(WACO, Texas) – A Texas State Technical College student has received a scholarship from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.
Joseph Rowan of Waco has been awarded the AAMI Foundation Michael J. Miller Scholarship. He is a TSTC candidate for graduation this month and will earn associate degrees in Biomedical Equipment Technology and Medical Imaging Systems Technology Specialization.
“TSTC has been a blessing,” Rowan said. “It’s changed my life.”
Victor Fowler, an instructor in TSTC’s Medical Imaging Systems Technology Specialization program, taught Rowan in some of his classes.
“Students like Joseph really help to raise the bar in class and give many other students a leader to which they can look up and try to be like,” Fowler said. “He pays attention and listens very well and therefore quickly understands the concepts being taught, which becomes very evident by the way he excels in hands-on labs.”
Rowan spent six years as a KC-135 aircraft mechanic in the U.S. Air Force. After he left the military, he attended Tarrant County College and Texas A&M University, and discovered an interest in biological science and health care. But after taking nursing classes at Texas A&M, Rowan had a change of mind about his career path.
“At TAMU, the pressure and pace of nursing school led me into the uneasy feeling of an identity crisis,” Rowan wrote in his scholarship essay. “At my foundation, I was a military-trained aircraft mechanic with an aptitude and desire to work in health care. As I carefully audited my skills and needs that fall in 2018, I discovered a place where my two selves converged: the field of health care technology.”
He shadowed in the clinical engineering department at CHI St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital in Bryan to see what the work was like. He enrolled in spring 2019 at TSTC.
“I have discovered the fulfillment that I was missing,” Rowan wrote in his scholarship essay. “Another way I am finding contentment is by tutoring other students in the program who struggle to understand the technical theory, hands-on application or medical connection. Each day I attend my classes eager to learn from my instructors as I move one step closer to graduating and starting my new career.”
Rowan will start later this month as a medical imaging field service engineer for Hitachi Healthcare Americas in Salt Lake City. He will work from home and specialize in maintaining the company’s MRI machines and CT scanners in Utah, with occasional work in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
Rowan has his sights set on bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the future, along with moving up in a leadership role in his company.
“I believe that health care technology has many needs,” Rowan wrote in his scholarship essay. “I hope to bring my wisdom, knowledge and perseverance into the field to lead and inspire other professionals in the challenge of adapting and meeting these needs.”
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.