15 Professors of Radiation Therapy to Know

Radiation therapy, which “uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and to stop them from spreading” (National Institutes of Health) has, over the past century, become one of the most important tools in combating cancer worldwide. And because of the efficacy of this treatment in the face of such a terrible disease, the demand for those who practice this type of medicine is slated to increase significantly over the coming years. To be sure, the number of jobs for radiation therapists is expected to grow by 14 percent by 2024, or a total of 2,300 positions overall, according to statistics presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In general, radiation therapists enjoy a great sense of satisfaction in their career, as they assist in treating patients who have otherwise terminal illnesses. If you are contemplating a career as a radiation therapist, consider that the quality of a radiation therapy program is often determined in large part by the ability and passion of the professors who teach there. In light of this, consider pursuing a degree at a college or university where one of these 15 professors excels.

Tracy White

Tracy White

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro , AR

Tracy White is an associate professor of medical imaging and radiation sciences at Arkansas State University, where she has also served as the radiation therapy program director since its inception in 1999. She is affiliated with a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, and has authored a number of textbook chapters on radiation therapy.

Donald P. McCoy

Community College of Denver - Denver , CO

Donald P. McCoy is an assistant professor of radiation therapy at the Community College of Denver, wherein he “teaches to prepare diagnostic radiologic technologists to become ARRT-registered Radiation Therapists.” He is also working to establish a certificate program in healthful aging to train healthcare professionals to enhance the quality of life as we age, which is slated to begin in the summer of 2016.

Evans Lespinasse

New York City College of Technology - Brooklyn , NY

Evans Lespinasse is a professor of radiologic technology and medical imaging, as well as radiation protection and applied radiobiology at the New York City College of Technology. She has over 25 years of teaching experience, and she received the 2015 Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Educators in Radiologic Technology in the State of New York.

Kevin D. Evans

Ohio State University - Columbus , OH

Kevin D. Evans is the division director of the radiologic sciences and therapy program, wherein he also serves as a professor. Dr. Evans is the director of the Laboratory for Investigatory Imaging, and is currently working on a project to redesign hospital rooms for better patient and hospital worker safety.

Kristi Tonning

Kristi Tonning

Oregon Health & Science University - Portland , OR

Kristi Tonning is an assistant professor of radiation therapy at Oregon Health & Science University, where she also serves as the director of the radiation therapy program. Before coming to this institution, she worked as a radiation therapist for over 12 years in Norway, and she currently specializes in the field of change management.

Kathleen Kienstra

St. Louis University - St. Louis , MO

Kathleen Kienstra is the program director and associate professor within the department of medical imaging and radiation therapeutics at St. Louis University, where she also serves as an academic vice chairman. She has worked at this institution for nearly a decade, and her research interests include ethics and radiation therapy graduate preparedness, among others.

Shaun T. Caldwell

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Houston , TX

Shaun T. Caldwell is an assistant professor of radiation therapy at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is board certified with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, and he has authored a peer-reviewed article and a book chapter.

Frances H. Gilman

Thomas Jefferson University - Philadelphia , PA

Frances H. Gilman is an associate professor of radiography at Thomas Jefferson University, where she also serves as as the program director for radiography, as well as the chair of the department of radiologic sciences. She is board certified in radiography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, and cardiovascular science.

Jana Koth

University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha , NE

Jana Koth is an assistant professor within the division of radiation science technology education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is a member of a variety of professional organizations, and has co-authored a number of publications.

Lisa Bartenhagen

University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha , NE

Lisa Bartenhagen is the program director and assistant professor of radiation therapy within the division of radiation science technology education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She also serves as a site visitor for the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, and is on the Board of Trustees for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Robert Adams

University of North Carolina School of Medicine - Chapel Hill , NC

Robert Adams is the program director and a clinical assistant professor within the department of radiation oncology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. His professional interests include medical dosimetry and radiologic science education, among others.

Stacy L. Anderson

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Oklahoma City , OK

Stacy L. Anderson is an associate professor of radiation therapy and medical dosimetry at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, as well as the program director. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed publications, including the 1995 “Ovarian Cancer: An Analysis of Prognostic Factors and Treatment Regimens.”

Wade Carson

University of Vermont - Burlington , VT

Wade Carson is a clinical assistant professor of radiation therapy at the University of Vermont, where he also serves as the program director. Prior to coming to the University of Vermont, he worked in Eugene, Oregon as an oncology research manager and human protections administrator for radiation oncology, medical oncology, gynecologic oncology and hematology phase I, II, and III clinical trials. He is also affiliated with a number of professional organizations, including the American Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Joan E. O’Brien

Upstate Medical University - Syracuse , NY

Joan E. O’Brien is an associate professor of radiation therapy at Upstate Medical University. She also serves as the senior associate dean of the college of health professions, and is the chair and program director of radiation therapy, as well.

Melanie Dempsey

Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond , VA

Melanie Dempsey is the program director and assistant professor of the radiation therapy program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she also serves as the assistant chair. She has over 20 years of experience working as a radiation therapist, and her teaching interests include dosimetry and radiobiology, among others.

Methodology

Because there is a significant amount of highly experienced professors of radiation therapy and radiation technology, we were forced to select these 15 using specific criteria. Indeed, we chose these educators based on the requirements listed below (some professors meet all of these criteria, while others meet at least one or more):

1. Active teaching - Most importantly, all of these professors are full-time professors (associate professors, assistant professors, or professors) currently teaching radiation therapy and related courses at their institutions.

2. Publications - In addition to teaching work, many of these professors have published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other works.

3. Professional affiliation - A number of these professors are affiliated with professional organizations and societies, where some have held or still hold leadership positions.

4. Significant past work in radiation therapy - Finally, a large group of these professors previously served for a long period as radiation therapists.

Barry Franklin
Barry Franklin Editor

Barry is the Editor-in-Chief of MedicalTechnologySchools.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also met his wife.