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Seattle University


Excellent Program Marks Milestone

Written by Mike Thee
September 11, 2012

For three and a half decades, SU's diagnostic ultrasound program has been forming some of the top professionals in the field. This month, the program in the College of Science and Engineering will welcome its alumni back to celebrate 35 years of excellence. All are welcome to the open house, which takes place 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19, in Chardin Hall, room 138.

Diagnostic Ultrasound Department Chair Carolyn Coffin (pictured here) estimates that about 350 graduates have come through the program, and many are quite accomplished. Some are serving as directors of imaging departments. Others have gone on to medical school. Many are leaders in their fields. For instance, Dale Cyr ('81 diagnostic ultrasound, '98 MBA) currently serves as executive director of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the world's leading organization for certifying practitioners in the field. Other alumni are innovators, such as Brian Keegan ('85), who started Blue Phantom, a company that makes ultrasound training models.

Coffin says SU's program is distinctive as one of just a small number of schools that grant bachelor's degrees in the field. She also points to "the Jesuit philosophy of education that [SU's diagnostic ultrasound students] carry with them into medical and clinical practice" and the department's highly educated faculty as key components in the program's continuing success.

"This region is fortunate to have one of the top B.S. programs in diagnostic ultrasound here at SU," says Dean Michael Quinn of the College of Science and Engineering. "The students who graduate from our program are in high demand by local employers."

Another hallmark of the program has been its agile responsiveness to emerging needs in the industry. "We've kept an eye on changes in the medical community, as well as the needs of our students, and we've been able to evolve the program accordingly." Through the years, the department has incorporated a post-graduate certificate program. The coursework has also been restructured into two specialty tracks which gives students more experience in advanced topics.

Coffin says she and her colleagues are looking forward to welcoming alumni back for the Sept. 19 open house. For many, she adds, it will be their first opportunity to see the program in its relatively new home in Chardin. (The department moved from Bannan four years ago.)