McKenna Fields and Haley Harless, McNeese State University radiologic sciences majors from Lake Charles, are the recipients of the Daniel A. Herpin, M.D., Memorial Scholarship. The award is presented annually to senior radiologic sciences students.
“Dr. Daniel Herpin was a radiologist at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and took great pride in training the next generation,” says Susie Beasley, McNeese assistant professor of radiologic sciences and current chair of the scholarship committee.
Fields says her high school anatomy classes sparked her interest to obtain a degree in the medical field.
“I was accepted to six colleges to study nursing,” she says. “However, I didn’t feel like nursing was my true calling. My mom, Cheryl Fields, is a 1984 nursing graduate of McNeese and encouraged me to consider the four-year program in radiologic sciences the university offers. At the time we lived in North Carolina and a radiologic sciences program was not available at our nearby institutes.”
McNeese is one of four universities in Louisiana that offer a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences.
Harless says her interest in radiologic sciences began after personal struggles with her health.
“During my senior year of high school, I underwent multiple imaging modalities,” she explains. “That experience piqued my interest in radiologic sciences and how a variety of images help physicians diagnose a variety of conditions.”
Fields and Harless agree that their faculty members have gone above and beyond to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and the several natural disasters Southwest Louisiana has faced since last year.
“All of the professors in radiologic sciences have made an effort to provide us with resources that would bridge the gap between the classroom and learning online,” says Harless.
“From tutorial videos to experiential learning with other campuses across the state, I believe that I am fully prepared to work independently as a radiographer thanks to my professors,” adds Fields.
Fields is completing her clinical rotations at CHRISTUS Ochsner St. Patrick Hospital and has been offered a radiology technologist assistant position after graduation.
Harless plans to continue her education to specialize in mammography and radiation therapy.
Since the program’s inception in 1978, McNeese students have held a 98.4% first-time passage rate on the national certification exam. For more information on the program, visit www.mcneese.edu/nursing/radiologic-and-medical-laboratory-sciences.