ISEA Recipient’s Vision Expands After Presenting at the U.K. Radiological Congress

Carole South-Winter, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(N), CNMT
Aug. 31, 2017
Dr. Carole South-Winter

As an assistant professor for the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business, I travel quite a bit. I teach global health care delivery and international health care systems, so my research is done abroad. In addition, I lead two research programs for USD faculty, graduates and undergrads each year, traveling to Cuba, Costa Rica, Germany, Switzerland, France and Ghana. But despite all that travel experience, my trip to Manchester, England, to speak at the U.K. Radiological Congress wasn’t what I expected. It was even better!

A few months earlier, I had applied for and received a travel grant through the ASRT Foundation’s International Speakers Exchange Award program. I was eager to present my paper, “Opinion Leadership in Health Care: A Study of Ghana,” at the U.K. conference. Even though I had already presented this research half a dozen times in the U.S., I hadn’t had the opportunity to present it to a European audience before, so I was curious about the response I would get.

I was the only American at the conference, but everyone was so accommodating that I never felt like an outsider. One of the things I love about the International Speakers Exchange Award is that it allows R.T. professionals and educators like me to come together in a nice, safe, controlled environment of like-minded people who instantly have something in common. Because of our shared interests, we’re automatically bonded and can build off that to forge richer relationships and grow our professional networks.

Audience Feedback Plants a Seed for Program Evolution

After my presentation, a lot of radiographers asked to go with me on the next Ghana faculty-led research program. I had to think about how to get them all into a graduate course through USD’s Beacom School of Business so they could participate!

But it was the feedback I received from the U.K. audience members that made such an impact and really opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about the study-abroad programs at USD. Their questions and suggestions were focused primarily on finding a way for students and radiographers who are involved in these kinds of study-abroad programs to contribute their experiential knowledge and have it incorporated into the classrooms. This was a subject I hadn’t had many questions about prior to this conference, but in the U.K., they are really open to it. They see the connection — that the world’s getting smaller and we can share information so easily.

This line of questioning got me thinking about how we might evolve USD’s study-abroad programs. The Ghana program, for example, is life-changing, but it can be difficult for an educator who has participated in this program to fully capture the magnitude of the experience when sharing it with students in a classroom afterward. So, I decided on the fly that educators should be allowed to bring their students with them to study alongside them in Ghana if they so choose.

ISEA Program: A Priceless Opportunity

I would like to express my thanks to Foundation donors for such a wonderful opportunity, and for continuing to offer this opportunity for my professional peers. I’m so appreciative and I sincerely hope that other educators and researchers take advantage of this program. It’s priceless! The rewards for ISEA recipients multiply tenfold, not only because of the professional relationships that are cultivated while speaking at conferences, but also because of the valuable feedback received during the event.