The American Society for Clinical Pathology has recognized Division of Clinical Laboratory Science alumna Letycia Nuñez-Argote ’07 as a Champion for Diversity in the laboratory workforce. The July 2019 edition of ASCP’s Critical Values publication highlighted Nuñez-Argote; the edition was dedicated to diversity in the laboratory and the importance of diversity of gender, race, and backgrounds to creativity and productivity in the clinical laboratory.
Nuñez-Argote works as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. She teaches undergraduate and graduate lecture courses in the clinical laboratory with a focus on immunology and research methods.
“Having the time, energy, and resources to explore emerging topics that affect the practice of laboratory professionals in an ever-changing health care landscape is one of my primary motivations,” Nuñez-Argote said. “This is fueled by my constant contact with students.”
Nuñez-Argote also participates in the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of program curricula, policies, procedures, and outcomes to maintain accreditation of degree programs, as well as in student advising and mentoring. She is currently pursuing her PhD in health policy and management.
She said her work on admissions committees is meaningful because it gives her the opportunity to encourage others to pursue laboratory science as a profession.
“I see myself in them and cheer them on as much as I can,” Nuñez-Argote said.
Nuñez-Argote began her career as a medical technologist and generalist. “As a third-shifter, I really thrived because of my curious and independent nature,” Nuñez-Argote said. “This job allowed me to explore different areas of the clinical laboratory. […] I fell in love with immunohematology, and I learned that I would never be a microbiologist.”
She said she loves her career in laboratory science because it merges two of her interests: science and service.
“It joined my curiosity and love for science with my commitment to working toward the practical and compassionate goal of providing life-saving information to patients and their providers,” Nuñez-Argote said. “This career works with my strengths because I am results driven, I like to follow procedures and to have structure in what I do, and I love to fully explore something in order to be able to explain it to someone else.”
Nuñez-Argote said she would encourage current or potential laboratory science students to consider the professions.
“Without the clinical laboratory, diagnosis is only a guess,” Nuñez-Argote said. “Become a laboratory professional in the flesh: get out there, speak up, use your knowledge to help your healthcare colleagues, volunteer in your community and in professional societies, and always advocate for patients.”
She acknowledged the mentorship of faculty emeritus Dr. Anthony Hilger.
“He listened to my 19-year-old thoughts and gave them direction; he patiently counseled me and set me on the right path; and for that I will always be grateful.”
Awards and Achievements
- Medical Laboratory Sciences Distinguished Faculty Service Award from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Department of Laboratory Sciences, August 18, 2018.
- Omicron Sigma State Level recognition for Outstanding Service from the KSCLS President, April, 2019.
- ASCLS Keys to the Future recognition from the KSCLS President, April, 2019.
- Faculty member with the Allied Health Alpha Eta Society, May 2019.