Faculty Stories: Shelli Thacker

Shelli Thacker

Program: Radiography

Shelli Thacker never considered working in the health care field. In fact, at the beginning of her college career, she tried several different majors, but none of them were personally satisfying.

"One semester, I took a medical terminology course and felt a strong attraction toward a career in health care. I began researching different options and came across the Radiography program at College of DuPage," she said. "With my background in computers and technology, and my strong desire to help people on a more personal level, I instantly knew this was the career for me."

Thacker was so excited that she couldn’t wait to begin the application process. She was accepted the next year and found a program filled with exceptional faculty -- Gina Carrier, Jeff Papp and Pam Jankovsky, among others -- all of whom inspired her. After working as a staff radiographer at Edward Hospital, Thacker found herself working alongside these faculty members when she became a Radiography lab assistant and begin teaching part-time at College of DuPage.

"I am very privileged to not only have learned about the field of Radiography from them but also to work side-by-side with them as colleagues. Their dedication to the Radiography students is demonstrated in their students' continued success."

Her goal was to become a full-time faculty member, which happened in 2013, and she enjoys working with the next generation of radiographers.

"Before I graduated from the Radiography program, I found that I loved to tutor my fellow students when they struggled in their classes. Soon after graduating, I had the opportunity to coach the Radiography Scholar Bowl, and I discovered my love for teaching. I knew that I wanted to play a bigger part in the education process of our future radiographers.

"Beyond the content of the course, I want my students to develop a passion for the field of Radiography. I love the field and try to pass this on to my students. I don’t just want them to be good radiologic technologists, I want them to be exceptional radiologic technologists, which they can demonstrate by providing top-notch patient care and producing great radiographs."

More about the Diagnostic Medical Imaging - Radiography program