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Allied Health Graduates Earn Ceremonial Pins
Allied health graduates receive their ceremonial pins on stage in the Collins Arena.

The graduates of two of Brookdale’s most demanding health care training programs received some well deserved recognition on May 10 during the annual Allied Health Pinning Ceremony in the Collins Arena.

Thirty-four radiologic technology graduates and 20 respiratory care graduates were presented with official allied health pins and congratulated by a host of college officials in front of a crowd of family, friends, classmates and supporters.

Following years of demanding coursework, dozens of exams, more than 1,000 hours of clinical training and countless all-night cram sessions, radiologic technology professor Terry Konn said the graduates had earned the right to celebrate.

“These programs are not easy. They can be more than a full-time job, and many of you held full-time jobs too,” Konn said. “May your careers be fruitful and rewarding. May you continue your education and educate all those around you. May you have the strength to carry out your duties with honor, respect and compassion. And may you be the change-makers to improve health care delivery. Congratulations.”

The ceremony also featured addresses by Brookdale vice president president for learning Matthew Reed and Health Sciences Institute Dean Jayne Edman, who recognized the students and their family and friends for helping them see the programs through to the end.

“Sixty percent of all health care workers are working in allied health fields,” Edman said. “The work that you are doing, the work that you are going to be doing, is so absolutely necessary. And as someone who is approaching the age where people need more and more health care, I am so very glad that you are going to be there.”

Special honors went to radiologic technology graduates Jesse Arango and Evan Preston, who received the 2017 Clinical Excellence Award and Most Improved Student Award, respectively. Patricia Riegel was presented with the program’s 2017 Academic Excellence Award, and selected to address her fellow graduates on behalf of the class.

Radiologic technlogy professor Terry Konn (right) recognizes the Allied Health class of 2017 of May 10.

Radiologic technlogy professor Terry Konn (right) recognizes the Allied Health class of 2017 of May 10.

“I got into this program as a way to provide for my family. I had no idea my family would grow like it has,” said Riegel. “We all have a very big ‘what’s next’ ahead of us. In a short time we will be working in facilities and we will no longer be students.

“And one day you are going to have that day when you drop the $80,000 digital cassette, or crash the portable into the foot of a patient’s bed, and you will say, ‘I can’t do this,'” Riegel added. “I hope, on that day, you remember all the times in the past two years when you heard that. Because we are here. We did it. Think about how you nailed it, and how hard you used to think it was. How you are here today, and how much stronger each of us are for having done so.”

Respiratory care director Carol Schedel recognized five graduates who were welcomed into the Lambda Beta National Honor Society: Dawn Carpenter, Nicole Finnegan, Brittany Foster, Vanessa Kotula, Kate Savolskis.

“In my opinion, all of this year’s respiratory care graduates deserve an award,” said Schedel. “Congratulations to you all.”

In her class address, respiratory care graduate Katherine Pytko took time out to thank the faculty, staff, advisors and supporters who had stood alongside her class throughout the program. She also expressed her hope to remain in touch with the Class of 2017 for many years to come.

“Every one of us comes from different backgrounds, countries, cultures, experiences – making us unique individuals,” said Pytko. “Yet we all share some of the same characteristics. We are all steadfast, dedicated and true in our convictions. Therefore I am sure that we will all do well in our new career. People come in and out of our lives, but I hope to see you all again in the next journey. I have learned so much from you. Best of luck and may all your wishes come true.”

View the full list of Allied Health graduates here

Learn more about Brookdale’s radiologic technology program here. Learn more about Brookdale’s respiratory care program here

Check out more photos from the 2017 Allied Health Pinning Ceremony here