What is your background?: I grew up in the Coggon, Iowa area. My wife Jennifer and I have been married for 19 years. We have four children, Madisyn (19), Nolan (10), and twins Hudson and Hadley who just turned four. Our dog Seamus cats Princess and General along with a guinea pig named Steeler round out our zoo.
What brought you to Kirkwood and why?: I completed an AA degree from Kirkwood way back when and have worked in the mental health field for much of my working life. I have always been interested in healthcare and decided to come back to school and take the science-based classes that I would need to get into an Allied Health field.
What is your program of study and what interests you about it?: I looked into several programs before finding the perfect fit with the Respiratory Therapy Program at Kirkwood.
I attended a program seminar and was sold after hearing about the profession and the impact we could have on others. I had always been interested in the diseases of the cardiopulmonary system as my father died of lung cancer and my son was born with a lung malformation. I always wished I had been more knowledgeable at the time.
Another reason I chose this program because it is rated as one of the best in the nation. Plus, I love the defined focus of being a cardiopulmonary specialist.
Tamara Alt and Mel Cervany, who teach the classes, are the heartbeats of the program and provide us with the knowledge and expertise to become what they expect from all their students: to be great, qualified respiratory therapists. They never let their students forget that this profession is bigger than the individual. They also give all their students the tools to treat patients in a professional and compassionate manner.
The program is not just a means to an end as I feel Tamara and Mel treat their students like family and will do all they can to assure your success if you are willing to put in the work.
Are you involved in anything off of campus?: Outside of class I spend most of my time at my children’s school as well as their sporting events.
What do you do for fun?: I enjoy reading, fitness and have recently picked up whitewater stand up paddle boarding. I love it because everyone should get an adrenaline rush every once in a while. I also love getting together with family and friends around a fire to catch up on life.
Where do you see yourself in five years?: In five years I see myself working at a local hospital. But I will have the skills to work anywhere in the country thanks to my Kirkwood family. They are the instructors and fellow students in the program whom I love. I want them to know I wouldn’t have made it this far without them.