Dec 03, 2018 | Featured , Science, Technology and Math , Academics

Columbia State Rad Tech Students Place First at State Conference

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. Dec. 3, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College radiologic technology students recently attended the Tennessee Society of Radiologic Technologists 80th Annual Educational Conference where they placed first in the student bowl competition. 

“The TSRT Student Bowl allows students to test their knowledge against peers from other Tennessee programs and confirms Columbia State’s rad tech students are the best of the best,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, dean of the Health Sciences Division. “The timing of the annual fall competition is perfect for kindling the fire for May graduates to keep learning and growing all the way to completion.”

“We enjoyed getting to know each other better at TSRT this year,” said Laura Wheeler Columbia State rad tech student. “It was interesting to meet students from other colleges in Tennessee and we enjoyed the wide variety of topics related to radiology. The highlight of the conference was the very competitive student bowl.  Our two Columbia State teams went head-to-head in the semi-final round. One team went on to win the entire competition.” 

In addition to the competition, the students attended multiple hour-long educational sessions.

“Life-long learning is a quality we wish to ingrain in the students,” said M. Rose Hobby, Columbia State assistant professor of radiologic technology. “As radiographers, we obtain continuing education credit for participating in these meetings. We hope that exposing the students to these opportunities helps them become active members of the profession later on.”

TSRT conferences provide opportunities for students to network, socialize and stay informed about what is happening in the profession.

“When students attend conferences of this type it gives them the opportunity to network with students from other programs across the state as well as experienced radiographers,” said Nancy Hopper, Columbia State program director and associate professor of radiologic technology.  “Relevant topics discussed included challenges healthcare workers face, how to maintain professionalism in the workplace, and advances in medical imaging.”

Following the conference, Fleming kept the extra learning opportunities going by organizing a guest speaker for the students in honor of National Rad Tech Week and the 123rd anniversary of the discovery of x-ray photons. Dr. Stewart Bushong, Baylor College of Medicine professor of radiology, joined the students remotely via Zoom, an online video conferencing service, to present “Normalization of Deviance.” Bushong, an award winning author, lecturer and radiation physics pioneer, is considered a pillar in the profession and is the author of the current rad tech textbook used by the college.

“Arrangements like this make it possible to overcome busy schedules and distance,” Fleming said. “With the technology, fellow students and faculty members from Chattanooga State Community College and Jackson State Community College were able to attend virtually and interact with a legend in our field.”

Rad tech is a health profession that involves producing diagnostic images of patient’s internal structures for use by the radiologist or referring physician in diagnosing medical problems and disorders. As a professional, the radiographer is required to observe the ethical and professional standards expected of all persons involved in caring for patients in healthcare settings. Students can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree from Columbia State.

The college’s 24-month program prepares graduates for the national registry examination in radiography administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists – the board licensure exam is required in order to secure employment. For 2018, 100 percent of Columbia State’s rad tech graduates passed the credentialing exam on the first attempt; the five-year average first-attempt pass rate for Columbia State is 95 percent, which is above the five-year national average pass rate of  89 percent.

For more information about the program, contact  Nancy Hopper, Columbia State program director and associate professor of radiologic technology at 931.540.2608, or visit

Rad Tech Students at Conference
Photo Caption: (Back row, left to right)
: Kasey Jo Turner, Thompson’s Station native and Columbia State rad tech student; Kayla Edmondson, Nolensville native and Columbia State rad tech student; Taylor Howell, Pulaski native and Columbia State rad tech student; Marissa Dunkin, Columbia State assistant clinical coordinator and assistant professor of radiologic technology; M. Rose Hobby, Columbia State assistant professor of radiologic technology; and Cheyenne Marks, Fairview native and Columbia State rad tech student. (Front row) Nancy Hopper, Columbia State program director and associate professor of radiologic technology.