Earlier this month, Fixation on Histology shared a post, Meet NSH’s New Region Directors Part 1, where we interviewed two of NSH’s new Region Directors, Sabra Powell (Region VII) and Dawn Schneider (Region IV). This week, Fixation on Histology features the remaining two new Region Directors, Colleen Forster (Region V) and Luis Chiriboga (Region I).
Here are their stories:
Region V: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
Colleen: I am a Minnesota girl born and raised in a small rural town in the southwestern part of the state. After high school, I attended a vocational college in a CLA program, which landed me in a clinical laboratory. I worked there for a couple years and then moved into the veterinary environment. For the next 5 years, I worked in the veterinary clinical lab in the microbiology department.
I had a supervisor at the time who suggested I would be a good fit for an area of the lab I had never heard of, histology! Thus began my histology career.
I have been a certified HT for 28 years. I started out in the clinical setting and after 8 years moved into academia and research. I currently work at the University of Minnesota, in the BLS Histology and IHC Laboratory, which is a core facility for the medical school.
Research offers me the opportunity to be a part of so many exciting projects. My lab works with both animal and human samples making it a unique fit on this campus. I have had the challenge of working with zebra fish, wolf spider, wood and deer ticks, wolves, bear, canine, a variety of rodents and human samples. With each new request comes the opportunity for a new protocol design and often the need to “think outside the box”. This work keeps me interested and motivated. I truly believe in the work that we do collectively among the research world. I come to work each day with the thought that today, this day, just might be the one that a big discovery will be made; that together we can make life better for the people as a whole.
My most interesting and exciting project was my mission work in Vietnam. I felt humbled and privileged to be part of a mission to assist in helping them improve the histology in their facilities. I learned as much from them as they did from me. The whole experience is life changing.
Outside of my work life, (which is a BIG part of my day), I keep busy. My husband and I will celebrate 25 years this year….and it has been anything but dull. We have 4 grown children and 10 grandchildren. We do as much with all of them as time allows. In addition, I have many hobbies. I am a true lover of nature and spend as much of my free time as possible hiking, biking, doing fun runs, kayaking and gardening. I love to read, go to the movies and take pictures. I believe in giving back to the community, so I volunteer for different activities throughout the year.
Region I: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Luis: My name is Luis Chiriboga; I am originally from the North Bronx and grew up in Northern Westchester. I’ve lived and worked in the NYC metropolitan area, and currently reside in Town of Somers, NY. I have been working at the NYU Langone Medical Center for 20+ years.
I was always interested in science, and perhaps like many others I stumbled into the field of histology. As I continued my education, I continued to work in the histology field, becoming more and more interested in histopathology, where I began to focus my training. I am currently the Director of the Experimental Pathology IHC research laboratory at NYU Langone Medical Center.
One of my most rewarding experiences in histology actually happened this past year, when I got to see a local NY high school student present at the NYSHS Annual Meeting. The entire audience was delighted by this young man’s presentation and his enthusiasm for Histotechnology. It was very impressive!