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Meet Catherine Cardwell (Cathy)

Date: Monday, May 4, 2020

Catherine Cardwell, thumbnailHometown: Rochester, Minnesota (since 1999; born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa)
Program: Radiation Sciences

How did you choose Iowa's RT to BS online program?

I started school at the University of Iowa in 1984 and completed three years towards a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). However, life often disrupts your plans, and my husband joined the Army before we finished college. After many years, four kids, and several moves, we settled in Rochester, Minnesota over 20 years ago. I have always been a huge Hawkeye fan—I go to all the home football games—and a few years ago I decided I would like to get a degree, any degree from the UI. I called them up and asked what I could do and how I could make it work. They suggested the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies online program, and while researching that I found out about the RT-BS in Radiation Sciences. I have worked in radiology since I graduated from high school, so I decided this is what I wanted to do. All of my prior credits at Iowa were accepted, and I started my journey online.

Who was especially helpful in guiding and mentoring you?

Everyone I've encountered at Iowa has been so incredibly nice, from registration to instructors. Shelley Matzen was the first person I remember encountering with the program. She was always positive and reassuring. Jean Wiese, one of my CT instructors, and Kelley Kirby, my current instructor and advisor, also have been positive, upbeat, and very helpful. 

What was the most rewarding part of your Carver College of Medicine experience? 

The most rewarding part is just knowing that I am finally going to have my degree, and it's from the University of Iowa. 

Share one memory that sticks out from your time as a student at the Carver College of Medicine?

I am not a student that is on campus (unfortunately) but during this process, my father entered hospice and died. I made sure my instructors were aware of the situation, and they were very understanding and willing to accommodate any extra time I would need for assignments.

What advice or words of encouragement would you give to incoming RT to BS online students?

I would say to just do it! I work full-time and still had teenagers at home when I started. I could only take classes part-time, and it's worked out just fine. The instructors are all great, and the schedule is flexible enough that I never felt overly pressured. I wish I had done it earlier! On Iowa! Go Hawks!