Giving Back to Our Communities

Happy Thanksgiving from Smith Chason College! As a friendly reminder, all Smith Chason College and WCUI School of Medical Imaging campuses are closed Friday, November 24, and Friday, November 25, 2022, to allow our faculty, staff, and students to spend the holiday with their loved ones. We hope all of you take the time this holiday to reflect and show gratitude for the amazing family, friends, colleagues, loved ones, and support systems surrounding you.

Giving Back to Our Communities

This holiday season, each of our campuses is supporting different philanthropic causes to help better our communities and support others in need throughout the end of the year.

Our Los Angeles campus has been accepting donations all November for the Los Angeles Food Bank to feed their local community and will be contributing donations on Wednesday, November 23rd. Our Ontario campus is holding its own Angel Tree. Angel Tree initiatives are held each year to provide Christmas gifts for hundreds of thousands of children around the country each year. Once a child or senior adult has been registered and accepted as an Angel their Christmas wish list is shared with donors in your community who purchase gifts of new clothing and toys. The gifts are distributed to the family to place under their family Christmas tree. 

Our newest campus, San Marcos, will be working with the N. County Food Bank – San Diego County (Jacob & Cushman Food Banks Chapter) and donating goods raised on campus to the foundation to feed their local community. For the December season, San Marcos will be working with Wreaths Across America- San Marcos, a foundation that each December on National Wreaths Across America Day coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 3,400 additional cemetery locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad to Remember and Honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes. The San Marcos Campus will be sponsoring a veterans’ wreath at the San Marcos City Cemetery. 

Our Phoenix campus is keeping its efforts close to home by gifting two holiday dinners to Smith Chason College students and their families in need for Thanksgiving. The holiday season can be a tough time for many families around the country. In order to help alleviate the stress of not only providing day-to-day resources for their family but a holiday dinner, gifts, and celebration, the Phoenix campus will be adopting Smith Chason College students and their families again for the upcoming December holiday season to help provide them the holiday experience they deserve.

We invite you to find a way to give back this season. Below are links to ways to give back to your local communities

Thank You Smith Chason College

At Smith Chason and WCUI, we are grateful for the amazing students that grace our hallways and online classrooms and selflessly chose to pursue an education where they can make a lasting impact in the healthcare field. We are thankful for our fantastic team of faculty, staff, externship partners, and affiliates that support our students’ dreams, and our goals of changing our communities through quality and supportive education. Thank you to each and every one of you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Smith Chason College’s WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Smith Chason School of Nursing campuses were proud to hold graduation ceremonies for the latest medical imaging and nursing graduates this past fall. After a couple of years of virtual graduation ceremonies, we were proud to hold in-person commencements for our 2022 ultrasound, MRI, and nursing graduates.

          

Our Los Angeles, California campus kicked us off with a graduation ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Saturday, October 22, 2022. 2022 Graduates and their families and friends joined our Los Angeles faculty and staff for a lovely evening celebration. Our Guest Speakers of the night included Behrouz Rahimpour, FMD, ARMRIT, Los Angeles Magnetic Resonance Imaging Program Director, Gehan Youssef, MBBCh, RDCS, RCCS, Los Angeles Cardiovascular Program Director, Sohrab Najibi, BS, RDCS, RVT, NCPI, Vascular and Physics Lecture Instructor. Followed by inspiring words from Imaging Program Valedictorian, Jered Pischke, an Academic Associates Magnetic Resonance Imaging Graduate, and Vocational Nursing Program Valedictorian, Erika Venegas Garcia, a Vocational Nursing Graduate.

       

 

    

The Phoenix, Arizona campus followed a couple of short weeks after Los Angeles, with a graduation ceremony at the Creighton University Health Sciences Campus on November 6th, just a short walk from our Phoenix campus. Graduates from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 were invited to walk the stage for the first in-person ceremony in Phoenix since 2019! The energy was electric as family, friends, and supportive loved ones were able to honor their graduate’s achievements. Attendees were graced with wise words from Diagnostic Medical Sonography Co-Valedictorians Lauren Collum and Amanda Kirby, Cardiovascular Sonography Valedictorian, Jessica Bentley, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Valedictorian, Kiri Draper, and Practical Nursing Program Valedictorian, Laura Geith. Keynote Speaker Fred Lockhart, Executive Director of the Arizona Private School Association, joined on stage to inspire Arizona’s newest healthcare professionals as they begin their journey into their preferred field.

  

 

And last, but not least, the Ontario, California campus held a graduation ceremony for their 2022 graduates at Chaffey High School on November 12th. The excitement was palpable as we honored our last group of 2022 graduates. Valedictorian Christine Alvarez, a Vocational Nursing Graduate stirred the crowd as she shared her experience as a nursing student at Smith Chason and a special well-deserved shoutout to nursing instructor Veeral Shah! The Ontario and Los Angeles campus was lucky to have Keynote Speaker, Anthony Sharp, Jr., MA, a Motivational Speaker. Mr. Sharp shared a celebratory speech to drive our graduates forward as they take their next step as future sonographers, MRI technologists, and nurses around the country.

Thank You

 

Thank you to our faculty and staff who have mentored, taught, and inspired our graduates. Thank you to our students’ families, friends, and support systems for being the foundation our students needed as they overcame challenges inside and outside the classroom to reach their goals of becoming a graduate. And most importantly, thank you to our graduates for being persistent, strong, intelligent, and nurturing as you have all chosen to succeed in a field that betters our community. 

   

2022 Virtual Yearbook

We invited our 2022 graduates to submit pictures from their time at WCUI + Smith Chason for a virtual yearbook they can watch and reminisce about their time in college. Below are the results of these submissions in our 2022 Virtual Yearbooks. Congratulations Class of 2022!

Los Angeles 2022 Virtual Yearbook

Phoenix 2022 Virtual Yearbook

Ontario 2022 Virtual Yearbook

 

About the HonorHealth Foundation

The HonorHealth Foundation is a community-focused nonprofit organization that helps you realize your philanthropic purpose so that your impact is felt today, tomorrow, and into the future. They work to advance the health and well-being of those in the community and they provide a unique path of giving that ensures your contribution helps improve as many facets of health for as many people as possible.

HonorHealth Foundation welcomes individuals who see the transformative potential that their contributions can bring to the health community and the world. They can help you make an exponential impact on HonorHealth causes that align with your personal values. These causes can range from delivering exceptional clinical care, addressing the social determinants of health, and/or funding groundbreaking research.

HonorHealth is also a respected clinical partner of WCUI and a local nonprofit community hospital. They allow students to participate at their medical center locations in real-life work settings to complete their education and fulfill their externship requirements. Along the way, our students are able to learn from HonorHealth sonography and MRI preceptors and mentors to prepare them to enter the medical imaging field after graduation.

 

HonorHealth Foundation’s 2022 ProAm Golf Tournament

Last month, WCUI School of Medical Imaging sponsored the 2022 HonorHealth Foundation’s ProAm Golf Tournament. The tournament was a combination of fun and great causes! The Pro-Am was played at the Grayhawk Golf Club on a beautiful Friday morning in April where teams of amateur golf players are partnered up with one professional golfer to compete in a round of golf. Participation in the event supports the vital work made possible through the HonorHealth Desert Mission Endowment and HonorHealth Greatest Needs Fund. Both causes support the needs of our Phoenix community including, direct benefit to HonorHealth patients and families—not toward administrative fees – to help ensure that vital medical care is available for those who need it through the Greatest Needs Fund and support of key programs through the Desert Mission such as the Desert Mission Food Bank, Lincoln Learning Center, and Adult Day Healthcare.

WCUI’s own Jason Grabham, Director of Strategic Partnership, and Doug Boyd, our Phoenix MRI Program Director represented WCUI at the event and won first place at the tournament! Congratulations team!

 

To learn more about HonorHealth, the HonorHealth Foundation, the Greatest Needs Fund and Desert Mission Endowment visit the links below:

WCUI School of Medical Imaging’s 2021 graduation is almost here! Each of our three campuses will be hosting its own graduation to celebrate our 2021 ultrasound and MRI grads – scroll down to find your campus graduation details. We are so excited to welcome our graduates for a special ceremony to celebrate their success as they move on in their careers. 

We will continue to update this page with the latest information about the graduations at each campus. Please continue to check this page frequently for updates or reach out to your Student Services team.

WCUI will be holding a joint ceremony with our sister school, Smith Chason School of Nursing to celebrate our vocational nursing and practical nursing graduates! For information about the ceremony and Smith Chason’s nursing programs please visit: smithchason.com/blog/smith-chason-2021-graduation/

WCUI LOS ANGELES 2021 GRADUATION

Our WCUI Los Angeles campus is inviting all Fall 2020 – Summer 2021 eligible graduates to celebrate their success at an intimate ceremony in Downtown Los Angeles. 

  • WHEN: Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 5:00 p.m
  • WHERE: Los Angeles Convention Center 
  • CEREMONY ADDRESS: 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90015 – Petree Hall 
  • RSVP BEFORE SEPT 15TH TO GUARANTEE YOUR ADMITTANCE TO GRADUATION: Email Elizabeth Tapia at yoli@wcui.edu
  • WCUI VIRTUAL YEARBOOK: WCUI will be sharing a Virtual Yearbook video with all graduates so you can relive your memories for years to come! Emailing your photos to: marketing@wcui.edu by October 8th. All photos will be used in a personal Los Angeles Graduation slideshow and shared on our WCUI social media outlets and website to celebrate your journey with you and your family!
  • TAG US + CELEBRATE YOUR GRADUATION DAY SOCIAL MEDIA: You can also share your photos with us on social media by tagging @westcoastui on Instagram and Facebook use the hashtag #WCUIgrad

LA GRADUATION FAQ +

Will Covid-19 Vaccination Be Required?

We will not be verifying the COVID vaccination status of graduates and guests prior to entering the Convention Center. Therefore, all graduates and guests will be required to wear a mask indoors and maintain social distance. Temperature checks will be administered upon entry. This is a fluid situation and may change prior to October 16, 2021. If it changes, we will notify everyone as graduation approaches .

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, if you fall ill or begin showing any COVID-19 related symptoms before graduation, please do not attend the graduation ceremony.

How Many Guests Can I Bring?

For the safety of all present, we will be practicing social distancing and limiting capacity. Each graduate will receive only two (2) guest tickets which will be given to the graduate during the check-in process at the Convention Center. No additional guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony.

Where Do I Park?

Park in the West Hall Parking Garage. Parking is typically $15-$20 per vehicle. Other city and street parking is available. Proceed to the West Hall lobby, continue upstairs to the check-in tables.

How Do I Order My Cap and Gown?

A WCUI Cap and Gown are required for participation in the ceremony. Please order your cap and gown ASAP to make sure it arrives in time for the ceremony. Please order here: https://www.achievers-grad.com/wcuila

What Should I Wear?

Your WCUI Cap and Gown is white. Business attire is suggested. Women may wear slacks or a skirt and a blouse, or a dress underneath the gown. Gentlemen may wear slacks and a dress shirt.

What Time Should I Arrive?

The ceremony begins promptly at 5:00 pm. However, graduates need to arrive by 3:30 pm. The graduation ceremony will last approximately two hours.

What about Photographs?

A professional portrait photographer will be available. You are also welcomed to bring your own camera!

Will I receive my Diploma/Degree?

No, the graduation is for ceremonial purposes only. Your diploma/degree is issued by the Registrar when all requirements have been met including a zero-account balance.

 

WCUI ONTARIO 2021 GRADUATION

Our WCUI Ontario campus is inviting all Winter 2021 – Fall 2021 eligible graduates to celebrate their success at an intimate ceremony at Chaffey High School.

  • WHEN: Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 1:00 p.m
  • WHERE: The Gardener Auditorium at Chaffey High School
  • CEREMONY ADDRESS: 1245 North Euclid Ave., Ontario, CA 91762
  • WCUI VIRTUAL YEARBOOK: WCUI will be sharing a Virtual Yearbook video with all graduates so you can relive your memories for years to come! Emailing your photos to: marketing@wcui.edu by October 15th. All photos will be used in a personal Ontario Graduation slideshow and shared on our WCUI social media outlets and website to celebrate your journey with you and your family!
  • TAG US + CELEBRATE YOUR GRADUATION DAY SOCIAL MEDIA: You can also share your photos with us on social media by tagging @westcoastui on Instagram and Facebook use the hashtag #WCUIgrad
  • Connect with ot.studentservices@wcui.edu for more information and how to RSVP!

ONTARIO GRADUATION FAQ +

Will Covid-19 Vaccination Be Required?

We will not be verifying the COVID vaccination status of graduates and guests prior to entering the Auditorium. Therefore, all graduates and guests will be required to wear a mask indoors. This is a fluid situation and may change prior to October 30, 2021. If it changes, we will notify everyone as graduation approaches. 

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, if you fall ill or begin showing any COVID-19 related symptoms before graduation, please do not attend the graduation ceremony.

How Many Guests Can I Bring?

For the safety of all present, we will be practicing social distancing and limiting capacity. Graduates will be able to bring a maximum of 2 guests. NO EXCEPTIONS.No additional guests will be permitted to attend the ceremony.

How Do I Order My Cap and Gown?

A WCUI Cap and Gown are required for participation in the ceremony. Please order your cap and gown ASAP to make sure it arrives in time for the ceremony. Please order here: achievers-grad.com/wcuiont 

What Should I Wear?

Your WCUI Cap and Gown is white. Business attire is suggested. Women may wear slacks or a skirt and a blouse, or a dress underneath the gown. Gentlemen may wear slacks and a dress shirt.

What Time Should I Arrive?

To be announced

What about Photographs?

A professional portrait photographer will be available. You are also welcomed to bring your own camera!

Will I receive my Diploma/Degree?

No, the graduation is for ceremonial purposes only. Your diploma/degree is issued by the Registrar when all requirements have been met including a zero-account balance.

 

WCUI PHOENIX 2021 GRADUATION

Our WCUI Phoenix campus is inviting all Winter 2021 – Fall 2021 eligible graduates to celebrate their success at an intimate ceremony on Saturday, November 6th! A Save the Date and invite will be available soon! Check back later for details

This month, WCUI is celebrating 5 years of a wonderful partnership with Peoria MET Academy! Five years ago, Peoria MET brought their first class of medical students to WCUI’s original WCUI Phoenix campus to take a tour of our medical imaging labs. Since then, WCUI has hosted field trips for Peoria MET’s medical students to visit our campus. During the visits, students tour our labs and get a first-hand experience of what it takes to become a sonographer, MRI technologist, and nurse.

Our Partnership 

Throughout the years, WCUI has donated ultrasound machines to Peoria MET. The ultrasound machines allow their class of over 50 medical students a chance to learn the basics of ultrasound while completing their high school education. By receiving this hands-on experience, Peoria students are able to discover all aspects of the medical field including the exciting field of medical imaging!

During our five-year partnership, WCUI has provided student volunteers to help train Peoria’s students and sometimes their other faculty members on the donated ultrasound machines, sharing the amazing feat of seeing with sound.

In February 2021, WCUI donated four ultrasound machines to Peoria MET

New Donations & A Tour of the New Campus

In February 2021, we had the opportunity to donate four more ultrasound machines to continue to support Peoria MET programs. After a year of canceled field trips, Peoria MET’s Medical Strand Instructor, Kathy Kasney, and two MET students took a tour of the brand new Phoenix campus.

During their visit, Kathy and her students presented the WCUI Phoenix campus with a signed poster and student-made, machine etched tokens of appreciation featuring their logo and ours. A wonderful heartfelt gesture that symbolizes our collaboration with them over the years.

Kathy and her students were able to learn more about our new Practical Nursing program and meet with our Director of Practical Nursing Catherine Jagos. Catherine invited Kathy and her students to practice a few nursing skills in our brand new nursing simulation lab!

We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Peoria MET. Together we help their students gain knowledge and skills to pursue their goals of becoming our future healthcare professionals.

About Peoria MET

Peoria MET is a local Arizona Profesional Academy whose programs allow students to realize their strengths and passions by exploring potential science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) professions. The MET Professional Academy is designed to motivate students by treating them as working professionals. The programs prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in high-demand STEM fields. You can learn more about Peoria MET by visiting their website (www.peoriaunified.org/MET) and following them on Facebook (@PeoriaMET)and Instagram (@peoriaunifiedmet).

WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing is thrilled to announce the promotion of Laurie Bentson, MHA, RDMS, RVT, to the newly created position of Clinical Lab Director for the Phoenix, Arizona campus. Many WCUI Phoenix sonography students will recognize Laurie as an instructor for a variety of ultrasound classes, such as Physics, Vascular, Abdomen, OB/GYN, and Medical Terminology.

“Since joining our team this past fall, Laurie has demonstrated a continuous and relentless interest in improving the student experience, by enriching their opportunities to hone their critical thinking skills in the labs and providing an outstanding education to the students,” WCUI Phoenix campus, Director of Education Maria Walters said.  “We feel very lucky to have her accept this position and look forward to collaborating in shaping the new future of WCUI education.”

Laurie Bentson’s, MHA, RDMS, RVT Experience

Laurie Bentson

Laurie grew her ultrasound experience while serving patients for 20 years at Banner University Medical Center-Phoenix campus. During her tenure, she managed the ultrasound team performing high-risk OB; supporting organ transplant services, vascular and cardiac surgeons, NICU, a stroke center, and a robust interventional radiology team to include ultrasound-guided procedures. Laurie furthered her education by obtaining her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and was promoted to Senior Manager, serving two additional major medical centers within Banner Health. In this role, she was responsible for staff development, quality outcomes, and operations for several different modalities to include Interventional Radiology, CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Breast Imaging as well as Ultrasound.  

Laurie Bentson has extensive experience in the educational field as a vascular sonography lab instructor for Gateway Community College.  There she also taught weekend seminars to prepare the students to take their RVT registry.

Congratulations Laurie!

As WCUI Phoenix’s newest Clinical Lab Director Laurie is eager to improve WCUI student’s learning experiences by continuing to restructure lab environments to mirror clinical spaces and maximize learning opportunities. Congratulations Laurie Bentson! We are excited to see how you will continue to improve WCUI and make your impact on each of our students.

For details about Laurie Bentsons’s experience and her new promotions as WCUI Phoenix Clinical Lab Director see the official WCUI press release here: Press Release Laurie Bentson Promoted to Phoenix Clinical Lab Director

In November 2019, the WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing welcomed Jason Grabham, RDCS (PE, FE, AE), FASE as the Director of Externship at our Phoenix campus. Jason comes to WCUI with nearly 30 years of experience in the cardiovascular sonography field and a glowing list of accomplishments including, serving as Technical Director of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Pediatric & Congenital Heart Program, Clinical Reviewer for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, Manager of Integrated Non-Invasive Cardiology at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and well-known public speaker at formal lectures and national conference presentations.

“With his years of experience working with and knowledge of the medical imaging providers in Arizona, Jason will be able to connect WCUI students to facilities that best fit each student’s background and area of interest, while providing the highest level of service to the hospitals who affiliate with WCUI.” – Chief Operating Officer, Andrew High

Meet Jason Grabham, RDCS (PE, FE, AE), FASE

Jason Grabham has nearly 30 years of expertise in the field of cardiac sonography including experience as a clinical reviewer for the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, national publications, formal lectures, and national conference presentations. He has spent the last year working on joining the Joint Pediatric Heart Care Program with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Kentucky Children’s Hospital, managing outreach operations, and serving as Technical Director of their Pediatric & Congenital Heart Program.   

WCUI is a proud partner of Jason’s former employer, Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Phoenix. According to Pediatric Cardiologist Ericka McLaughlin, DO, “Jason is a highly motivated, mission-driven individual who exhibits exceptional leadership skills such as integrity, commitment, passion, and decisiveness. He is a confident, enthusiastic leader with excellent communication and analytical skills. Jason has the ability to break down complex problems and barriers while effectively engaging others in order to facilitate innovative ideas and solutions.”

The Future of the WCUI Externship Department

As the WCUI Phoenix Externship Director, Jason will ensure students are assigned to six months of clinical work in the medical imaging field, after completing their required classroom and laboratory hours. Externship is an essential requirement of the medical imaging programs at WCUI, to provide students real-life experience in hospitals or clinics and test their knowledge and skills before graduation. Completion of externship hours along with classroom and lab hours in our bachelor’s and associates degree programs will provide our students eligibility for their registry exams after graduation.

For details about Jason Grabham’s experience and his new role as WCUI Phoenix Director of Externship see the official WCUI press release here: Press Release Jason Grabham Externship Director

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