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Meet Kelsey Cota

Date: Monday, May 4, 2020

Kelsey CotaHometown: Harpers Ferry, Iowa
Program: Radiologic Technology/Computed Tomography

How did you choose your program?

I have always been extremely interested in emergency medicine, as both of my parents are EMTs, and I grew up around a fire station. I was introduced to medical imaging through sonography job-shadowing in my hometown hospital. From there I discovered CT and how it was the front line of imaging for emergency medicine and trauma situations. I have always been passionate about comforting people in their greatest times of need, and this career field perfectly complements both my interests and passions.

What experiences outside the curriculum greatly enhance your education? 

I have found volunteering and teaching opportunities given to me by program educators to be the most influential experiences throughout my education. I have gotten many opportunities to work with young students, primarily young women, who are interested in the STEM fields. This program has given me the opportunity to not only teach about the amazing opportunities in the field of radiology, but test my knowledge through demonstrations and questions, as well. This has made me not only more capable of understanding my career field; it has allowed me to educate future generations of STEM professionals.

Who was especially helpful in guiding and mentoring you? 

There have been so many positive influences I have had the pleasure of working with throughout my education. From the amazing X-ray and CT technologists at UI Hospitals & Clinics teaching me beyond what is learned in a classroom, to my outstanding educators taking extra care to ensure I am succeeding in the classroom and clinic, I have been blessed with the people who have guided me through this experience. I would like to especially thank Lorie Gillitzer, one of my clinical educators, for being a consistent support system to me through my last three years of this program.

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

The most rewarding part has been the amount of connections and friendships I have gained from the Radiation Sciences Programs and UI Health Care. I have been blessed with the experiences and education I have received here. It truly has been the opportunity of a lifetime.

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

The most distinct memory I have from my time as a student is my very first day of the Radiologic Technology Program. I put on my gray scrubs for the first time. I had no idea what to expect for the next step of my education; I was anxious, yet excited, and eager to start learning about my future career. What I didn’t know that day was that this program would bring me some of my best friends and some of the most exciting, remarkable, years of my life. It’s really been a blur, but it’s been a fun ride.

What advice or words of encouragement would you give to incoming radiation sciences students?

My biggest advice for incoming radiation sciences students is to dive in to your experience as deep as you can, and don’t be afraid to work hard. It’s amazing what opportunities can unfold for you when you show that you’re passionate about your education and care about what you’re learning.