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! This page is dedicated to acknowledging their hard work.

Leah Ames PhotoLeah Ames, MS-CLS ('12), MLS(ASCP)CM SCYMCM       


Leah Ames received her Masters of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science from MSU in 2012 and is currently the R&D Coordinator for the Molecular Department at PCL Alverno Clinical Laboratories where she has been employed for the last twelve years. Her work at Alverno is heavily focused on cell immunophenotyping using flow cytometry, which encouraged her to obtain the specialist in cytometry certification through ASCP in 2016. She has written laboratory continuing education modules for MediaLab and also serves as adjunct faculty for the MLS program at Northern Illinois University, the Franciscan St. Margaret Health Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science and the MLT program at the University of Saint. Francis. She is an active member of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) and is a current member of their Leadership Academy. Leah presented at the Clinical Laboratory Educator's Conference (CLEC) and will be presenting at the ASCLS National Meeting later in 2018. In recognizing her love for education and teaching in the laboratory sciences, she is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Sciences through Northern Illinois University.

Barbara Atkinson PhotoBarbara Atkinson DO, MT(ASCP), SM(ASCP)                    

A native of Michigan she received her BS in Medical Technology in ’64 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at MSU and then completed an internship at St Luke’s Hospital in Saginaw, Michigan.  She headed the Microbiology Department at St. Luke’s Hospital for 9 years before moving to NYC as a Research Associate at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital.  Her interest in Microbiology began at MSU where she worked streaking agar plates for Micro courses in Giltner Hall.  Her work with great instructors, including BLD’s first Director, Esther Smith Brown, and others at MSU led her to her cutting edge work in clinical microbiology at St. Luke’s Hospital.  It was here that she was involved with many new antibiotics and identification of Gram-negatives, making agar plates for chlamydia, culturing for anaerobes and standardizing susceptibility testing.  She also taught 10 medical laboratory science students per year.  Teaching and giving back was a priority and students were introduced to local, state and national professional organizations.  While teaching pathology residents, Barbara decided to go to medical school which brought her back to MSU in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.  After receiving her medical degree, she worked for 21 years at the University Of North Texas Health Science Center as a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease.   Barbara received multiple awards for teaching, clinical excellence and being TOP DOC.  She retired in 2015.  She’s married to her husband Dick and loves to travel.  She spends winters in Buda TX and summers in Michigan.             

Rose Brichta

Rosemarie S. Brichta, MT(ASCP) BS MT ('81)
Past President (2017-18) President (2014 - 2017)

Rosemarie Brichta is a long-standing member of the medical laboratory community. A Michigan native, her journey as a laboratorian started at Michigan State University where she earned a degree in Medical Technology, followed by an internship at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo Michigan. Her career in the laboratory took her throughout the United States, working both on the bench and in coordination roles in hospitals in Illinois and Texas. These roles all lead to her finding her true home in laboratory education. Education was a mainstay in her career, whether she was instructing on the bench to students and trainees, providing more formal didactic instruction to laboratory students, or in her role as the System Education Coordinator for Alverno Laboratories. Her commitment to the future of the lab and love for the material is apparent, in that she continues to teach as an adjunct in her retirement. Rose is also the proud mother of two girls, and wife to a fellow avid Spartan. She balances her time in retirement between the support of her family, teaching, and supporting her Spartans!

Image of Leslie Chrisom

Leslie Chrisom
(2015 - 2018)

Leslie graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Medical Technology and a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Criminal Justice. Since her graduation, she has been employed in The Henry Ford Health System as a generalist in their Core/Stat Laboratory in Detroit. She is trained and heavily involved in the LEAN principles, daily management and quality improvement processes in the laboratory. Additionally, Leslie is trained as a hematology specialist and works with patient bone marrows and peripheral bloods with abnormalities along side hematopathologists for the health system. She also has been published and presented at the ASCP Conference as well as inspected a hospital laboratory as a CAP Inspector.

Image of Angela Knowlton

Angela (Hecksel) Knowlton

Angela is a 2005 graduate of the CLS program at MSU and in 2013 she returned for her certificate in the Molecular Diagnostics program. She worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for 2 years and from there moved East. She worked for 8 years at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, MA on 1st and 3rd shift.  and is currently a Molecular Technologist III with Foundation Medicine in Cambridge, MA performing comprehensive genomic profiling.  She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband (and fellow Spartan) and their son, Elijah born in April 2017.                                                    

Elizabeth Means Ziemianski PhotElizabeth Means Ziemianski, BS ’10,  MBA, MLS(ASCP), SBB(ASCP) 

Elizabeth received her BS in Clinical Lab Science from MSU in 2010. After graduation she worked at Beaumont in Troy as a generalist for a year before moving out to the Seattle area with her now husband, fellow alumni Mark Ziemianski. Since moving to Washington, Elizabeth has taught for the two local MLT programs, worked in the trauma center blood bank and managed the quality program for a rural hospital laboratory. During this time she earned her MBA in Healthcare Management from Western Governor's University and completed a Specialist in Blood Bank program through the Indiana Blood Center, earning her specialist certification in December 2016. Currently she is a Senior Laboratory Manager at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.                                                     

Image of Shawn Moloney

Shawn Moloney MLS(ASCP)CM
(BA ’99; BS ’10)

Shawn Moloney joined BLD in September 2015 as its laboratory coordinator. Moloney completed her first degree in history of art from MSU in 1999. She then worked as a pension accountant. Maloney decided to return to MSU to pursue a degree in the sciences and graduated in 2010 with a CLS degree and completed her internship at St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor. She is excited to be back at MSU and hopes to pursue her advanced degrees while here

Image of Leslie Thompson

Leslie Thompson
(MT ’05 & CLS ’10)

Leslie Thompson received her bachelors degree from the school of Lyman Briggs in Medical Technology from MSU before finishing an internship through the St. John Hospital School of Medical Technology in Detroit, Michigan. After certification and working in the clinical lab for a number of years, Leslie returned to MSU to obtain her Masters of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science through the BLD department. Leslie works in the College of Nursing at MSU advising students.

Image of Ran WhiteheadRan Whitehead ('72)

Ran Whitehead is the Chief Executive Officer at PeaceHealth Laboratories ( Whitehead’s knowledgeable and forward thinking leadership has empowered the companies reputation for technical and clinical excellence, collaborative partnerships, and innovative programs. He has led initiatives such as the distance learning program that was later adopted by laboratories across the country. With more than 40 years experience in the laboratory industry, Whitehead has led laboratories in a variety of settings from founding a start up venture capital backed laboratory in Tennessee to leading for-profit and non-for profit laboratories in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, New Mexico and Oregon. He earned his Master of Business Administration at Duke University and his Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology at Michigan State University.

Image of Megan WickMegan Wick MT(ASCP) (‘03)
(President) (2015-2018)

Megan graduated from Michigan State University’s clinical laboratory science program in 2003 and completed a clinical rotation at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan. She went on to work as a medical technologist for Munson for two years before moving to Chicago, Illinois. In Chicago, she worked at Genesis Clinical Laboratory in microbiology before coming to the College of American Pathologists (CAP). She just celebrated her work anniversary for 8 years at CAP during which she's gained experience in multiple areas; proficiency testing/lab accreditation, evidence-based guidelines and now in an executive role as Director of Specialty Advancement. She has had the pleasure of developing many strong relationships with other medical societies such as the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). She is a member of the American Association of Medical Society Executives and recently graduated from their leadership academy. Megan is the mother of two handsome boys Parker (5yrs) and Hudson (11 months). She and her husband enjoy spending time with our family and participating in community events in the windy city.

Nancy Widener PhotoNancy Widener (MS ’89)                                      


Nancy received her B.S. at MSU in Microbiology and Public Health and joined MSU as a full time employee in the Dept. of Microbiology. She enrolled in the Clinical Laboratory Sciences graduate program and graduated in 1989. She continued her work at MSU in the College of Veterinary Medicine and in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases where she was involved in conducting clinical trials. She left MSU and joined The Upjohn Company in 1994 to lead a global HIV study. She stayed in Kalamazoo for 10 years and then moved to the east coast to take a job with Bristol-Myers Squibb where she managed the clinical operations group responsible for running all of their early development global studies.  Nancy retired from BMS in 2016 and moved with her husband and sons to FL. She came out of retirement a few months later and joined Nektar Therapeutics in San Francisco to run their oncology program studying NKTR 214 in solid tumors.  Nancy enjoys fishing, jet skiing and golf.   

Board Liaisons with BLD:
John Gerlach
Ellen Rzepka
Student Liaison for 2017-2018
Parker Acevedo, BLS '18 
Image of Parker Acevedo