Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D. Named 2010 TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator

First woman and second non-physician winner of the Texas statewide award

San Antonio, November 24, 2010

TIAA-CREF, the leading financial services provider to the academic, research, medical and nonprofit fields, announced today that Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D. will receive the 2010 TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award at a ceremony on December 7 at The Westin La Cantera Resort in San Antonio.

Dr. McKenzie, a professor emeritus at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is the first woman and second non-physician winner of the award, which is given annually to a Texas medical educator whose legacy of work and educational contributions have had national and international influence and set a standard of excellence in the medical community.

The award carries a $10,000 honorarium for the recipient and a $5,000 donation to the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science, also known as The Health Museum, in Houston for student summer camp scholarships.

“On behalf of everyone at TIAA-CREF, congratulations to Shirlyn McKenzie for her outstanding contributions to medical education,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., the company’s chief executive. “Dr. McKenzie’s teaching and scholarship have advanced medical laboratory science and earned her the esteem of her students and colleagues. Her work has helped to establish the University of Texas Health Science Center as one of America’s top clinical laboratory science departments.”

“I would like to thank TIAA-CREF and my colleagues in the Texas medical community for this award,” said Dr. McKenzie. “It has been my privilege to work with some of the finest medical educators in America here in San Antonio, and to teach so many exceptional students at the University of Texas and throughout my career. The recognition from them that this award embodies means a great deal to me.”

A steering committee comprised of leading medical education professionals from Texas institutions, governs the award process and evaluates entries. For more information about the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award, visit

Biography of Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D.

Dr. McKenzie earned her undergraduate degree in medical technology and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She completed her education in medical technology at St. Luke's Hospital School of Medical Technology in Duluth, Minnesota. She later earned a Master of Science in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Ph.D. in Administration of Higher Education from Texas A&M University.

In 1980, McKenzie became an instructor and later Program Director of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the University at Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. McKenzie was named chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in 1985 and 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 varied backgrounds who wish to enter the medical laboratory disciplines. 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, 13 chapters and four books (two in Spanish translation) in addition to numerous editorials, journal articles and article reviews. She developed the first online course offered by the University of Texas Tele-campus. She is the author of a leading textbook on clinical laboratory hematology that is used by medical laboratory scientists throughout the world.

She served as president of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and as a member of its Board of Directors.

Dr. McKenzie’s impact has global reach. An internationally recognized figure in medical laboratory sciences, Dr. McKenzie was the keynote speaker at the Australian/New Zealand Institute of Medical Scientists international meeting and invited speaker at the Puerto Rico College of Medical Technology, the Thrombosis and Hemophilia Symposium at the University of Puerto Rico and the Congreso de Technologia Medica in Puerto Rico. She also served as the CLS Delegation Leader to China and Russia for the People to People Citizen Ambassador Program. She led the development of a clinical laboratory science student exchange program between The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

Dr. McKenzie has received numerous honors, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the most prestigious teaching award at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She was inducted into the University’s Academy of Master Teachers.

In 2006, she was selected as a member of the University of Texas Academy for Health Science Education in recognition of outstanding contributions to health science education. The Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science (TACLS) named her as the Texas CLS Educator of the Year and the ASCLS awarded her the Sherwood Award for professional achievement in education. Several years later she received the Sherwood Award for professional achievement in hematology. In 2010, the ASCLS named her “Member of the Year” for lifetime contributions to the profession. She was inducted as member of its Alpha Mu Tau Fraternity and Omicron Sigma Honorary Society and into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for her contributions in the health professions.

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $434 billion in combined assets under management (as of 9/30/10) and provides retirement services to the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Media Contact
Chad Peterson, TIAA-CREF
704 988-6811

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.

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