The daughter of an Army officer, Celeste N. Powers was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and lived in several locations before moving to Houston Texas, which was her home for over 20 years. She received a BA in biology summa cum laude from the University of St Thomas and a PhD in microbiology and immunology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas. She obtained her doctorate in medicine and completed her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Texas Medical School. From there she went on to do a Cytopathology fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond under the guidance of Dr. William “Jack” Frable.
Dr Powers began her academic practice as Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and subsequently moved to the State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse, New York as Director of the Cytopathology Laboratory and Fellowship Program, and Medical Director of the Program in Cytotechnology. She returned to the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in 1998 as Professor of Pathology and Otolaryngology and Director of Cytopathology Laboratory and Fellowship Program. She quickly assumed additional responsibilities as Chair of the Division Anatomic Pathology and most recently, was bestowed the endowed “Saul Kay Chair in Diagnostic Pathology”.
Dr. Powers’ areas of expertise include: head and neck, respiratory tract, infectious disease and fine needle aspiration with its associated pitfalls. She is a widely respected and recruited visiting faculty member and workshop director for state and regional societies and has also participated in the Bethesda and NCI/NIH sponsored conferences. Dr. Powers has presented over 120 scientific abstracts at various national and international scientific meetings, has co-authored two textbooks, Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Head and Neck and Salivary Gland Cytopathology, and has authored numerous chapters and over 100 publications in the disciplines of surgical and cytopathology. She is nationally recognized as a diagnostician and an educator and has been repeatedly listed as one of America’s Top Physicians and Pathologists, as well as in Best Doctors in America.
Dr. Powers is a strong leader and mentor to her faculty and trainees and believes that the future success of the field of Anatomic Pathology depends upon strong educational programs that maintain the foundation and tenets of classical morphology while embracing new and evolving technologies. Working toward this goal, she has consistently been involved in the development of educational programs for several pathology organizations, and personally presented numerous symposia and teleconferences, and workshops. Dr. Powers has served as an editorial board member/ ad hoc reviewer for numerous pathology journals over the years. An Associate Editor of Cancer Cytopathology since its inception in 1996, she became Editor-in-Chief in 2009.
Dr. Powers served for six years on the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Board of Registry and then as Chair, of its CCE Council on Cytopathology (1996-2002). She is a recipient of the ASCP’s George F. Stevenson Distinguished Service Award. She has been an executive board member and officer of the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC), including President of this Society in 2004. She participated in the development, and was an initial member, of the ASC Foundation and received the Society’s highest honor, the Papanicolaou Award, in 2008. Dr. Powers has also served on the Executive Board of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology and as a member of the Cytopathology Test Development Committee of the American Board of Pathology.
The Academy is, in many respects, a second home for Dr. Powers and she has been very active in all facets of the enterprise, especially in the development of quality educational venues and programs that mentor junior colleagues. Because of her involvement over the years with excellent scientific abstract presentations at the Academy she was asked to participate in the Academy’s Expert’s Scientific Review Board and subsequently as a moderator of platform presentations. In addition, she has been a presenter at Specialty Conferences, Companion Societies, a Short Course on Salivary Gland Pathology, and recently, the Special Course in Cytopathology. She was appointed to the Education Committee from 2000 - 2004 where she developed, and continues to direct, the popular Diagnostic Cytopathology Course. She was elected to Council in 2004 and since 2002 has been active member of the Academy’s Long Term Strategic Planning Initiatives. Recently, she was appointed a member of the newly created USCAP Foundation Board and as a member of another new strategic effort, an expanded and empowered membership committee.
In summary, Dr. Powers has a well established record as an outstanding educator and researcher which is clearly evident from her service and effort for the last two decades on behalf of the Academy. In addition to her professional achievements, Dr. Powers has become an enthusiastic equestrian who enjoys riding her Warmblood Hunter, Toy Soldier.