Kristina Stephens

U. Kristina Stephens

December 6, 1935 - January 5, 2022

If there ever was an angel, an advocate, and a supporter of laboratory animals, laboratory animal technicians, technologists, and managers, and the many laboratory animal science communities she supported, it would be Ulla Kristina (Fichtelius) Stephens. We walk the path that she plowed for us. Born in Sweden in 1935, she received her B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Uppsala. After immigrating to the US in 1961, she met the love of her life, Sherwood Stephens, while starting her career in laboratory animal science at the University of Texas, Galveston. Her Master's from Webster University was earned while living in Colorado.

Among many of Kristina's volunteer activities in laboratory animal science, she chaired AALAS' Council on Laboratory Animal Technicians (COLAT), was liaison to the Animal Technician Certification Board (ATCB), was a founding member and first President of the Laboratory Animal Management Association (LAMA), participated in forming the Institute of Laboratory Animal Management (ILAM) and was a member of the first ILAM Board of Regents. She was frequently called upon to be AALAS' bridge to European and Canadian associations, serving as a liaison, presenter, or joint committee member to such organizations such as FELASA; SCAND-LAS, CALAS, and the IAT.

Some of the many awards she received include: Purina Technician of the Year, AALAS' Animal Technician of the Year, George R. Collins and, Joseph J. Garvey awards, the Charles River Medallion and the LAMA award named in her honor, the U. Kristina Stephens Award. Additionally, Kristina was the recipient of many AALAS branch awards.

She was a member of the following AALAS branches; Texas, Arkansas, Mile High, Oregon, Wisconsin, and the SEAALAS. Also, she was a past member of the AALAS Board of Trustees.

Always a counselor, an advocate, and dear friend, "Mama Lama," as her friends called her, passed away in January 2022. A poet, a story writer and caring human being. Ulla Kristina shared her angel wings with all of us, mightily cheerleading our lives and career accomplishments, while showing us the way. She will always be in our thoughts and hearts forever.


Give in memory of U. Kristina Stephens and help keep her passion alive through the AALAS Foundation.   

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