May 06, 2015
The University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions held commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2015. Here are the stories of just three of the many exceptional students who graduated this year from KU Medical Center.
Tyson Wisinger - School of Medicine
Tyson Wisinger is part of the first class graduating from the KU School of Medicine's Salina campus, which was established in 2011 to help train more medical students with a desire to practice in rural and underserved areas of Kansas.
Wisinger grew up in Phillipsburg, Kansas (population 2,581), and attended Fort Hays University before coming to KU for medical school. He said getting his medical education and training at the School of Medicine-Salina campus was perfect for him.
"My high school graduating class was 13 people, so I am quite familiar with the advantages and learning opportunities available in a small classroom setting," Wysinger said. "And geographically the campus is a nice split between my parents who now live in Wichita and my wife's parents who live in Phillipsburg."
Wisinger will stay in Salina for his residency at the Smoky Hills Family Medicine Residency program. He is confident the program at Smoky Hills will provide the experience he will need to become a rural physician.
"My dream is to return with my wife and family to our hometown of Phillipsburg to practice full spectrum family medicine," Wisinger said.
You can view photos from the KU School of Medicine's hooding ceremony here.
Ross Scallan - School of Nursing
Nursing may be a second career for Ross Scallan, but the U.S. Army sergeant says helping people has always been a part of his life.
"I started volunteering in a hospital at age 13 and loved it," the Greensboro, North Carolina, native said. "There is no greater thing in life than positively impacting another human being and knowing you are making a difference."
Scallan was certified as an athletic trainer in 2008 after receiving a bachelor's degree in athletic training and sports medicine from Catawba College in North Carolina. In 2009, he enlisted as a U.S. Army medic and spent four years stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, most recently as operations sergeant in the Europe Regional Medical Command, Healthcare Operations. That's where Scallan was when an Army friend told him about the KU School of Nursing.
"He said what a great experience he had as a student, and talked about the military-friendly environment."
Scallan will graduate this month with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). He completed the program through the U.S. Army Medical Department Enlisted Commissioning Program and will receive a commission in the Army Nurse Corps after passing the National Council Licensure Examination boards in June.
Scallan also praised KU School of Nursing for its support after his younger brother died in August and his mother-in-law's death in March.
"It was a major hurdle to overcome while in a rigorous academic program," Scallan said "However, faculty and staff couldn't have been more compassionate and supportive during these difficult times. This was a true testament of the profession I am about to enter."
You can view photos from the KU School of Nursing's recognition ceremony here.
Stacy Hackler - School of Health Professions
Many people know Stacy Hackler as a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) candidate in the Department of Nurse Anesthesia Education. But many might be surprised to learn this wife and
mother of two is a retired varsity athlete from the University of Kansas.
Hackler ran track for the Jayhawks from 2000-2004 and broke the school indoor record in the 400 meters. She was also a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that broke the school record several times. A graduate of Halstead High School, Hackler was a four-time state champion in the 200 meters and still holds the Class 3A state meet record (24.9, 1997).
"Athletics and life sciences have always played a significant role in my life," said Hackler, who has a bachelor of science in human biology from KU and a bachelor of science in nursing from Mid-America Nazarene. "Being an athlete has given me a very defined work ethic and desire to be part of a successful team."
Hackler's love of life sciences and the art of healing have been a lifelong passion, which ultimately led her to a career providing care for others. After graduating from nursing school, she worked in the post-anesthesia care unit at The University of Kansas Hospital, which is where she became interested in anesthesia care. The nurse anesthesia program at KU has been a natural fit for her skills and desire for knowledge.
"KU Medical Center is on the cutting edge of medicine, allowing students to gain invaluable experience throughout their training," she said.
You can view photos from the KU School of Health Profession's recognition ceremony here.