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Boise State Online imaging sciences alum achieves a degree and finds a new professional path

Dave LaGuardia was all smiles at his December 2019 graduation ceremony. He and his wife traveled from Washington to Boise State to participate in the commencement festivities. At the time, LaGuardia shared his overwhelming excitement and relief for achieving a Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences. “This accomplishment is not just mine,” he said in a 2020 interview. “I am sharing this with my entire family.” 

LaGuardia’s imaging sciences degree is a shared accomplishment

Committed and ready for the next step, LaGuardia knew that a degree would open doors. “I chose the imaging sciences program because I was looking for a way to grow and educate my way out of the path I was on,” he explained. “I didn’t see myself doing that job for the rest of my life.” As a full-time dad, husband, employee (also add: homeowner, car repairer, etc.), LaGuardia already had a lot of responsibility so to add “student” to that list meant that his family had to be equally committed and supportive of his education journey. 

“My wife was so supportive during the whole process. Getting my degree was hard, and it took everything I had, but that also made completing it all the sweeter. It’s mine, and no one can take it away. I was in tears at the graduation.”

“I chose the imaging sciences program because I was looking for a way to grow and educate my way out of the path I was on. I didn’t see myself doing that job for the rest of my life.”

The student becomes the teacher

Following LaGuardia’s 2019 graduation, he continued to work as a radiographer at a hospital. Then, a brand new opportunity came his way: teaching in Boise State Online’s imaging sciences program. 

“Throughout my career, I worked in teaching facilities and with students. I’ve always enjoyed the teaching experience,” LaGuardia said. “I learn from my students and also get to share my experiences. I started as a teaching assistant with Boise State’s imaging sciences program in fall 2020, and now I’m teaching a full class — Imaging Sciences 308 (Advanced Digital Imaging).”

Online imaging sciences courses, including LaGuardia’s class, cultivate connections through group assignments and robust discussions. Students learn from professors and peers by building their knowledge base, discussing best practices and discovering new perspectives on industry topics.

As an associate to bachelor’s degree completion program for medical imaging professionals, the online imaging sciences program curriculum aligns with the American Society of Radiologic Technology (ASRT) Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Sciences Core Curriculum. 

Ready for the next challenge and a new job

While the curriculum was challenging and vital to LaGuardia’s development and growth, he also obtained many other skills while working through the program. “I feel confident that no matter what challenges I might face in the professional world, I am equipped to handle it now,” LaGuardia said. “The course content was essential, but equally important were the tactics and strategies I had to learn to use to get it all done — time management, reading, comprehension and communication. The imaging sciences program was a big confidence booster.”

In early 2021, a little over one year after his graduation, LaGuardia accepted a position within a Kaiser Permanente labor union, where he’ll work as a labor partner to connect the union and healthcare professionals. 

“The course content was essential, but equally important were the tactics and strategies I had to learn to use to get it all done — time management, reading, comprehension and communication. The imaging sciences program was a big confidence booster.”

Now, he’s all smiles for a different reason. “With this new job, I feel like I won a lottery ticket. I’ve watched so many people grow and change roles, and now it’s finally happening to me!”

About the online imaging sciences program

Along with the Bachelor of Science in Imaging Sciences, Boise State University offers more than 60 online degree and certificate programs to help you make your educational dreams a reality–whether you need a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or a single online class. For more information, contact a student success coach.

Contact a student success coach

Story by Pamela Craig, Boise State Extended Studies