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OCC Radiography Student Earns National and State Accolades

Carolina Escobedo PhotoCarolina Escobedo with OCC Radiography Director Carol Kocher.

Olney Central College Radiography student Carolina Escobedo is receiving both national and state accolades for her hard work and dedication.

Escobedo is the recipient of scholarships from both the Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists. The Robinson resident also will be featured on the cover of an upcoming issue of the ASRT journal.

“Carolina has been an exceptional student from the beginning,” said Radiography Director Carol Kocher. “She exhibits a focus and dedication to excellence that is in a league of its own. We are so proud of her. The facility that hires her and the patients who benefit from her care will be very lucky people.”

Escobedo, who graduated May 13 with a 4.0 grade point average, was selected from students across the nation for the ASRT Foundation’s $5,000 Varian Radiation Therapy Advancement Scholarship. Varian Medical Systems, which creates technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy and brachytherapy, established the award. The scholarships ensure radiation therapists and medical dosimetrists can afford education that enhances their clinical practice skills and helps them provide excellent patient care.

Applicants are required to complete a series of essay questions and provide an accompanying letter. Selection is based upon academic standing and the recipients’ commitment to their chosen field.

After completing her studies at OCC, Escobedo plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy and then pursue a master’s degree in medical dosimetry at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

“I’m very thankful,” Escobedo said of her selection. “It was perfect timing to say the least.”

The latest honor comes just days after Escobedo received the $500 Elizabeth Bray Regional Scholarship from the Illinois State Society of Radiologic Technologists during its annual convention. Recipients are chosen based on letters of recommendation and GPA.

During the convention, Escobedo also earned a third-place finish in the ISSRT student electronic poster competition. Escobedo’s work focused on the affects of multiple myeloma. Patients with this osteosarcoma, cancer that forms in the bones, have an average life expectancy of three to four years.

“I dedicated quite a bit of time to perfect my poster,” she said “I was hoping I’d place and sure enough, I did.”

Escobedo will leave OCC well prepared for the next challenge.

“The program is difficult to ace, as anything medical-related should be,” she said. “However, nothing is impossible. I enjoyed it all, for the most part. I specifically love the diverse clinical selection.”

She added, “I also liked that my teachers were available to assist with any questions and dedicated their time to ensure that I understood the material. Some instructors were so amazing. We have built lifelong relationships. I honestly couldn’t have accomplished so much without the assistance of (Radiography Instructors) Lisa Rauch, Brittany Ochs and Carol Kocher.”

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