Meet Stacy, our newest Science Cheerleader and perhaps our first hunter.
What turned you on to science and when?
Stacy: I’ve had several family members diagnosed with terminal illnesses and therefore spent a lot of time in a health care setting. The passion and sincere care they showed to my family inspired me. My senior year in high school I made the decision to pursue a career in health care.
You’re a vascular technologist. First, could you explain what that is?
Stacy: I use an ultrasound modality to look inside the veins and arteries to evaluate for peripheral disease including Deep Vein Thrombosis. Plaquing in the carotid artery is a leading cause for stroke in the United States, and I utilize ultrasound to assess the carotid arterial system which feeds the brain.
You explained that when you had your first interview with your current employer, they offered to train you in Vascular Ultrasound. Aside from the training, what drew you to that line of work?
Stacy: While I was taking my prerequisites for nursing school I worked in the Cardiovascular Lab as an EKG Technician. I had my heart set on being a nurse until I shadowed several of the Vascular Sonographers in our lab. I found it intriguing how the mechanics of the machine allowed you to look right into the body. It was astonishing to watch the arteries pulsate and witness the valves of a vein open and close. Not only did the science of it all attract me to the field, but it was a personal decision too.
What teams have you cheered for and when?
Stacy: I cheered throughout high school, but as I entered my freshman year in college I wanted to focus on school and providing an education for myself. All the while I really missed cheerleading and being a part of a team. Friends and family started buzzing about the Richmond Raiders, a professional arena football team equipped with some of the league’s best players and an award winning dance team, The Lady Raiders. So here I am, entering my second year as a Lady Raider and still focusing of my career.
Did you find that stereotypes about cheerleaders helped or hindered you?
Stacy: I did find that I was categorized, but I never let it stop me. I knew that I was going to be successful no matter how others viewed me. I’ve found after being on a team of twenty five girls that none of us actually fit the stereotype. It’s quite a pleasure being a member of such professionals
Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream or another?
Stacy: I’m very proud to call myself a cheerleader and just as proud to call myself a geek. Don’t let SOMEONE ELSE’S inabilities to see past the stereotype of a cheerleader hinder YOUR aspirations! As this may sound a bit cliché, but do what makes you happy and let everyone else think as they may.
What are your plans for the future?
Stacy: I’m going to start by passing my boards and becoming a registered vascular sonographer. Soon thereafter I would like to venture into the world of echocardiography and get my masters degree in Medical Administration. Maybe even meet a nice guy along the way…haha!!
Best cheerleading experience?
Stacy: I would say that getting to know all of the girls and making such loyal friends has definitely been heartfelt. We also do a lot of work in the community and with different charities, which has made me feel like I’ve made a difference.
Best science-related experience?
Stacy: My co-workers and I get invited to educational seminars, which are usually held in fine restaurants, where other sonogrpahers and administration go and learn about interesting cases and ways to better your studies. Some of my best experiences have been at these kinds of events where you expand your knowledge and get to meet people who share the same interests as you.
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
Stacy: I’m not exactly the epitome of a “priss pot,” I have a license to hunt and fish. I can shoot a gun and bait my own hook! Needless to say I’m certainly not afraid to get a little dirt under my nails!