Foundation Support Makes Professional Growth Possible for Connecticut Educator

Kori Stewart, M.H.S., R.T.(R)(CT), CIIP
Aug. 16, 2017
Kori Stewart

As a Ph.D. candidate and an educator in the radiologic sciences, I’m always looking for ways to advance and grow in the profession. The ASRT Foundation has given me so many opportunities to do that.

In 2016, I won the Joy and Jordan Renner Educator Scholarship award, and for the past two years, I also received an ARRT Advancing Your Profession: Education and Professional Growth Grant. Both the scholarship and the grants have helped me tremendously.

Grants Put Professional Development Pursuits Within Reach

As a two-time recipient, I can tell you the ARRT grant has been huge for me. It has allowed me to think more about my own professional development and to pursue opportunities I would not have been able to do otherwise.

When I received the ARRT grant in 2017, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the funds — attend the 2017 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) annual conference in Pittsburgh.

As a technologist, a Certified Imaging Informatics Professional (CIIP) and a Ph.D. candidate, the SIIM conference tied a lot of ideas together for me in my Ph.D. coursework. It was probably one of the best conferences I’ve been to because it wasn’t just three days of lectures; there were roundtable experiences as well. It was a fantastic networking opportunity, too. I met a handful of other technologists with the same certification, and we talked about how to get the word out about informatics. I was even asked to write a blog about why technologists should try to understand informatics more than they do.

The SIIM conference was eye-opening, insightful, motivating and one of my favorite conferences. But it was expensive. Had it not been for the ARRT grant, I could not have attended on my own due to the cost.

Conference Presentation Leads to a Full-Circle Moment

There are a lot of ways to grow in the profession, but attending conferences is one of my favorites because sometimes the most amazing and unexpected things happen. For example, I went to the AEIRS conference in St. Louis this summer and had just finished attending a lecture when something really special happened.

I had stepped onto a very full elevator to go back to my room when I noticed the name tag of one of the men in the elevator. Incredibly, I found myself standing near Dr. Jordan Renner, co-founder of the Joy and Jordan Renner Educator Scholarship — the scholarship that I had won last year!

Later that day, I introduced myself to him and expressed my sincerest gratitude for the scholarship. He called Joy over and introduced me to her, too. They were excited to meet me, but I was even more excited to meet them.

I got the rare opportunity to thank in person the donors who helped fund my education and my research. I was honored to have presented a lecture on “Integrating Informatics in the Patient Care Classroom” with the Renners in attendance.

That was a full-circle moment for me.

Passion for the Work Advances the Profession

It’s not too often that people can say they love their job, but I truly do. I think it makes a difference, especially if you’re busy. You have to love what you do.

My research and study over the next several years will allow me to build my knowledge as a student, aid in my instruction as a professor and continue to grow my passion for teaching patient-centered care to future technologists.

The whole idea behind pursuing my Ph.D. is so that I can better understand how to do quality research relevant to my field, but not strictly in radiology. How can I branch out? How can I come up with ideas that will advance the profession? These are the ideas I’m passionate about.

The ASRT Foundation programs are so valuable because they help people like me to pursue their passions and advance in the profession, which in turn empowers the R.T. community at large.