The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Respiratory students honored

By Matt Tinonga/reporter

Four students in the respiratory care program on NE Campus received scholarships March 21.

Shelly Cragan, Andrea Gonzalez, Carrie Hogan and Sinait Kirkos were recognized for their academic achievements.

The first scholarship was the Fourteenth Annual Texas Pulmonary and Critical Care Consultants Scholarship. The Texas Pulmonary Consultants group is an intensive care and response team at Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Gonzalez was the recipient of the award presented by John Hiser, associate professor and coordinator of the respiratory care program.

The $500 scholarship is awarded to first-year students in the program based on academic achievement, clinical performance and interest in the field.

Gonzalez said she was very flattered to receive this award.

“ It makes me want to do better, and it feels good to be recognized by your peers,” she said. “Working with the patients one-on-one is very rewarding, and you get to see their improvement.”

Gonzalez said although few people know about the respiratory care program, the instructors in the program are personable, professional and eager to help.

“ They were the best teachers I have ever had,” she said.

Gonzalez plans on completing the respiratory care program and getting a bachelor’s degree at Midwestern State University.

The Eighth Annual Compassionate Heart Scholarship is awarded to second-year students based on their compassion shown to patients.

The $250 scholarship was presented by Leslie Stephens, the sponsor and a former TCC graduate, to Kirkos.

The winner is chosen by student and clinical faculty votes and the scholarship committee’s recommendation.

The third scholarship was the 13th Biannual Survivor Scholarship, awarded to first-year students based on scholastic achievement, clinical performance and financial need.

Mary Sue Abernathy, the founder and a NE clinical instructor, presented the $250 scholarship to Cragan.

Cragan said she was glad to be a part of the program and felt honored to be chosen.

“ I was excited; I never had anything like that before,” she said.

Cragan said she became interested in the program because her father suffers from a respiratory conditions and her aunt was taken by a respiratory illness four years ago. She also said Abernathy didn’t just stop with the scholarship.

“ [Abernathy] was happy to help me study for my final,” she said. “She is a very awesome person.”

Cragan said she plans to finish the program and continue her education at Midwestern.

The final scholarship was the 24th Annual Bernardez-Oakes Memorial Scholarship. The “Top Gun Award” is given to a second-year student who shows exemplary academic achievement, clinical performance and potential success in the profession.

The scholarship is regarded as one of the oldest and most prestigious of the respiratory program. It was presented by Genevevo Bernardez and his wife, Juana Rosa Lorenzo-Daniell, Michael Fenoglio and the Alcon Foundation in memory of their daughter Cristine Bernardez-Oakes.

The $400 scholarship was awarded to Hogan, who said she was very honored.

“ The program was very thorough and prepared me for the field of medicine I’m going into,” she said.

Hogan said she plans on getting her M.P.S. certification and working at Children’s Medical Center.

The respiratory care program is a two-year program accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

Students learn to treat, diagnose and evaluate lung illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer and complications following premature birth.

Students also participate at local hospitals, working with patients under college faculty supervision.

The respiratory care program has limited admittance. Approximately 200 people applied this year, and only 30 were selected to join the program.

Requirements, qualifications and more information can be found on the respiratory care program pages at

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