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UPMC Chautauqua WCA School of Radiology Marks 48th Commencement


Press Release Photo
From left, Christina Slojkowski program director, UPMC Chautauqua WCA School of Radiology; Class of 2017 GRADUATES Kayla Sansone, Brooke Ludwiczak, Madison Hogan, Karen Fuhrman, Abagail Downs, Elizabeth Brunecz; Amanda Bender, lead clinical instructor, School of Radiology; Tammara L.C. Hodges, director, Imaging Services.

JAMESTOWN, NY (Friday, June 30, 2017)—Six students of the School of Radiology celebrated with family and friends during the 48th Commencement Exercises held at UPMC Chautauqua WCA.

Steve Kilburn, chair UPMC Chautauqua WCA board of directors; and Amanda Bender, lead clinical instructor for the school; presented certificates of completion and class pins to the Class of 2017 graduates: Elizabeth Brunecz, Abagail Downs, Karen Fuhrman, Madison Hogan, Brooke Ludwiczak, and Kayla Sansone.

Christina Slojkowski, program director, School of Radiology; and Amanda Bender, clinical instructor; gave the commencement address.  Christina’s commencement address included gratitude to the students for a most enlightening educational experience—one that set the bar high.  “As we have learned, it’s nearly impossible to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean that you do not try to aspire to be the best,” said Christina.  “This year’s graduates challenged me and pushed me to teach concepts differently so the students felt that their hours of study and hard work paid off.  This model of excellence was reflected in the clinical aspect of teaching as well.  When taking quality images from any radiology modality, it was never just good enough.  You sought to understand how to improve the image so next time, the image would be picture perfect.  You never wavered from demanding the best from yourself.  So, when you walk out the door tonight with the knowledge that you are no longer a student in a radiology school, understand that you still must be an anomaly for life.  Strive for perfection in all that you do.  Challenge yourself, as it will set the bar higher for those around you.  Never be good enough, but rather be picture perfect.”

Lead clinical instructor Amanda added, “The last two years have been very memorable,” Amanda stated.  “I am thrilled to be able to say that next week, several of you will be my colleagues.  I am sad to say good bye to the other graduates, but I wish you all my best for a bright future—wherever that road may lead you.”

The Murray s. Marsh Outstanding Student Award was presented by Brigetta Overcash, W.C.A. Foundation Inc., executive director, and awarded to Madison Hogan.

Family members of the Vincent Messina Memorial Scholarship was presented to Melanie McCutcheon, first-year student of the School of Radiology.  Shortly after retiring from WCA Hospital after more than 35 years of dedicated service from the radiology department, Vince tragically died.  After his passing, Vince’s wife, Kathy, created the Vincent A. Messina Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships to students enrolled in the School of Radiology.  Vince was a very proud member of the radiology school’s first graduating class of 1969 and loved his job, family, friends, and the game of golf.

The Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Accreditation Certificate of Excellence was presented by Tammara L.C. Hodges, director, Imaging Services and awarded to Abagail Downs.

School of Radiology faculty are:  Christina Slojkowski, program director; Amanda Bender, lead clinical instructor; clinical instructors, Dawn Calimeri, Kristin Dechert, Virginia Shafter, Jeremy Carmen, Scott Johnson, Robert Storms, and Gail Borst.

The UPMC Chautauqua WCA School of Radiology is a full-time, 22-month, hospital-based program. The classroom is located adjacent to the Radiology Department on the first floor of the main building of the hospital. All didactic and clinical courses are provided on the hospital grounds. Upon completion of the program, the student receives a certificate of completion and is eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam as well as eligibility for New York State licensure.

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