Medical Laboratory Science Faculty and Staff


Kathy Kenwright

Kathy Kenwright, Chair of Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Medical Laboratory Science Program Director

Associate Professor

Kathy Kenwright, EdD, MLS(ASCP)SI, MB joined the faculty in the UTHSC Clinical Laboratory Science Department in 2006.  Before entering academia, Dr. Kenwright worked in clinical and research labs at St. Francis Hospital, UTHSC, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.  Her Medical Laboratory Science career began over 30 years ago as a Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT).  After graduating from Jackson State Community College in Jackson, TN, Dr. Kenwright earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, a Master of Science degree in Education and a Doctor of Education from the University of Memphis.

Dr. Kenwright teaches Clinical Chemistry and serves as Department Chair and Program Director. She is an active member of the Tennessee Medical Laboratory Board and former member of the review committee for programs accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).

linda pifer

Linda Pifer
Virology, Parasitology

Linda Pifer, Ph.D., SM(ASCP), GS(ABB) has taught at the UTHSC for 34 yrs after earning her doctoral degree in microbiology at the Univ. of MS Med. Cntr. She teaches virology, parasitology, basic microbiology, research and human genetics and has published about 60 peer-reviewed original scientific papers on Pneumocystis carinii (jirovecii), HIV/AIDS, numerous infectious agents and the development of nanotechnology. Her papers have appeared in the Yearbooks of Pathology/Clinical Pathology, Cancer, Pediatrics and in the Pediatric Digest. She has been awarded over 2 million dollars in extramural research funds including the NIH, American Cancer Society, Kellogg Foundation and many more. She was a member of the original AIDS Working Group formed by the NIH in 1981. Dr. Pifer has guest-lectured at Yale Univ., the Univ. of Bristol (UK), Univ. of Pittsburg, Univ. of TX at Austin, Univ. of Puerto Rico and devotes many lecture hours to HIV/AIDS, blood borne pathogen safety, bioterrorism and was recently named to the Editorial Board of Nanomedicine and Nanotechnology. She is a member of Sigma Xi, Alpha Eta, the ASCLS and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. She derives greatest satisfaction from writing and teaching.

Linda Ross

Linda L. Ross

Born in Memphis, as a child I lived throughout the South and graduated from Milan High School in West Tennessee. I attended Memphis State University, Lambuth College and graduated from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences (UTHSC) with a BS in Medical Technology.

Following graduation from UTHSC, I have worked as a:
Medical Laboratory Scientist in the microbiology departments of Baptist Memorial Hospital and the Regional Medical Center in Memphis
Laboratory Supervisor at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis
Laboratory Manager of UT William F. Bowld Hospital, Memphis
Technical Sales Representative for Remel and Edge Biologicals, Inc.
Educator in the Baptist School of Medical Technology, Memphis

I received a Master of Science in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis in 1995. I have been at UT Health Science Center, Memphis since January 1994 and am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Lab Sciences, College of Health Professions. I teach clinical microbiology, ethics, laboratory management and education in the Program in Medical Technology. I am pursuing a doctorate in adult education at the University of Memphis. My research interests are in laboratory science education and diagnostic microbiology.

On a personal note, my husband, Mel, works at St. Jude Children’s Reseach Hospital and is an avid outdoorsman. We have two young adult children. I love jazz, books, and beach vacations.

Wes Williamson

Wes Williamson

Wes Williamson, MS, MT (ASCP) joined the faculty of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Department in 2012 as an Assistant Professor with primary teaching responsibilities in Immunology and Transfusion Medicine. He has been an active member of the professional organization, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS); he has served in several offices on the state level and Tennessee President for the 2011-2012 year. In 2012, he was awarded the honor of the ASCLS Region III Omicron Sigma Award and was named as ASCLS-Tennessee’s Member of the Year for 2012-2013. He strongly advocates involvement in a professional organization for professional growth and development.

Mr. Williamson earned his BS in Medical Technology in 2003 and his Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science in 2010 from UTHSC. He had enjoyed a dynamic career in which he has worked as a Generalist, a fulltime Blood Banker and in Molecular Diagnostics. His diversified work experience has furnished him with a strong appreciation of the excitement and challenges of working in a transfusion service department in providing safe, compatible blood products for patients, and he enjoys sharing this passion with burgeoning Medical Laboratory Scientists.

Mr. Williamson grew up in Knoxville, TN in the shadow of the flagship campus for The University of Tennessee and understands that the “Big Orange” is more than football. It is a culture of educational excellence, and he brings this philosophy into the classroom. Although he has left the mountains of eastern Tennessee, he now lives in the historic Copper-Young neighborhood in Memphis. He loves living in a neighborhood with an active community association, which ties the community together and creates a fun place to live.


Sheila Criswell, MS, MLS(ASCP) CT, HTL, MB
Instructor and Histotechnology Education Coordinator
Phone: (901) 448-7165

Ms. Criswell received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin and her B.S. in Cytotechnology from UTHSC. After practicing as a cytotechnologist and laboratory supervisor for 15 years, she returned to UTHSC for her Master of Science in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and is currently enrolled at the University of Memphis in the PhD program in biological sciences. Ms. Criswell is certified by the ASCP Board of Certification in the areas of cytotechnology, histotechnology, medical laboratory science and molecular biology. Ms. Criswell began teaching histotechnology courses at UTHSC as an adjunct instructor in 2011 and is currently teaching courses full-time in both the Masters of Cytopathology Practice (MCP) and Medical Laboratory Sciences (MLS) programs. She serves as the Education Coordinator for the histotechnology curriculum within the MCP program.


Cheryl L. Brown

Cheryl L. Brown
Administrative Assistant
(901) 448-6304