It is with great pleasure that I write this letter supporting the nomination of Wendy Mickelsen for the ISRT Jean Machacek award. Wendy is a wonderful and exceptional teacher in the Radiographic Science program and an outstanding clinician for Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. I have observed her interactions with our students and those interested in our program. She demonstrates kindness but more importantly students respect her for the knowledge she disseminates. She is consistently well prepared and unfailingly receives outstanding comments on her student evaluations. In her course evaluations, students consistently make comments like “Wendy is the best” and “I want to be like Wendy when I grow up” and “Her enthusiasm and compassion gets me excited to learn and practice what I learn.”
I appreciate the way she engages students in active learning techniques, and always strives to bring current methodologies into the classroom and lab. She often invites outside “communities of interest” to engage the students in diversity and learning. Wendy will arrange for guest speakers or professionals in the field to come to class and lab sessions to use specialized equipment (which the guests bring) to give real-world application to principles she teaches in class. This is beneficial to the class as they meet and interact with professionals engaged in the work force in SE Idaho and beyond. She also strives to use varying teaching methods and apply classroom learning to real clinical experience. One particular example is the “field trip” she takes the students on each year. During her “Pediatric Radiography” class, Wendy arranges to take the students to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. There the students get a tour of the hospital and Radiology department, where Wendy is able to apply the classroom principles she teaches to real-life situations in the hospital. The students then spend time with pediatric radiographers performing exams on patients, where they learn the special skills and tricks necessary to work with a pediatric population. Nowhere else can students have such a unique and applicable experience. Students rave about this experience each year; many comment this is one of their favorite parts of the whole program.
Each year in one of her classes, Wendy purchases some small item or piece of equipment to give to our clinical affiliates as a “thank you” for their work with our students. This item is tied in some way to the principles she teaches in class. Last year Wendy purchased lead shielding equipment that was in the shape of a turtle and is used to help alleviate anxiety in pediatric patients. Students learned about pediatric shielding in class, and then were able to use the specialized equipment in the clinical setting. Many of the clinical sites who received this gift praised Wendy for her ability to apply classroom principles to the clinical setting and the ability to engage students with staff technologists and patient. These are only 2 of many examples making Wendy an exceptional teacher.
I appreciate her devoted service to the students. She continues to act as an advisor to the student RS Club and consistently participates in all recruitment exercises held throughout the year. She meets with and mentors students in Pocatello regularly. Because of her advising and involvement with pre-Radiographic Science students, Wendy brings out the best in students; she forms close relationships with students, making them feel more comfortable and approachable. This translates to more meaningful classroom teaching, starting Day 1 of the program. Anyone who knows anything about the RS program at ISU knows Wendy Mickelsen; her name is synonymous with the quality education and outstanding experience the RS program provides. She also meets with and advises students in Idaho Falls. All of her recruiting and advising activities are above and beyond her assigned workload. Because she forms such close relationships with her advisees and students, she is often called upon to write letters of recommendation, which hold prestige throughout the radiographic science community.
Wendy is well respected in the medical imaging profession throughout Idaho. This is evident in her being elected to serve as ISRT president-elect, president, and chair of the board. She was the Conference Chair for the 2017 ISRT conference in Idaho Falls. She has devoted her time before, during, and after office to push for professionalism and licensure in the State of Idaho. Her strong advocacy for medical imaging state licensure come from her belief in the power and quality of health care we provide as technologists. She was instrumental in organizing the ISRT at the Capital Day on February 27, 2017, where medical imaging representatives from across the state went to Capitol Hill in Boise to meet with state lawmakers and discuss the importance of establishing state licensure for medical imaging professionals.
Though her full-time career is as an educator, Wendy still works clinicals. She feels that keeping up her clinical skills is an important part of who she is and how she can impact the profession. I believe her continuous real-life experience is one of the things that makes her such a great educator. She can talk about theoretical concepts in the classroom and then apply them to real-life situations. This helps translate education to actual learning in the students. One of the ways Wendy stays engaged in the profession is by performing reduced-rate mammography examinations throughout October. Multiple times throughout the month of October she will teach all day and then spend all evening working with patients to get them the proper medical care and cancer screenings that will catch or prevent major breast health issues.
In all her interaction she places the student/patient/parent/coworker/staff member first, regardless of the person’s rank or title. This is praiseworthy and demonstrates her compassion and understanding. Wendy typifies the spirit of the Jean Machacek award and I cannot think of someone more deserving of this award more than her.
Program Director, Assistant Professor
ISU Radiographic Science Program
Dear ISRT Board,
It is my sincere pleasure to nominate Wendy Mickelsen for the ISRT Jean Machacek award.
Wendy has served as a dedicated and devoted ISRT Board member.
She is an exceptional radiographer educator at Idaho State University, devoted to bring out the best in each and every student she encounters.
Wendy maintains her high level of skill as a radiographer working as a Mammography technologist in Idaho Falls.
I served on the ISRT board with Wendy. She was always available to me for help, advice, support, and ethical standards. Wendy served an extra year as ISRT Board chair in the absence of a board member.
Wendy is a long-standing active ASRT member, serving as a delegate to several of the Annual ASRT Symposium and Business meetings. Wendy mentored me as an Idaho ASRT delegate when we attended together in 2015.
Over the years Wendy’s pride in her profession has been constant and evident. She has been a role model for peers, students, and coworkers.
It is an honor to nominate Wendy for this prestigious award.
Barb Tomasini, BSRT(R), (CV), RCIS