New Scholarship Endowment Will Help Radiation Therapists Advance Their Careers

Aug. 21, 2017
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What do you do when you have scholarship money to give away but no one to process applications? That’s the situation the Northern California Society of Radiation Therapists found itself in after the organization disbanded in 2010.

The solution? Call the ASRT Foundation!

The NCSRT was formed in 1973 by a group of radiation therapists who recognized a need for continuing education in the San Francisco Bay area.

According to Kevin K. Lum, R.T.(T), who served as NCSRT president from 2001 to 2010, the organization offered radiation therapists in Northern California an opportunity to “gather together to learn new techniques, listen to lectures from radiation therapy experts and discuss the fast-evolving world of radiation therapy."

Thirty years later, the NCSRT was offering radiation therapists a lot of value for their annual membership dues, including quarterly meetings worth up to 4 CE credits per meeting, but it was ready to offer more. NCSRT leadership decided to offer scholarships to students enrolled in radiation therapy programs at local junior colleges.

“The process was easy,” Kevin says. “Fill out an application, attach your transcript and answer a few questions. We set aside $500 per scholarship up to a maximum of four recipients per year.”

Near the peak of the economic recession, tumultuous times within the health care profession led to unforeseen changes in the society. After nearly 40 years of providing professional development opportunities to radiation therapists in Northern California, the NCSRT leadership made the painful decision to disband.

They also had another decision to make: What to do with that bank account?

New Scholarship Endowment Created

Ultimately, the NCSRT leadership decided the best place to house their scholarship money would be with the ASRT Foundation.

Earlier this year, the NCSRT officially endowed the Northern California Society of Radiation Therapists Scholarship with the Foundation. Available in 2018, the scholarship will be open to radiation therapy professionals seeking career advancement as well as students looking to enter the radiation therapy profession.

"Everyone needs a helping hand some time in their lives,” Kevin explains. “We would like to see that any deserving radiation therapy professional or student be able to continue with their studies. This scholarship will help them accomplish that goal.”

A 33-year radiation therapy professional, Kevin recently retired, but supporting the next generation of radiation therapists is still important to him.

“The NCSRT is proud to give back to the community of radiation therapists through the Foundation,” he says. “Even though our organization has disbanded, by endowing this scholarship, the NCSRT can help ensure that future radiation therapists have the resources they need to succeed.”

A Lasting Legacy

With this endowment, the NCSRT’s legacy will extend far beyond the Northern California region. Because of the generosity and loyalty of past NCSRT members, the scholarship will enrich the lives of radiation therapists across the United States. In this way, the organization and its membership live on, reaching far more people than they ever thought possible.

If your affiliate needs a hand managing its scholarship awards program, the ASRT Foundation is here to help. Contact Keith Greer, Foundation director, at 800-444-2778, Ext. 1286.