Campus begins quest for second triple crown at radiological conference

A team of radiological science students from Penn State New Kensington gained experience and earned recognition in March at the annual Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists (PSRT) conference in State College, Pa.

Debra Majetic, coordinator of the radiological science program, and Marcia Curler, instructor in radiological sciences, escorted 15 second-year students to the annual meeting. The students will graduate in August with an associate degree and will be eligible for examination with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) for professional certification.

“Students are our future and will service all our imaging needs,” said Majetic, who is a graduate of the campus’ radiological sciences program and holds a master’s degree in higher education from Geneva College.

“We hope this experience sparks an interest in our students to get involved with professional organizations after graduation.”

The purpose of the trip was two-fold. Students had the opportunity to meet with soon-to-be colleagues in a conference setting and compete with fellow students in various categories – research presentations, image analysis and Techni-bowl.

"The PSRT meeting was a valuable learning experience that I got to share with the other members of my class,” said Jennifer Sekowski, a resident of Saxonburg. “The meeting showed what we have to look forward to in our careers and where our education can take us in the radiology profession.”

“The conference was very informative, especially for a student and future x-ray technologist.,” said Brittany Rathman, a Gibsonia resident. “I am looking forward to continuing going to these meetings throughout my career.“

Beth Hollinger, Bhawani Harrell, Jennifer White and Sekowski won the top award for their research project, “Radon in the Home.” The project focused on the health effects of radon and how to use radiation protection precautions to prevent future biological cell damage. Forty projects, presented in poster format, were entered into the competition.

“I was shocked when I heard our poster and our group names called,” said Beth Hollinger, a Gibsonia native. “The competition was steep, and I am proud that all our hard work really paid off.”

In the Techni-bowl, the campus teams of Brittany Rathman & Jennifer Sekowski and Hannah LaTour and Kelsey Nulph earned fourth-place ribbons.

“The Techni-bowl was a great review for the boards and showed me how to prepare for them,” said Kelsey Nulph, who hails from Ford City. “I learned many new things about the radiology field that I never knew before.”

Garnering awards and accolades at the society meetings is becoming a tradition for Majetic’s students. In the past five years, the up-and-coming radiographers have won each of the competitive categories.

Leah Brown, Anne Boyd and Megan Walters started the winning streak in 2010 by capturing first place with their research project, “Radiation for Safety.” Two years ago, Bill Henry and Lydia Johnson won the Techni-bowl. Stephanie Fox, Samantha Miller and Nicala Wisnik’s image analysis victory last year completed the “triple crown” for the campus.

"The opportunity for our students to not only participate in the competition but to also attend the state meeting was invaluable," said Majetic, who joined the campus faculty in 2005. "Imaging professionals recognize the importance of networking with others, sharing new technologies, promoting the profession and supporting education and new technologies entering the field."

Besides classroom work and intercollegiate competition, students in the radiological sciences program are active with community service projects. In the fall, Majetic’s students created welcome baskets for 7 international students who enrolled at the campus. During the Christmas holidays, they collected gifts for the Toys for Tots campaign. This semester, they are collecting coupons for troops stationed at the United States military base in Japan.

About the Radiological Sciences Program
Radiography is a science combining medical imaging technology with human compassion. Radiographers use their knowledge of physics, human anatomy and physiology to create permanent medical radiographic images. Imaging professionals provide a wide range of services using technology founded on theoretical knowledge and scientific concepts.

As a part of the health care team, radiographers provide patient care using safe radiation practices, operate sophisticated technical equipment and make independent judgments and decisions daily. Radiological services are offered in a variety of settings such as hospitals, health care facilities, physicians' offices, research centers and equipment sales offices. Careers in radiography offer flexible work schedules that accommodate various lifestyles and employment needs.

The radiological sciences program at Penn State New Kensington offers students an associate degree, and graduates are eligible for examination with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. The 72-credit, academic- and clinical-based curriculum begins in the fall of each year and requires 24 consecutive months of study, including summer sessions.

“In the past two years, the certification examination pass rate for our graduates was 100 percent,” Majetic said. “The five-year average is 96 percent.”

For more about the radiological sciences program, visit


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Last Updated April 10, 2014