January 11, 2018
Nine graduate from Cowley College paramedic program
Graduation for nine students in Cowley College's Paramedic Program was held Wednesday, January 10 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room at the school’s main campus in Arkansas City. The program completed the AAS degree requirements for the graduates.
The following are the graduating members of the class: Douglas Apley, Jackye Branscum, Benjamin Call, Jordan Hanika, Nathan Keller, Rebekah Murray, Christa Skinner, Natasha Tetlow, and Jessica Whitehead.
The evening began when Chris Cannon, EMS program director/Health & Human Services Department Chair, issued the welcome.
“It was great to be a part of the graduation, but also kind of bittersweet,” Cannon said. “You get close to these students and they become like family.”
Brandon Russell, Chief Operations Officer of Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, delivered the keynote address to the graduating class. Russell previously spent 25 years in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) field and served as the Assistant Director/Chief Operations Officer of Butler County EMS.
Cannon and Samantha Troyer, paramedic instructor coordinator at Cowley College, along with Cowley College vice president of academic affairs Dr. Harold Arnett, conferred the certificates and presented the honor awards for the class. Douglas Apley was the program honor graduate, Jackye Branscum was the Lyle E. Eckhart award winner, and Benjamin Call was the Dr. Patrick J. McAtee award recipient.
Paul Hunter, a part-time instructor in Cowley College’s paramedic program, was presented with an Appreciation Award.
The paramedic students had a 100 percent first time pass rate on their practical boards. This is also the first class in the 20-year history of the program that had a 100 percent retention rate for the entire program.
“This is spectacular,” Cannon said. “The graduates put in a lot of hard work and the faculty did a phenomenal job preparing the students to go out and be paramedics in the field.”
Cowley paramedic graduates treat more than 100,000 patients each year.
Cowley currently has three paramedic programs– one in Winfield at the Allied Health Education Center, one in Andover through a partnership with Butler Community College, and an online program through partnerships with Neosho County Community College and Flint Hills Technical College.
All graduates of the Cowley Paramedic Program were presented with challenge coins to honor their accomplishment.