Faculty Educator of the Month: November 2008

Dr. Karen J. McClure

Dr. Karen J. McClure, director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program and assistant professor in the MD Anderson School of Health Professions, has been named the November 2008 Faculty Educator of the Month.
In her role as director of the one- to two-year Clinical Laboratory Science Program, Dr. McClure oversees the education and training of students pursuing careers as clinical laboratory scientists. Students in this program are able to take part in classroom lectures, laboratory research and technical training. Topics in the program include immunohematology, clinical biochemistry, hematology, homeostasis, microbiology, molecular biology, immunology and clinical laboratory management. Those who successfully complete the program receive a bachelor of science degree or certificate of completion and are eligible to take national certification exams. Over the past 14 years, the program has graduated 126 students.
Dr. McClure’s specific duties as director include organization, implementation, assessment, course development, assuring compliance with national standards and continuing development of the program. In addition, she is responsible for establishing and maintaining the program’s quality standards. Furthermore, Dr. McClure participates in interviews and selection of program candidates and in candidate-recruiting visits to colleges and universities.
Dr. McClure has also had a great deal of experience in direct education of students in the program, as she has taught 11 Clinical Laboratory Science courses. Additionally, she has served on the Clinical Laboratory Science Advisory Committee since 1993 and has directly supervised several students in the program.
Outside the Clinical Laboratory Science Program, Dr. McClure has been an Advisory Committee member for the School of Health Professions since 2000 and for the Houston Community College Clinical Laboratory Technician program since 2002. Also, she directly supervised transfusion medicine clinical residents from 1985 to 1994 and has been a lecturer and course coordinator for courses in other institutions in the Texas Medical Center.
Over the past several years, Dr. McClure has volunteered her time with the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), which accredits all Clinical Laboratory Science Programs. Specifically, she has been a team leader for 14 site surveys and a team member for nine site surveys since 1996. Also, Dr. McClure has served on five NAACLS committees. Other volunteer activities include working with the Clinical and Laboratory Science Institute to provide laboratory management training to hospitals in Africa as part of a grant from The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Africa; she has been to Tanzania and Namibia and will soon travel to Ethiopia to conduct workshops.
In 2000, Dr. McClure was honored for her educational work when she was named a finalist for the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Education. In addition, Dr. McClure received the Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science Key to the Future Award in 2001 and was named to the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) Honor Society (Omicron Sigma) in 2001-2007. In 2006, she was awarded the Kendall Achievement award in education given by the ASCLS.
After receiving bachelor of science degrees in zoology (Texas A&M University) in 1978 and medical technology (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston) in 1979, Dr. McClure joined MD Anderson as a clinical laboratory scientist in the Transfusion Service. She went on to be named education coordinator for the Clinical Laboratory Science Program in 1994. She was named to her current positions of program director in 1998 and assistant professor in 2000. Furthermore, Dr. McClure has been an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Austin since 1996 and was an adjunct assistant professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston from 1982 to 1992. Dr. McClure received her Ph.D. degree in management, policy sciences and community health from The University of Texas School of Public Health in 2007.
Dr. McClure has served on several institutional committees at MD Anderson. In particular, she has chaired the School of Health Sciences Curriculum Committee since 2005 and is the 2008 chair of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Quality Enhancement Plan. Dr. McClure is a member of the Education Role Recognition Committee and the Education Resource Committee, for which she served as chair in 2004, and was a member of the Transfusion Committee from 1996 to 2006.
Over the past decade and half, Dr. McClure has been in demand as a speaker on topics related to clinical laboratory science, as she has been invited to appear at numerous conferences and other meetings throughout the country. Also, she has authored nine articles published in peer-reviewed journals and one book chapter over the course of her career.