Meet the Recipients

The Foundation for Surgical Technology is honored to announce its 2019 scholarship recipients. Scroll down to see this year's scholars or click Previous Academic Scholars to find recipients from 2018.

  • $1,500

    Sponsored by the Foundation for Surgical Technology

    Ashlynne Davis

    Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, Missouri

    After graduation, I moved back near my hometown to pursue a career with Mercy Hospital in Northwest Arkansas as a CST. I loved every aspect of surgery during my clinical rotations but my favorite specialty was neurosurgery. Mercy NWA is currently expanding to offer neurosurgery, so I'm very excited to be a part of the neuro team in a few short months!

    My dream had always been to become a pharmacist, but after working in pharmacy for 5 years during undergraduate courses, I had a change of heart. It wasn't right for me; there was something else out there. Then I discovered the surgical tech program at my school and fell in love with it. I love being able to be hands-on during patient care and to see the difference you're making in a person's life with your own actions, right there in front of you. I look forward to working in such an exciting, fast-paced environment and learning new things every day.

  • $1,500 Trajecys Scholarship

    Sponsored by Trajecsys and the Foundation

    Dani L Hersrud

    Western Dakota Technical Institute, Rapid City, South Dakota

    I have always been fascinated with surgery and the way the human body works. My medical background began while working as an Army medic at Brooke Army Medical Center in the Department of Surgery. I worked in the clinics and saw patients during their pre-op and post-op visits. Becoming a surgical technologist will allow me to be involved in the crucial period between the two.

    I graduated from Western Dakota Technical Institute on May 11, 2019 and passed my national certification exam on May 16. I am so excited to begin my journey as a Certified Surgical Technologist! I will be starting my position at Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota this September and my dream is to one day return to Western Dakota Tech as a surgical technology instructor.

  • $1,500 Cengage Learning Scholarship

    Sponsored by Cengage Learning

    Angel LeBlanc

    Ozarks Technical Community College, Springfield, Missouri

    I am extremely honored and grateful to have been awarded the Cengage Learning Scholarship. I graduated from my program two weeks ago, and am very excited to be starting my new career as a Certified Surgical Technologist in less than one week.

    I applied to the surgical technology program at my school because I wanted to work in labor and delivery. I have known that I wanted to help deliver babies since I was 4 years old. I never imagined how many other specialties I would grow to love while working through my clinical rotations, though. I am amazed daily by the things I get to see and do. I truly believe this is a career I will wake up every day excited about.

    I was offered and accepted my dream job working in labor and delivery at a hospital I love! When I began this program, I could not have imagined wanting to work in any other department. Now that I have graduated, I know I have a passion for surgeries in several different specialties. My goal is to cross-train in the main OR, so I can continue to gain knowledge and skills in all areas. I hope to continue my education by working toward becoming a surgical PA. I am looking forward to having a career I love, and one that makes my sons proud. I want to thank you again for awarding me this generous scholarship.

  • $1,500

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Diana Pek

    Eastwick College, Ramsey, New Jersey

    The medical world is something that I find intriguing and I feel it holds an endless amount of learning opportunities. I have been working for the past seven years as a phlebotomist, and during the last year I have been working hard at Eastwick College to become the best surgical technologist I can be. Right around the corner, July 19th, is graduation and, finally, I will be starting my life career as a CST.

    I understand my responsibilities and embrace all that is needed to be a surgical technologist. I want to be there on the front lines of surgery, ensuring that each patient has the utmost care. It truly is an amazing thing when your dreams and passion come together in life.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Mackenzie A Baggatta

    Ulster BOCES, Lake Katrine, New York

    I'm 21 years old, and I decided to make surgical technology my forever career. I attended Ulster BOCES for health occupations and CNA in my 11th and 12th grade years of high school, which opened up so many doors for me. These two years of learning made me realize that I was meant to work in this field, and my passion for helping others had just begun. After graduating from Rondout Valley High School in 2016, I decided I wanted to further my experience in the medical field. I applied into the surgical technology program, and was officially accepted in June of 2018. Joining this program was a very big commitment, but I was ready to dedicate all of my time to what would eventually be my future.

    Getting to experience what I have experienced in just 10 months is indescribable. Going to multiple clinical locations, meeting new people every day, and working alongside others who were willing to teach me everything I needed to know as a surgical technologist is one of the biggest honors as student. Knowing that I get to graduate and do what I love every single day is incredible, and I wouldn't be where I am without this program.

    After graduation I plan to start applying for jobs, start taking on interviews, and preparing myself for my new career. I'm very excited to see where this amazing opportunity takes me, and I can't wait to become an asset to a great surgical team one day!

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Loran E Britt

    Midlands Technical College, Columbia, South Carolina

    I have heard brides say that when they tried on that perfect wedding dress, they just "knew." Their heart swelled, their eyes teared up, and they knew it was meant to be. The surgical technology program has been my perfect wedding dress. From my very first day of class, I just knew that I was in the right place. I love everything about surgical technology - the challenge, the endless learning, and most importantly, being a patient advocate. I feel it is a great privilege to care for someone when they are most vulnerable and I take that responsibility very seriously.

    I have been so fortunate to have had wonderful instructors that are really invested in my success. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to pay it forward by being a preceptor. The clinical site is such a valuable learning experience, and I cannot wait to become a part of it. I have so much excitement and enthusiasm for this profession and I owe much of that to Mrs. Patnaude and Mrs. Hook. Thank you. And a big thank you to my husband and kids as well. I could not have done it without you!

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Amanda R Burroughs

    Baker College of Jackson, Jackson, Michigan

    I am a recent graduate and I am just starting my new career as a certified surgical technologist. I decided to go back to school after getting married and having a daughter, so that I would be able to help take care of my family, do something I can be proud of, as well as find a career that would make me feel fulfilled and makes a difference in the world. I was lucky enough to get hired right out of school by my second clinical site. Being able to start there as a student and continue on as an employee was an amazing opportunity and helped my transition into this profession.

    I am excited to finally start my career and wake up to do what I love every day. It is great to feel like you are a part of something important and truly make a difference in patients' lives and their experience during such a stressful time. Every day is exciting and different, I enjoy learning something new every day. Every nurse, doctor, or fellow surgical technologist has some knowledge, tip, or advice that will make me a better tech and I truly value their time and willingness to teach me.

  • $1,000 ASA Scholarship

    Sponsored by the Association of Surgical Assistants

    Jenna R Cash

    Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting, Nashville, Tennessee

    I first would like to express that I am extremely thankful and honored to have been chosen for this scholarship. There are several reasons I chose to become a surgical first assistant. I have always had an interest in the medical field. It is a dependable career in a field that will only keep growing. I am dedicated to providing excellent patient care, ensuring positive outcomes, and I embrace and appreciate the teamwork that it takes to be in the operating room.

    Little did I know, it would become more than a job, but a passion, and my greatest adventure. I had been a surgical technologist for six years before deciding it was time to move forward with my education and play a deeper role in the field of surgery. It has been the most challenging, rewarding and exciting journey that I continue to love and enjoy. After a year of online classes, 140 cases logged, and a week-long lab, I am proud to say, I am a surgical first assistant.

    While the support from co-workers has been overwhelming, the support from my family has been amazing. I am the mom of two toddlers and a wife to a wonderful husband. I have spent many hours away from home gaining my clinical hours in addition to countless nights with my nose in a textbook. The gift of a scholarship would be a reward to not only myself but my family as well. I hope by continuing my education, working hard and receiving this scholarship, I can inspire my children to set goals and dream big.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Lorene M Czajka

    Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, Illinois

    Before discovering my passion for surgical technology, I was in the banking business for 15 years. Banking was just a job to me, never a career, and I longed to be part of the medical profession. It was a scary decision to embark on a new career path at my age, but I began my journey during the summer of 2016. Anatomy turned out to be a favorite subject, so I knew I made the right decision. I will become a CST upon completing my certification in July.

    There are many reasons why I chose to become a surgical technologist. First and foremost, it was for the patient. I love being part of a team that improves the quality of life for each patient that is wheeled through the operating room doors. Second, I love every aspect of the operating room: the smells, the sterile field, the instruments, and the procedure itself. I am proud to be one of the few that can participate in surgery. Each surgery is unique, and the human body constantly amazes me. I believe the magic of the OR will never fade. Thank you to my fellow classmates, instructors, preceptors and surgeons who have taken the time to teach and mold me into the surgical technologist I have become today.

    Upon graduation, I plan to work in a community hospital. I have not chosen a specialty yet because I love them all! I would also like to be part of mission trip to help children in need in developing countries. Seeing a smile on a child's face, along with the appreciation of the family, is a humbling, worthwhile experience that I look forward to being a part of.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Michael L Hansen

    Eastwick College, Ramsey, New Jersey

    I chose this career path because I believe it takes a special kind of person to succeed in the medical field. Prior to entering the field of surgical technology, I spent seven years working for a medical examiner's office. Every day I witnessed the sacrifices made by first responders nurses, and emergency medical personnel. No matter how dire the situation, the patient always came first. Watching the dedication of these individuals inspired me to further advance my career in the medical field. The special qualities ingrained in people who choose the medical field as a career become of the utmost importance when lives are on the line. Furthermore, I believe that these traits must be even more concentrated in those who take an active role in the specialties of surgery.

    Honor, integrity, commitment to our patients are not just ideals. They form the backbone of what modern medicine has become. When preventative measures fail, when tragedy or happenstance tries to cut life short, when the chain of safety and security we all hope for in life collapses, it is the surgical team that renews those promises as much as humanly possible. To take part in that effort, to push back against entropy and human frailty, is a noble commitment. I am looking forward to many years in this profession, working to honor that commitment to my patients. And in the hopes that one day, if I am ever in need, another surgical technologist will do the same for me.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Michigan State Assembly and the Foundation

    Brittany D Locke

    Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Michigan

    I grew up on a farm in the rural town of Charlotte, Michigan. I graduated from Charlotte High School in spring 2007 and attended Michigan State University the following fall. I graduated with a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University majoring in human biology in 2012. Over the next few years, I was working as a certified ophthalmic assistant to gain clinical experience and contemplate which direction I wanted to take my career path.

    After much research and deliberation, I found surgical technology to be not only an exciting and interesting career, but a rewarding one as well. I found interest in learning the equipment that is used for surgery and how things work. As well as standing with the surgeon to help assist in procedures for the betterment of another person's health. I have always been one to go out of my way to help others, as well as being organized, diligent and observant. Therefore, I was drawn to pursue this as a career as I felt my personality and natural abilities were a good fit to the job with the ability to expand to those a greater level to make a great surgical technologist.

    I am on track to graduate in December 2019. I am currently in clinical rotations and my experience so far has been excellent and insightful. I have learned so much since the start of this program and I am continuing to build and broaden my knowledge to make myself the best surgical technologist I can possibly be. I am also exploring surgical specialties to determine which specialty I might like to have focus on, but to also remain flexible to work in any specialty. After graduation, I cannot wait to get settled into a true career of surgical technology!

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Sonara M Mai

    Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, Massachusetts

    I am starting my last semester studying surgical technology. I've learned so much about critical surgical sterilization techniques through observing and assisting in many procedures during my second semester. Being part of a team aiding surgeons is an incredible feeling of accomplishment. After I pass the national board exam, I want to work in general surgery to continue learning, assisting and gaining confidence through experience in various types of surgeries. After a few years, I hope to gain expertise in specific surgeries and dedicate my career to a team and hospital that I love. Thank you so much for this financial award; I am so grateful to continue working as a surgical technologist and be able to see all the technological and human advancements in this field.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Karessa Meza

    American Career College, Ontario, California

    I am honored and blessed in receiving this award. It is a huge accomplishment and I'm beyond proud. I have received many achievements in life but being a ST student is by far the best one. Knowing that one day I will be a part of a team who saves lives is both fulfilling and astonishing. I want to come home after a shift knowing that I made someone's day, whether it be extending one's life or giving a family member extra time with their mother, father, sister, brother or grandparent.

    Being a surgical technologist to me isn't just protecting the sterile field, it's creating the foundation for a successful surgery. It's the acknowledgment from one team member to another, knowing we did our very best. It's the smile on a patient's face, free of pain and suffering. I will continue to do my best in my studies and be a better version of myself every day. Not only will I prove to myself that I will be one of the top CSTs, I will continue to grow and thrive in the profession.

    Thank you to the Foundation for Surgical Technology for this scholarship. I am humbled and deeply grateful.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Allison Jo Morrison

    Eastwick College, Ramsey, New Jersey

    I chose surgical technology for my career because I am an EMT. I have brought many patients to the hospital and wonder what kind of surgeries they may have had. When I graduate from my program at Eastwick College in July 2019, I plan on working in a hospital. I really enjoyed learning about all the different surgeries and why they are performed and what the reasons are. My favorite subject was at the end when we started to learn about orthopedics and general surgery. One of the main things that I am interested in is orthopedics. I like helping with all the different kinds of fractures and arthroscopies. I look forward to getting a job in a field that I really enjoy.

  • $1,000 Don Braziel Scholarship

    Sponsored by the Texas State Assembly

    Marlie N Peavey

    Lamar State College, Port Arthur, Texas

    I would like to thank the Foundation for Surgical Technology. It's an honor to be selected for a scholarship. I have truly felt welcomed into the profession of surgical technology and look forward to becoming a Certified Surgical Technologist.

    I feel that being awarded a scholarship is a recognition of all the efforts and sacrifices I have made. In August 2017, the flooding of Southeast Texas by Hurricane Harvey put over 5 feet of water in my family's home. We did not fully recover or finish rebuilding until April 2019. I am grateful for this scholarship as it lessens the financial burden of my education so I can earn my degree without adding to an already stressful situation.

    I chose surgical technology because working in the medical field has always been an interest and I also enjoy helping a variety of people. Since applying for this scholarship, I have accepted a surgical aid job at a nearby trauma center. I also anticipate being hired as a Certified Surgical Technologist after graduation in August. I will never forget my level of anxiety as I waiting for my acceptance letter into the surgical technology program. During this past year in the program, and with the help of my wonderful instructors, I have been able to gain more skills and knowledge than I ever thought possible. I could not have become the scrub I am today without them, or my friends and family.

    I am proud to be a surgical technologist and I am beyond honored to be awarded a scholarship.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by Foundation

    Savanah J Phelps

    St Louis Community College, St Louis, Missouri

    I'm originally from a very small town in Southeast Missouri and have always been that student who was interested in the sciences. Growing up, I was embarrassed by my passion for science and anatomy. However, I've come to learn that doing what you truly love is nothing to be embarrassed about at all. They say "if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life," and I plan to do just that.

    Surgical technology keeps finding new ways to interest me and keep my passion alive. I plan to graduate in May 2020 and accept a position at one of the many wonderful hospitals in the great city of St. Louis, Missouri. While I will be grateful for any role offered to me, my heart lies with neurology, orthopedics, and cardiology. After gaining experience for a few years, I hope to continue onto becoming a surgical first assistant. I am excited to continue learning about surgery and look forward to exploring the many opportunities that the world has for me.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Jade N Ralston

    Wes Watkins Technology Center, Wetumka, Oklahoma

    At age 12, my aunt was diagnosed with kidney failure. The diagnosis was grim. She needed a transplant and would have to be put on the long waiting list. For several months, she and my grandmother made daily trips to Oklahoma City for dialysis. Fortunately, my grandfather's kidney was a perfect match. Because she was given a second chance at life, through surgery and a skilled, caring operating team, I was given the opportunity to know and love her. I want to be a part of that second chance. I want to make a difference in the lives of individuals, not just once, but on a day to day basis.

    In May 2019, I graduated as a Certified Surgical Technologist and, as of June 17, I will be working full time at Mercy Hospital in Ada, Oklahoma. Being a surgical technologist is my passion. I am a hardworking, detail oriented, driven individual. I love to excel and I do not give up. As Winston Churchill once said, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." With each surgery, I realize the importance of the role that I have chosen. The career I chose because I thought that I would like it, has become one that I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with. I am determined to become the best surgical technologist that the field has ever known.

    Thank you to the Foundation for Surgical Technology for choosing me as a recipient of their 2019 scholarship. To be chosen as one of the scholarship recipients is a great, great honor. I am both humbled and grateful. I appreciate each of the foundation members for taking time out of your busy schedules to look over and consider my application for this scholarship. John F. Kennedy said it best, "We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives." On that note, I would like to take this time to thank each of you for your part in my journey toward becoming a full-time surgical technologist.

    The journey has not been an easy one, but I can be proud of the accomplishments that I have achieved: high school valedictorian, Oklahoma Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, National Technical Honor Society, Outstanding Program Completer at Wes Watkins, Outstanding Theory Student of the Year, and Surgical Technologist Character Award. Although a lot of time and effort went into obtaining these achievements, being chosen for this scholarship makes all the hard work worth it.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Victoria P Scherer

    Vernon College, Wichita Falls, Texas

    I would like to start by thanking the Foundation for Surgical Technology for awarding me this scholarship. This opportunity is invaluable, and I cannot wait to further my career in this field. I was inspired to pursue surgical technology by my dad, who recently had surgery to remove a tumor from his colon. When talking to his surgeon after, he suggested that I look into a career in the OR. That experience and talking with his surgeon lead me to the surgical technology program in Wichita Falls. As a child, I always wanted to serve others, and was so curious about the healthcare field.

    Stereotypical roles never seemed to suit me, until I learned about surgical technology. Being a member of a team and working with others to save someone else is one of the most rewarding things I've done with my life. For the past year I've learned so much about medicine, but also myself. Most students know, dedicating yourself to school and sacrificing time from family, work and friends is not easy. I've been solely focused on soaking in as much as I can from my professor, preceptors and peers. The friends I've made through this experience will last a lifetime, and I cannot wait to see where our roads lead.

    After graduation, I intend to continue my education and become a physician's assistant. I'm looking forward to possibly traveling as well as participating in mission trips. Most importantly, I'm looking forward to giving back and doing as much as I can to help others in the years to come.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Abby G Turner

    Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois

    I am about to start my second-year in the surgical technology program, with an anticipated graduation date of August 2020. I attended Mahomet-Seymour High School and the University of Illinois, where I earned a BS in animal science in 2016. I envisioned myself working in an operating room, in the thick of it, doing what I could to take someone's pain away or make their lives better. At first, I thought the way to accomplish this was to become a DVM, but I soon realized that that was no longer my calling.

    When I decided to make a career change, I started to research jobs in the medical field because I have always respected them for what they did. I always thought that they were strong, intelligent individuals who devoted their lives to taking care of others, and putting other people's needs before their own.

    In the past, when I've been asked about my 5-year or 10-year plans, it was always difficult for me to come up with an answer. I was always at a loss for words because at the time, I was in a field that had very limited opportunities for individuals to be successful if they didn't pursue the path of veterinary medicine. Now when I am asked about my future plans, I am always faced with too many answers because I have chosen to work in a field that provides endless opportunities for surgical technologists. Once I graduate, my long-term goals include working as a traveling surgical tech, becoming a Certified Surgical First Assistant, and fostering growth in the profession by encouraging others to pursue surgical technology as an exciting and rewarding career.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Madison C Wisniewski

    Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

    Since I was a child, I have always loved surgery. I have had the goal in my head to be involved in surgeries since I was only 8. When I started college, I had no idea how to reach my goal. Thankfully, surgical technology came as a sigh of relief for me. During my time in the surgical technology program, my love for surgery has only grown. I have really enjoyed all of the real-world exposure I have gotten throughout the different surgical specialties, and especially being able to work with the da Vinci Surgical System. When I graduate in August, I plan to use my skills and experiences as a surgical technologist to further my career in medicine. I look forward to exploring all of the doors surgical technology has opened for me in the near future.

  • $1,000 Bob Caruthers Scholarship

    Sponsored by the Texas State Assembly

    Cassandra C Wise

    Vernon College, Wichita Falls, Texas

    First, I would like to thank the Texas State Assembly for awarding me the Bob Caruthers scholarship. I will graduate in August 2019, and I am so honored and grateful to receive this help for that last semester of school before graduation. I have come to realize a love for surgical technology because I want to do something that will make a difference and help people. My grandmother wanted me to go into nursing and follow her footsteps, but nursing did not call me like the operating room did. Though scary at first, clinicals quickly became my favorite part of the week, and I love seeing all the long lectures come together and put into action. It has also been very satisfying to watch my anticipation skills improve over time and to realize I know what I am doing, even when I have not felt like it.

    After graduation I am most excited to be able to start work that I enjoy, and for the first time, want to go to work every day. My plans for now are to finish the program and enjoy a little bit of life without homework, deadlines and tests. During that time I will be researching and making a decision on which path I plan to take to further my career, either by becoming a surgical first assistant or a physician's assistant. Both of those options will require me to go back to school in the future, so any and all assistance is always very appreciated. Thank you, again.

  • $1,000

    Sponsored by the Georgia State Assembly and the Foundation

    Brittany R Yeager

    Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, Georgia

    I started the surgical technology program in January 2019 and will graduate this December. I chose surgical technology as a career because I have always wanted to work in the medical field. There are various options to choose from in this field and after reading the description of a surgical technologist I knew it would be the best fit for me.

    The most enjoyable part about the program so far has been clinical rotations. I am doing my rotation at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. I have been able to take what I have learned from the classroom and apply it in real life situations. It is a job unlike any other, you are directly helping people become better. The feeling of being a part of someone's wellbeing is incredible.

    After I graduate, I plan to work in a big, fast-paced hospital. I have thought about being a travel surgical technologist and possibly going back to school to further my education and become a first assistant. The scholarship AST has awarded me will be put toward finishing the surgical technology program and to help me further my education in the future. I am grateful for the encouragement and support AST has given me through this award. Thank you so much for this opportunity!

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Jacquelyn M Abbasciano

    Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, Massachusetts

    I was inspired to become a surgical technologist after my own experiences as a patient on the operating table. Several years ago, I was hit head-on by another motorist. The accident left me with 12 broken bones requiring six surgeries over the course of four years. Fortunately, I left the hospital after each surgery without a surgical site infection. I felt so grateful and appreciative to the surgeon and the operating room staff, that I wanted to give the same gift to other individuals who are undergoing surgery. As a result, I went back to school to become a Certified Surgical Technologist. Surgery is done for a number of reasons: trauma, necessity, self esteem or corrective purposes. Regardless of the reason, everyone deserves to have the same infection-free experience.

    I have had the wonderful opportunity of doing my clinical at Beth Israel Lahey Hospital in Plymouth, which provides excellent care with compassion, dignity and respect. My experience at the community hospital has taught me the importance of maintaining an unwavering surgical conscience and exhibiting exemplary teamwork skills. As I continue my surgical technologist journey, I look forward to applying these and the many other crucial skills that I have acquired through this amazing experience.

    As a professor of mine has imparted to me, "character is what I do when nobody else is watching." These words have had a profound impact on me and will be a driving force in how I conduct myself both personally and professionally.

    My plans for the future are to continue earning the highest honors academically and pass my National Board. As a Certified Surgical Technologist, I want to continue to refine my skills, working together as a cohesive unit in a supportive setting. I am prepared to take my knowledge and skills to contribute to the greater good in the operating room. Remembering always "Aeger Primo," the patient first.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Norman L Clark

    Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City, Iowa

    I am honored that Foundation for Surgical Technology has awarded me with a scholarship. I am a veteran of the US Army where my job was a medic. I wanted to further my medical education so a Certified Surgical Technologist was of interest to me when I was looking into careers after my military service. I attended Western Iowa Tech Community Colleges program in Sioux City Iowa and, was educated by phenomenal educational staff and stellar surgical teams in the operating rooms there. I enjoyed learning urology and orthopedic cases but, would jump at any case so I could learn. I was offered a job in my hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska, at Faith Regional Health Services and I am looking forward to my future career. Thank you.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Lauren T Fallon

    Triton College, River Grove, Illinois

    I have always had an interest in science and medicine, but I was unaware of how many career options were available in the medical arena. In 2015, I started to research a new route for my career within the field of medicine and I came across the surgical technology program and knew that this would be the right option for me. Working as a surgical technologist requires teamwork, the capacity to multitask and the ability to help others, which are all qualities that I wanted to find in a career. Triton College has great facilities to simulate real-life scenarios. I realized that because of the variety of skills that I would be performing on a daily basis that this was a path I was interested in pursuing.

    I am currently a student starting my third semester. I am looking forward to clinicals next semester for the hands-on training and will be graduating in May 2020. In lab simulations we are encouraged to treat every lab like a real-life case. We hold ourselves accountable to keep the surgical environment sterile, move with purpose and scrub thoroughly... No SSIs on my watch!

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Mezianna S Gradel

    Tarrant County College, Ft Worth, Texas

    From the moment I stepped foot in an OR, I knew I was in the right place. Choosing to be a surgical technologist has been an insightful journey into a career that I truly love. I anticipate becoming certified and graduating in late summer 2019.

    Through the ups and downs of the didactic and clinical course work, I've been lucky enough to have the most amazing team on my side. My son and husband have been my number one supporters since day one. They were the ones who initially give me all the encouragement I needed to follow my dreams. Not only has this surgical tech program taught me about all things regarding sterile technique, but it has taught me so much about myself. Most importantly it has led me to rediscover my determination and passion in all facets of my life. There is not any other career where I could possibly enjoy the early mornings, long hours and hurting feet.

    Throughout this journey I have met so many fantastic people, from all walks of life who have all been more than willing to teach and guide me through the tough terrain that is the operating room. It takes a certain amount of pride to be prepared for anything and to stay organized while you do it. surgical technologists are truly the unsung heroes of the operating room and I am beyond thrilled to be joining their ranks. Thank you so much for this opportunity and award.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Daniel Sean Gray

    Vernon College, Wichita Falls, Texas

    My plans for now are to finish my school year and gain a couple years of experience. This experience will be essential to help me be able to perform my tasks to where they become second nature. I will then apply to a program that will allow me to become a first assistant. Becoming a first assist will allow me to be a bigger part of the operation. I will be able to perform more tasks and have a bigger responsibility.

    Working alongside the surgeons gives you a sense of importance, knowing that you also are a big part of the team. I don't carry the same risks and liabilities as surgeons and doctors do, however, I do get to participate in interesting and exciting surgeries. I get the upside, not the downside. Not just anyone should become a surgical technologist. It does involve a lot of standing, and some people are more squeamish about blood than they realize. But I love the work, and I love that it keeps me on my feet.

    I plan to travel and acquire more experience as a Certified Surgical First Assistant and work on perfecting my specialty as much as possibly can. I feel like this career choice has really shown me just how rewarding it is to be able to help someone get their life back on track through surgical procedures. Each day is a new and different challenge and is not your normal repetitious job. I am glad that I chose to be a CST not only for my job, but for a career!

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Aarmeen Merchant

    Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, Georgia

    I have wanted to work in the healthcare setting from as long as I could remember. More specifically, I wanted to work in a hospital. There is a strange sense of peace and safety in hospitals that cannot be found anywhere else. As a child, I thought the only career path for working in a hospital was to be a doctor or a nurse. Due to financial reasons, I did not pursue being a doctor. Then learned about more careers available in the hospital in which I could pursue. It was important for me to put my foot in the door as quickly as possible but in a way where I could continue progressing upwards.

    As I was looking for a path, my local college was promoting a new central sterile processing program for its short program time. This sounded like a great opportunity to start working in a hospital and indirectly affect patient safety. While doing clinical rotation for this program, I met many nurses and surgical technologists. I even had the opportunity to observe a nephrectomy. I saw and realized a CST has a significant role on behalf of the patient.

    I plan to graduate in July 2019. I have greatly enjoyed my clinical experience, being in a variety of cases. I am looking forward to start working in a hospital setting and becoming more involved with GASA.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Christina Y Mitchell

    Gateway Community College, Phoenix, Arizona

    I'd like to thank you for the contribution in helping me pursue my education in surgical technology. Choosing surgical technology as a career path serves many purposes. It gave me the opportunity to learn very broad aspects of the medical field, learning about various illnesses and measures taken for intervention, having hands-on direct experience in the contribution to the wellness of patients. It has also provided exposure to other avenues and opportunities for future endeavors.

    After graduation and completion, I plan to continue on a receive my bachelor's degree that I may have various opportunities available to me in the future.

    Throughout the training and clinicals I have enjoyed a great many things from working with some of the most distinguished nurses, doctors, to anesthesia, etc. They have taught me not be afraid to ask questions, and the importance of strong communication skills. As a team there's been great laughs, and even more satisfying when a case that's difficult is completed successfully.

    With this scholarship award I will continue on in educational pursuits and continue to work on improving my skills as a surgical technologist.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Alexis R Mongeon

    College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada

    Becoming a surgical technologist is something bigger than most people think. Many individuals do not even know this career exists, let alone what our job consists of, other than passing the knife. There is much more to surgical technology than meets the eye, and that is the reason I have chosen this as my career.

    As a surgical technologist you get to be involved in a patient's most critical time of life. A patient has no idea what is going on, they fear the unknown, but to be able to help their emotional stability, to help give each patient confidence in the team and have a great recovery is more than I can ask for. This is accomplished by having an amazing surgical conscience, not by just being a good tech but by being the best tech you can be! My program director and clinical coordinator has taught that standard very well and I thank them highly for every ounce of knowledge they have given to all their students. As a student you must be a sponge - absorb anything and everything you can. You can take all that gained knowledge and build off of it, becoming better and better as time goes, learning more and more, never to be an "I know" person, but one who says thank you!

    I will be graduating August 9, 2019! My favorite part so far is taking what we have learned in the classroom and making a difference at my clinical site. To see what we learned in lab become reality in the field is mind boggling, yet amazing! The puzzle pieces come together so quickly and the excitement for the future builds. After graduation I hope to get a job as a surgical technologist, maybe even two - one part time in the OR and one per diem in L&D, which I have found a love for! Not only would I like to get a job, but I want to spread the word about how important surgical technologists really are, spread knowledge of the field and help gain more members for the state assembly. For the students out there, do not give up! If this is something you love and have passion for, every ounce of pain, every night of feeling beat down and like you cannot do this is the exact reason you should! The struggle will turn into success and the love you have for becoming a great CST will be a blessing in many patients lives!

    Thank you again so much for this opportunity! This is a true blessing!

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Ruth A Ordorica

    North-West College, West Covina, California

    I was on welfare early in life. When I needed medical treatment, I was fortunate enough to receive medical services at County USC. The doctors, nurses and other medical staff treated me with great compassion and care, and I thought to myself, "One day I want to be a part of a team that restores health so that each person can move forward in their lives."

    At the age of 52 and a rewarding career as a dental assistant, I decided to return to school to study surgical technology. I discovered the surgical technology program to be a welcome challenge, and I wanted to meet that challenge with all my effort, enthusiasm and commitment. I strive to do the very best I can in whatever task is at hand. My goal after I graduate from the surgical technology program and become a Certified Surgical Technologist. I will secure employment at a hospital and be able to give back to an underserved community that helped me in my time of need.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Jaclin J Patterson

    Gwinnett Technical College, Lawrenceville, Georgia

    I am honored to receive this scholarship. I am a surgical technology senior and originally from Murray, KY. I received my BS degree in exercise science pre-health professional in 2017 from Murray State University. I have always known that I wanted to be involved in the medical field but struggled in choosing my path. I knew I wanted a career that would be both challenging and rewarding, and a career in surgical technology is just that.

    I am currently doing my clinical rotation at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where I am learning endless amounts of information that will mold me into a great surgical technologist. In the near future I plan on applying to PA school with a long-term goal of working in a private plastic surgery setting.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Gretchen S Semlak

    Anoka Technical College, Anoka, Minnesota

    After 14 years in retail I decided to make a career. I chose surgical technology because I have always had a love for science, specifically anatomy. I thought that this would be a career that would constantly challenge me and keep me on my toes. I graduated May 17, 2019 and have accepted a position. I am looking forward to becoming part of a strong OR team. I really enjoy the challenge of learning new techniques, new technology and always putting our patient first.

    The program at Anoka Technical College was much like a family - we studied together, cheered each other on and worked as a team to perfect our skills. I would like to say a special thank you to my family there and my instructors for all that they pushed me to do. Only a few weeks at my new hospital and I feel the same family mentality, my team is always encouraging me and pushing me to try new things. I am also excited to become part of an even bigger family that is AST.

    Thank you so much for this scholarship.

  • $750

    Sponsored by the Foundation

    Mickinsie C Thomas

    College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, Idaho

    I was born and raised in the best place ever - Twin Falls, Idaho. When deciding where I wanted to direct my career choice, I decided to job shadow. I job shadowed many different job titles in the medical field. On day four, my mind was made up and surgical technology it was! Surgery was compelling to me as soon as I began my clinicals. The OR environment was exciting and fast-paced. During my rotations, I appreciated the healthy, competitive environment of people with whom I shared similar goals and interests, encouraging each other to improve. Additionally, my need for attention to detail and precision was thoroughly satisfied through cleft lip and hand repairs, flap designs, soft tissue transplants, and aesthetic surgeries, among other procedures.

    My goal has always been simple: to exceed all expectations in what I choose to do. My parents taught me that hard work is its own reward. Now I am determined to focus my energy towards being a great surgical technologist, like all the CSTs I have met in the field thus far.

    To my program, I will bring my considerable energy and drive to excel, and will share it with my colleagues. My comfort in any role and preference to work as part of a team will also support my patients and colleagues. A strong leader is just as important as a reliable team member, and when selected and appropriate, I thrive in leadership positions. My desire to learn, my calm and patient demeanor, and my teaching experience will be key traits I will contribute to others around me.