Barbara M. Castleberry, PhD, MASCP, MT(ASCP)

2012 ASCP Mastership

“As an educator, it was my responsibility to recruit others into the profession. I loved talking about careers in the laboratory. It was always an easy sell to talk about a career that allows you to apply a love of science and medicine in a profession that helps others.”

In 1977, the late Vernie A. Stembridge, MD, FASCP, recommended Barbara Castleberry, PhD, MASCP, MT(ASCP), for her first position as a member of the Board of Governors of the ASCP Board of Registry (BOR). Dr. Stembridge later became President of ASCP from 1977–1978.

Dr. Castleberry subsequently became Vice President for the ASCP Board of Registry (now the ASCP Board of Certification) in 1981 and led the conversion of the ASCP certification exams from “a paper and pencil format to a computer administered test.”

During her distinguished 40-year career, she has served as a first-line medical laboratory scientist, educator, academician, scholar, mentor, and administrator. She began her career at Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Fla., where she worked from 1967 to 1968 as a laboratory professional. In 1970, she joined the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, where she served as Chair of the Department of Medical Technology until 1981 when she joined the ASCP staff.

Over the years, she has championed efforts to establish the benchmarks that define quality and competency for laboratory professionals. In recognition of her contributions to laboratory medicine and exemplifying the highest qualities of a laboratory professional, ASCP established the annual Barbara M. Castleberry Lecture at the 2011 ASCP Annual Meeting. 

“As an educator, it was my responsibility to recruit others into the profession,” Dr. Castleberry said. “I loved talking about careers in the laboratory. It was always an easy sell to talk about a career that allows you to apply a love of science and medicine in a profession that helps others.”

She credits ASCP with expanding opportunities for her to advance her career. “ASCP gave me access to education to improve my skills in laboratory medicine and mentors who assisted me by unselfishly sharing their knowledge and support,” she said.

When she retired from ASCP in 1999, Chicago, she returned to live in a rural area of Appalachia in eastern Kentucky, where she was born and attended elementary and high school. “I love the old time skills of raising a vegetable garden, canning, and preserving foods that I grow,” Dr. Castleberry said. Additionally, she enjoys quilting and making homemade soaps. She is a fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball team.