Dr. Shirlyn McKenzie receives two major honors

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 10, 2010) — Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLSCM, who led the UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences for 24 years, will receive the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award at a banquet in San Antonio on Dec. 7.

The statewide award honors outstanding medical education professionals in Texas whose work and educational contributions have set a standard of excellence in the medical community and contributed on a national and international scale to the field.

“Dr. McKenzie’s influence is profound and pervasive, as her teaching and national leadership have influenced medical laboratory science professionals around the world. Her work embodies TIAA-CREF’s mission of serving those who serve others,” said Mario E. Ramirez, national director of the Wealth Management Group in Executive Planning at TIAA-CREF.

“It is my greatest honor as an educator to be selected as the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award,” Dr. McKenzie said. “Being the first woman and second non-M.D. winner is especially meaningful to me as it provides recognition that women as well as non-M.D. health educators are important members of the health care educators’ team. Interprofessional education requires recognition and respect for all health care disciplines and educators. I believe that my selection is evidence that interprofessional education is a priority in Texas.”

Earlier this year Dr. McKenzie received the Member of the Year Award from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). She has been a longtime, active member of the society, serving as chair of the scientific assembly, a member of the board of directors and president.

Recipients are selected based on lifetime contributions to the ASCLS throughout their membership and to the profession, including participation in clinical laboratory science honor organizations, professional honors achieved and work that promotes clinical laboratory science in the community.

After building a nationally ranked program in clinical laboratory sciences in the School of Health Professions, Dr. McKenzie retired in January 2009, but still serves as chair emeritus and distinguished teaching professor emeritus.

Dr. McKenzie’s work at the UT Health Science Center
In 1980, Dr. McKenzie became an instructor and later program director of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. She was named chair of the department in 1985 and was promoted to full professor in 1995. Under her guidance, the department grew from a small, single-focus baccalaureate program to one that offers multiple undergraduate and graduate options and flexible degree plans for students with a variety of backgrounds who wish to enter the medical laboratory disciplines. Today, the department is recognized as one of the leading clinical laboratory science departments in the United States and has been named as one of the top 10 CLS programs in research activity.

Dr. McKenzie has published 27 abstracts, 19 chapters and four books (two in Spanish translation) in addition to numerous editorials, journal articles and article reviews. She developed the first Web-based course offered by the University of Texas Telecampus. Having written a leading textbook on clinical laboratory hematology that is used nationally as well as internationally, she has literally taught thousands of medical laboratory scientists throughout the world. She is an accomplished speaker, having given over 150 presentations at state, national and international meetings.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $739 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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