest lesson learned in your professional career? 

A: Failures are going to happen—what’s important is to recognize the power in failing. It’s the best way to learn—if you can remember to learn from your mistakes and not to repeat the same ones. 

Q: What’s your typical order when you visit a coffee shop? 

A: Iced coffee with three espresso shots.

Q: What is one important skill you think that all leaders should have?

A: Empathy. Being able to understand how your team feels about their workload, environment, and workplace relationships. It allows a leader to understand and explore problems that employees face and how to help them resolve them. Demonstrating empathy is hard, it takes time and effort to demonstrate awareness and understanding. 

Q: What kinds of hobbies or interests do you have outside of your job? 

A: I love to hike, kayak, bird watch, practice yoga, watch or read anything to do with true crime, and spend time with my family!