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Dew Accepted to ASRT Student Leadership Development Program

By: Colby Wilson February 14, 2024

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When Brisyn Dew was young, he underwent numerous medical imaging procedures to monitor a condition affecting his lower spine. The uncertainty of those experiences stuck with him, sparking an interest in easing the anxiety of others facing medical imaging.

A head-and-shoulders photo of Brisyn Dew
Dew

Now a student at Austin Peay State University’s radiologic technology program, Dew is positioning himself to be a leader and advocate in the space after being selected as one of two Tennessee representatives for the American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ (ASRT) Student Leadership Development Program. The advocacy training initiative accepts just two students from each state annually.

“I wanted to learn from people that had been doing this for a long time,” Dew said of his motivation to apply. “There’s going to come a point where younger generation will have to take over from the more seasoned technologists, and I want to be part of that.”

Guidance from APSU radiologic technologist program director Dr. Jennifer Thompson, herself a fierce advocate for the profession, bolstered his decision.

Beginning this summer, Dew will collaborate with peers from across the country in a hybrid curriculum of in-person conferences and remote work. Subject matter will cover leadership competencies, health policy and reform issues affecting medical imaging and radiation therapy professions. The three-year program offers students a chance to get to better understand the ASRT, attend educational sessions, and network with medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals.

The junior operates with a grounded sense of purpose after undergoing numerous medical procedures during adolescence. Having experienced cardiac ablation and extensive spinal imaging, Dew feels a deep empathy with apprehensive, young patients facing unfamiliar machines and sterile exam rooms and knows that reform issues—such as legislation that would loosen requirements for becoming a radiologic technologist, including removing licensure requirements—could cause an even greater sense of anxiety and uncertainty.

“I know firsthand how scary these rooms can be, especially for a child,” Dew said. “I want to be that person who knows what they’ve been through and tries to ease some of the anxiety.”

Dew aspires to assume leadership roles in radiology departments after completing his radiologic technology degree. He characterized the ASRT program as an unrivaled opportunity to develop skills for directing future initiatives. 

“I’m hoping to learn how to become a leader because I come from a small town and I’ve never worked on an international setting where I can learn from different people,” Dew said. “Everybody brings something different to the table.”

The path was not assured, however. Applicants underwent rigorous assessment from the ASRT, including an essay and letters of recommendation. Thompson, who serves on the Tennessee State Radiologic Technologists board, and Allied Health Sciences Department chair Dr. Perry Scanlan lauded Dew’s proactive engagement within Austin Peay’s program and eagerness to expand his perspective.

Dew maintains reasonable expectations in serving as an emissary for Tennessee’s radiologic technology student community. 

“I honestly don’t know what makes me anything better than anybody else,” Dew said when asked why he thought he might have been chosen for the honor. “I just really wanted to learn.”

What clearly distinguishes Dew is empathy for people—the patients behind all those scans and images. He talks of guaranteeing a future for the radiologic technology profession, but his primary aim is reassuring the children who will someday rely on professionals like himself.

If Dew’s trajectory is any indication, radiology patients will benefit from his commitment to this deeper purpose. Perhaps it will ease anxieties like those he once endured.

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