Since receiving the Educator Scholarship, I am well on my way to graduating with both my MHA and MBA degrees from the University of Saint Francis. I will graduate with both in the spring of 2018, and I could not be any more excited. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Being a full-time educator along with a student is not always the easiest, but it can be done. Since receiving the scholarship, I have been able to focus not only on my own education but also the education that I am giving my students. With being not only a part of the faculty in the Department of Surgical Technology at the University of Saint Francis but also a graduate, I know the high standards and accountability that we hold for our students. It has been my goal to demonstrate the same characteristics as a student as well as a role model to my current students. This wouldn’t be possible if I was focused on the financial aspects of being a student, which is why I am very grateful to have received the scholarship.

Our program has remained grounded in our high-quality graduates, which requires the faculty to be dedicated to the level of education that we provide. We work diligently each year to ensure our students are completely prepared for both the operating room and the professional world. Our graduates continue to be the preferred hire of area organizations, and that all starts with the program and the faculty involved. When the students see faculty full of energy and motivation, it provides a framework for success. We instill these traits in our students from day one, and we have had many years of success, including six consistent years of 100 percent pass rate on the national certification. Successes like this prove to potential students the dedication that the faculty has toward the education that one will receive with us and will also make the decision process an easy one.

As far as the future, I am extremely proud to work for the university and have all intents to utilize my education within. I still continue to practice in a Fort Wayne hospital, and I do not see that changing anytime soon. With medicine and technology continuously changing, I find it very important to remain current, and what better way to do that than to practice? Scrubbing is where my passion is, and allowing the students to see that hopefully encourages them to find an area that they too are passionate about and succeed. I also strive to be involved in many organizations within the university as well as the community, and having this continued education will allow myself to employ my leadership skills. The thought of pursuing my doctorate in healthcare administration has been weighing heavy on my mind, but I have not yet made a final decision.

Carrie M. Engel, CST, BS, graduated in 2010 with an AS in surgical technology from the University of Saint Francis. After graduation, she started her surgical technology career at St. Joseph hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she continues to hold employment. In 2013, she branched out and tried something new. She accepted a position as an adjunct clinical instructor at the University of Saint Francis. In August of 2015, she accepted the clinical coordinator and instructor position for the Department of Surgical Technology at USF. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in health services in 2016 and is currently working on both her MHA and MBA degrees at the University of Saint Francis. Aside from education, she has a strong passion for burn surgery as well as helping burn survivors get back to a normal life. St. Joseph hospital has the region’s only certified burn center, allowing her to participate in many life-changing operations. She also serves as a member of the Indiana Burn Council/Mad Anthony Children’s Hope House Committee.