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BLD Alumni Board of Directors

It's a pleasure to have an active Alumni Board of Directors. They are hard at work keeping you connected to your Alma Mater! 

Dana Griffin (BS MLS ’06 and MBA ’11)
Dana photo
Board Term (2021-2024) President

Dana graduated with a BS in MLS in 2006 and started working in a Metro-Detroit hospital as a generalist Medical Technologist. Upon completing her MBA in Healthcare, she was offered a position as a Blood Bank Supervisor of a small community teaching hospital. While working there, she adopted the roll of the educational coordinator and worked with the laboratory staff to train MLS interns. After becoming a mother, Dana stepped down from the Supervisor position and made a career change to education. She accepted a teaching position at Madonna University as an adjunct MLS instructor. 
Along with developing her teaching career and working on an MLS management text, Dana enjoys reading and traveling with her family in her free time.

michelle PhotoMichelle Montgomery Butina, PhD. ASCP (MS CLS 2003)
Board Term: 2023-2026

Michelle graduated with an MS in CLS in 2003 and moved to Tennessee to begin her career in academia. After teaching for a year in an MLT program, she moved to Savannah GA where she taught six years in an MLS program. While in GA, she obtained her PhD from the University of GA in workforce education. Michelle became the MLS Program Director at the University of Kentucky in 2010 and in 2018 she transitioned into an academic chair role at West Virginia University. Michelle owes a great deal to the BLD Program at MSU as she left with lifelong friends and mentors, a love of hematology, and a passion for teaching. Michelle currently lives in Morgantown, WV with her tailless cat Ruby. Her latest hobbies include baking and running. 

Steven A. Gustafson, A.A., B.S. D.O., HT(ASCP), FASCP, FCAP, C.S.Steven A. Gustafson
Board Term: 2021-2024

Dr. Steven Gustafson began his career in laboratory medicine after completing a training program in histotechnology. Worked as a phlebotomist and forensic autopsy assistant (Sparrow hospital) during his undergraduate years at MSU. After graduation from the medical technology program in 1989, he went on to Osteopathic Medical School (DMU). His post graduate training began with an AOA, transitional rotating internship (now McLaren Macomb). Residency in anatomic and clinical pathology (UMCK, MO, ECU, NC) followed by several fellowships, notably in hematopathology (MDACC, TX and George Town University, DC) Chemical Pathology (MDACC, TX) and pediatric pathology (Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, UTHSC, TX).

Following fellowship training, he began teaching in Kansas City, at the Osteopathic Medical School (KCU) and is currently an Associate Professor of preclinical sciences, William Carey University Collage of Osteopathic Medicine in Mississippi, teaching in pathology, physical diagnosis, manipulative medicine, and histology courses.

His passion for laboratory medicine has given him an opportunity to lecture to students in medical technology programs, medical students, and physicians around the world, especially in resource poor countries. Current and past research includes HIV, Malaria, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, and other projects which have resulted in publication / presentation.

He says “The practice of pathology and laboratory medicine is a complex and an integral part of the highest-quality patient care but is somewhat hidden from public view. Well trained laboratory professionals and pathologist are critical to ensuring quality, evidence-based, cost-effective medical care both nationally and internationally. To be part of that team is a privilege.”

On a personal note, his time at MSU provided a solid education and tremendous personal and professional growth, while on a campus that is like no other. I enjoy photography (especially macrophotography of plants and flowers that are so abundant at MSU), cooking, Tae Kwon Do, and mission trips, locally and around the world. 

Molly Orluck (Human Medicine-Medical Technology 1979)
Orluck PhotoBoard Term: 2023-2026

Molly graduated back in 1979 with her degree in Human Medicine-Medical Technology. She completed her internship in Cleveland Ohio and returned to Michigan to begin her career at St John Health. Soon she was promoted to lead technologist while working on her Master of Science Administration. Her career took her to becoming part of the Senior Management Team in creating an IDN out of St John Health System which became part of Ascension Health. This afforded the opportunity to lead Ascension Laboratory Value Analysis and Contracting bringing the 67 hospitals to one voice with standardized contracts and laboratory strategies. After this opportunity Molly joined the DMC University Laboratories. With her team they made operational and transformational change. Molly is now with Labcorp as their Hospital Key Account Executive for the state of Michigan. In her free time, Molly continues to work with the youth at her church. She also enjoys running 5K’s which, she says, provided much direction regarding the laboratory strategy during the start and peak of COVID. 

Nicole Lipnichan, , MLS(ASCP) (BS ’18)Nicole Photo
Board Term: 2021-2024

Nicole recently graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 and immediately started an internship at Ascension St. John’s in Detroit. Nicole graduated from the internship program and passed the boards in 2019, then signed on with the Molecular Department at Ascension. Nicole enjoyed the time at Ascension, but moved closer to family at the end of 2020. Now, Nicole works as a generalist on afternoons at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI.

Lianh Nguyen, MLS(ASCP) (BS '12-MSU) (MS '16-Texas Tech)Lianh Nguyen

Board Term; 2022-2025

Lianh Started her career in 2012 at Medical City Plano after graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. Since joining Medical City Plano, she worked in various progressive leadership roles within the laboratory as a medical technologist, shift supervisor, hematology supervisor, and now manager. 

She participated in the hospital Employee Advisory Group (EAG) as a member and at a committee co-chair capacity. Her passion for learning is recognized by her accomplishments of a master's degree in Clinical Practice Management from Texas Tech University in 2016, and a graduate of HCA Emerging Leader Program in 2017. She received the HCA Facility Innovators Award for Financial Impact in 2017. 

Lianh currently lives in Oak Point, TX with her husband Jeff and son Jacobsen. She enjoys staying active during her free time by working out on her peloton bike, outdoor activities, and cooking for her family and friends with new recipes that intrigue her. 

Ellen Rzepka

Board term: 2023-2026

Ellen photo

Ellen Rzepka retired in February of 2023 after 38 years at MSU (35 years with the BLD Program). 
During her time in BLD, she enjoyed meeting and working with the BLD
alumni over the years. Ellen graduated from Communication Arts and Sciences at MSU ('75), but her heart is firmly part of the BLD Program and she joined the BLD Alumni and Friends Board this year. She's looking forward to continuing her connection with BLD through the BLDAF. In her spare time (a lot more now that she's retired) she enjoys traveling, golfing, reading and attending MSU sporting events.

Bea Smith, MLS(ASCP) (BS ’77)

Term: (2023-2026)

Board Liaisons with BLD:

Nicole Lipnichan

Student liasons:

Katie Kolassa (BLDSA President, kolassa4@msu.edu )

Celestial Atherton (BLDSA vice president, athert21@msu.edu)