The ARC/STSA Educator’s Scholarship Program is designed to assist surgical technology and surgical assisting educators pursuing academic degrees with the intent of furthering their careers in the field of surgical technology or surgical assisting education. A scholarship of up to $1,000 is awarded annually to the selected recipient.

This year’s Educator’s Scholarship recipient is Carrie Engel, a passionate, highly-driven individual who aims to earn both an MHA and an MBA degree. She teaches, works as a surgical technologist, and is furthering her education. Undoubtedly, she seizes the day.

Education has always been a huge part of Engel’s life: Her interest in the field of surgical technology originated in college. While sitting in an anatomy class, Engel’s ears pricked up at the mention of surgical technology, and from that moment on she was hooked. She met with the department chair for more information, ready to sign up that day. “I knew I always wanted something medical, but I hadn’t found exactly what was right for me until surgical technology,” she said. “I absolutely love the hands-on aspect of surgical technology, and never having a day repeat itself allows me to stay on my toes.”

Engel isn’t one to sit still. After graduating in 2010 with an AS in Surgical Technology from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana, she worked as a surgical technologist until 2013, when she accepted a position as an adjunct clinical instructor. After demonstrating professionalism and enthusiasm for her field, in August 2015 she accepted the clinical coordinator and instructor position for the Department of Surgical Technology at the university. She is currently enrolled in the MHA program at USF.

Passion is a driving force for Engel. She has a “strong passion” for burn surgery in particular—operations she describes as “life-changing”—as well as for helping burn survivors cope with post-surgery life. She works as a surgical technologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, which has the region’s only certified burn center. If that isn’t enough, she also serves as a board member of the Burn Council of Northern Indiana.

The ARC/STSA Educator’s Scholarship will assist Engel financially, she says, by covering some of the costs that accompany going back to school for her MHA degree, as well as the MBA degree she will strive for immediately afterward. “I have a strong desire to continue my education, and this scholarship will allow me to focus not only on my studies, but also on the education of my current students,” she said.

Engel has goals for the future. By obtaining her MHA and MBA degrees, she hopes to serve on multiple committees across USF and increase her community involvement. She plans to be at USF for many years to come, and views this scholarship as helpful in easing “the financial burden that any college student has.” After hearing what she’s done already, it’s clear this college student has more than earned a helping hand.