Healthcare Pathways expo presents students with options for employment, education
Radford University students interested in working in healthcare and other related fields recently got easy access to a wide array of career options and expanded educational opportunities.
On Feb. 8, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center hosted Healthcare Pathways, an expo that featured representatives from 48 different employers and academic programs – from Carilion Clinic, LewisGale Hospital and Novant Health to Vistar Eye Center, Rockbridge Area Community Services and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, as well as dozens of other organizations.
This was the first on-campus event to offer Radford University and Radford University Carilion students in-person access to discuss a full range of health-related fields and areas of advanced study. Internship and externship prospects were also available.
“What we wanted to do is open students’ eyes and minds to all the other careers that are in healthcare and also all the talents that they possess that could be amenable to a healthcare professional job,” explained Assistant Professor Laura Link, the medical laboratory science program director, who volunteered to help coordinate the event.
The expo’s diverse approach also fits neatly alongside Radford’s REAL Curriculum, which asks undergraduates to choose majors and minors that cover reasoning, expression, analysis and learning.
“We can show our students all the minors and majors that we have here at Radford that can then turn into jobs, and why not bring all of that together into the same space?” said Joy Caughron, Ph.D. An assistant professor of biology, she also spearheaded the expo.
“On top of looking for the nurses and the doctors and the physical therapists, we’re looking for the business entrepreneurs; we’re looking for the person that likes to do art; we’re looking for the person that likes to organize and administrate,” Caughron said. “You can’t run any of those organizations without that broad variety. So, I think at Radford, we have the tools and the ability to give our students that breadth of the undergraduate experience.”
One of the students on hand for the Healthcare Pathways expo was Taylor Hall, from Bassett, Virginia, who later this year will receive her nursing degree.
“I’m just here to compare options and see where I want to go; if I want to stay in this area or if I want to go somewhere else,” Hall said. “A lot of different hospitals offer different incentives, so I’m trying to compare those. This is a good way to do it; they’re very insightful.”
Hanna Gibson, a recreational therapy major from Roanoke, also attended the expo. Still a sophomore, Gibson said she stopped by primarily to explore potential internships.
“I’ve been to almost every table, I think, and I’ve found several options I’m considering applying for,” she said. “I just feel like it would get my foot in the door.”
Gibson said she was glad she attended.
“It’s a really good opportunity for students to gain more interest in different careers.”
Radford University’s employee relations events coordinator, Carolyn Sutphin, projected that if significant interest is there, Healthcare Pathways could become a recurring gathering.