Joy Cook '95, '03, M'09, Radiologic and Imaging Sciences
Involved is the foundation Joy Cook ’95 ’03 M’09, associate professor and chair of radiologic and imaging sciences, bases her professional and educational worlds upon, and what she also wants her students to be. Accumulating thousands of hours of patient care and practice experience, while steeping herself in the needs of her profession on a local, state, national and international level, Cook teaches each cohort far more than textbook content. “If I want my students to be engaged in their profession, to help make decisions about the direction of the profession, to help improve professional practice, then I must also be engaged in those same activities,” she says. “Students need to see that positive change can happen when you are passionately involved.”
Cook—who came to campus as a freshman in 1992 and earned four USI degrees—knows firsthand how an education evolves into knowledge for life when it’s enlivened through actual experience. “When students can begin to see how the content is applied to their practice, through examples, it helps them reach for their best.”
Guiding students to the pinnacle of their future professional practices, Cook’s instructional approach ensures practical applications are always connected to health care practices. “It is important to me for students to understand the 'why behind the what' as it impacts patient care. We teach our students to be competent in their chosen field of radiology; however, I want our students to understand how their knowledge and deep understanding of our field, related to disease processes and diagnosis, is necessary for improved patient care.”
I want our students to understand how their knowledge and deep understanding of our field related to disease processes and diagnosis is necessary for improved patient care.
Cook is serious about giving her students the best she has to offer and immerses herself in each radiology cohort’s education for 28 months, developing relationships with students through intense communication and one-on-one mentorship. “As I connect with students, it allows me to celebrate their successes and know when they are in need,” she says. “I enjoy discussing career options and helping students figure out where they fit into the fields of radiology practice.”
To ensure more students can pursue radiology careers, Cook and her husband support two annual scholarships and are building an endowment. “I am working towards obtaining my fifth degree (Doctor of Education), because of the value and quality of education I have received. I value USI and want students to have the same opportunities to obtain their education from USI.”