Doyon Foundation scholarship recipient Ethan Nelson always knew he wanted an education – he just wasn’t sure what he wanted to study. He took a career exploration course, attended various college classes and even obtained an associate’s degree. But it wasn’t until Nelson accompanied his sister, who was expecting twins, to an ultrasound appointment that he truly found his calling.
“The most challenging part of school was just figuring out what occupation was best suited for me,” said Nelson, who was born in Idaho, raised in Barrow and moved to Fairbanks in 1994. “It wasn’t until my sister brought me to her ultrasound exam that I found the right career path.”
Soon after, Nelson enrolled in the two-year radiologic technology program offered through the University of Alaska Anchorage. The program prepares students to perform basic X-ray and imaging procedures and makes them eligible to apply for national certification.
“One of the major aspects that influenced my decision to do radiology technology is the diversity and freshness of every workday,” Nelson said. “Not knowing what learning experiences are waiting around the corner is one of the most valuable assets a career can ever offer.”
After he graduates in May 2008, Nelson hopes to work as a radiology technologist at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. In the future, he may pursue additional training to enter other specialty areas, such as ultrasound.
Although still a student himself, Nelson is already mentoring younger students and promoting the program throughout the community.
“In this field, it is crucial that students are mentored by those who are more experienced. There is only so much that you can learn from a textbook,” said Nelson, who is the son of Jeannie and Randy Nelson. “I also think it is important that the public knows that there is such a wonderful career opportunity right here in our community.”