Mentor and Mentee Create Scholarship

Mar. 17, 2015
Steve Hardy and Elaine ChinSetting off on a new path in the radiation sciences can take courage, and a little assistance is sometimes needed to help those transitioning into radiation therapy. As radiation therapists who have experienced all the growth prospects the field provides, Elaine Chin, B.S., R.T.(T), CMD, and Steve J. Hardy,  M.S., R.T.(R)(T)(CT), CMD, were inspired to create a scholarship that gives others a chance to receive these opportunities.

Elaine and Steve's long partnership in radiation therapy began when Steve decided to transition from medical imaging to radiation therapy, and Elaine was the program director at the San Diego Community Radiation Therapy Education Program he attended. From there, they continued their professional partnership as she mentored and trained him in dosimetry and eventually hired him as a therapist/dosimetrist at the University of California, San Diego  (UCSD).

After Elaine left UCSD to serve as director of radiation therapy at Scripps Health, she continued to work with Steve as a clinical coordinator for the school. They also served together on the ASRT Foundation Scholarship Committee.

In working together and mentoring each other throughout their professional careers, Steve and Elaine gained key insights into the needs of those transitioning from radiology to radiation therapy. Currently, these individuals only qualify for professional-level scholarships through the ASRT Foundation. Additionally, they often do not have the extensive experience and backgrounds that others in the scholarship applicant pool have.

With those factors in mind, Elaine and Steve created the Radiation Therapy Pioneers Scholarship to offer individuals transitioning from radiology to radiation therapy a scholarship specifically designed for them.

Honoring the Radiation Sciences Through Service

The main inspiration for the scholarship was the pioneering effort of those who mentored, trained and developed future radiation therapists before formal radiation therapy educational programs were created.

These pioneers ensured the next generation of radiation therapists had the knowledge, skills and foresight to grow and enhance the field. Just as Elaine began as Steve's mentor, with their relationship evolving into one where each became a key professional sounding board for the other, both look forward to mentoring future radiation therapists through this scholarship.

Building on a Good Beginning

Elaine and Steve are providing the seed money to start the Radiation Therapy Pioneers Scholarship, but they also hope others will contribute and join them in making this a sustainable annual scholarship. In the spirit of those early pioneers in the radiation sciences who helped the profession grow and evolve, this scholarship offers individuals an opportunity to affect change. Every contribution adds to the whole and significantly enhances the awards that can be granted. 

Elaine and Steve both feel strongly that everyone should feel compelled to give back at some level and know that the gift will make a difference. They are optimistic that many others will join them to help their colleagues transition into the dynamic field of radiation therapy.