Lisa Vondra was first introduced to medical imaging by her former college roommate, who returned to school in her late 20s to become a nuclear medicine technologist.
“I was intrigued by all types of medical imaging but was especially interested in sonography because I had received ultrasounds with my pregnancies,” she said. “After attending an information session at Triton College, I was hooked and soon returned to school myself.”
For 20 years, Vondra worked as the lead sonographer at Swedish Covenant Hospital. Her duties included being the clinical instructor to the many sonography students who came from College of DuPage, Triton and Harper College. Because she loved working with the students, she became an adjunct sonography instructor at Triton, which she did for 10 years until taking a full-time position at COD.
“I love teaching,” she said. “I love to pass along real-life scenarios to the students. I love to see how the students become better, more confident scanners each week. I love to see them in the field, practicing kindness and compassion along with their clinical skills.
“I hope that the students get from me a sense of strength, self-confidence and compassion for others. I was a single parent for many years, so it gives me great joy to see a single mother get through this difficult program and become successful and self-sufficient. It is rewarding to see my students feel good about themselves by taking care of others.”
Vondra finds inspiration in her family, especially her children, who teach her to love each other and to love life. As for COD, she cannot praise enough her colleagues and their focus.
“My program director, Melissa McKirdie, is an absolute joy to work with! She has been a great role model,” she said. “I am in awe of all of the teachers here who are truly dedicated to our students.”