It's that time of year when graduation announcements fill the mail and students from around Western New York walk across the podium to collect their diplomas. Four graduates did just that Friday when the WCA Hospital School of Radiologic Technology held its 44th commencement.
The four students, Mariah Battle, Brittany Bowman, Tesla Brown and Patricia Gear, along with more than 60 family members, friends, faculty and staff gathered in the WCA Hospital auditorium for the ceremony.
Christine Slojkowski, School of Radiologic Technology program director, served as master of ceremonies, while Robert Storms, instructor and WCA Hospital manager of imaging, was the guest speaker for the event.
The WCA School of Radiologic Technology held its graduation ceremony Friday for the class of 2013. Pictured from left are graduates Patricia Gear, Brittany Bowman, Tesla Brown and Mariah Battle.
P-J photo by Ryan Atkins
"Our class always seemed to need an extra push," said Bowman, in a speech that she gave during the ceremony. "We may have started off slower and we may have concerned our instructors, but we worked hard and accomplished what we needed to. When we walked into the classroom on the first day, we were strangers - we knew very little about x-rays or how they were taken. Two years later, we've taken several x-rays, dealt with patients with very different care levels, and even learned how x-rays are produced."
The WCA School of Radiologic Technology was started in 1967 after WCA recognized a need in the community to fill a health care hole. That need eventually turned into the program that it is today, which has consistently maintained accreditation by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology.
Over the course of the two-year program, students take classes ranging from medical terminology and patient care to physics and pathology. Students are also required to do clinical work, which allows them to experience working in a live environment rather than a classroom setting.
Following the presentation of graduation certificates and class pins, two special awards were also given out - the Murray Marsh Award and the JRCERT Certificate of Excellence. Both of those awards were given to Gear, a graduate of Franklinville Central School, who also attended Jamestown Community College.
During her experience at WCA, Gear learned how to balance multiple responsibilities, and in a short letter read by Slojkowski, Gear's mother stated that determination was what enabled her to maintain a 3.5 GPA in the program while also raising her son.
"I'm excited and honored to have received both of the awards tonight," said Gear. "I'm eager to see where my life goes from here. I'd like to continue with the x-ray program. I really love doing x-rays."
When asked if she would stay in the area now that she has graduated, Gear told The Post-Journal that although she traveled to Jamestown every day for class, she enjoys living in the Franklinville area and will likely stay there.
Following the ceremony, a reception was also held in the WCA Hospital auditorium for the graduates, their families, friends and staff members from the hospital.
For more information on the WCA Hospital School of Radiologic Technology, call Christina Slojkowski, program director, at 664-8366 or visit the hospital, located at 207 Foote Ave. Information about the program including admission requirements, curriculum plans, costs and more can be found online at www.wcahospital.org/rtschool.php.