Alexandrya Steller

Alexandrya Steller

Student, Class of 2018
Major(s): Echocardiography
Hometown: Redmond, OR

Why did you choose Oregon Tech?

I chose Oregon tech due to the small class sizes, and the hands on approach to learning. I also decided to attend Oregon Tech because my father is an Oregon Tech alum and received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from here.

What do you like most about your major?

My favorite thing about echo is the critical thinking involved. You are the eyes of the cardiologist and unless you get the image, they can't make the diagnosis. Being an echocardiographer means understanding symptoms and history along with the patient’s presentation in order to piece together what the patient is going through and obtain the best images possible for the doctor.

What are you passionate about changing within this particular field and why?

I am very passionate about valve repair and replacement, and its impact into the treatment of congenital pediatric diseases. I hope to someday be involved to some extent in research projects aimed towards investigating how new valve replacement and repair methods can help create a better quality of life for pediatric patients.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job is to work as an echocardiographer in a large hospital and someday contribute to research projects.

What have been some of your favorite classes and why?

The best classes I have taken are the ones that I am able to apply right now in the field while on my externship. All of my scanning classes, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and invasive cardiology to name a few. All of these classes helped prepare me to work in the field, whether I knew it at the time or not. There are times when I remember something I was taught in class and can directly apply it to something I am doing in the hospital.

Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

In terms of return on investment and preparation for the future, Oregon Tech is the best. It is a hidden gem in terms of opportunity and the quality of the education that a student can receive here. There is a reason why Oregon Tech grads are so heavily sought after.

Are you involved on campus? If so, how?

During my time on campus I was heavily involved with campus life. I volunteered and had the chance to direct New Student Orientation in the fall. I also served as the echo clubs ASOIT representative, and served on a few committees for student government.

I also worked as a 200 level Anatomy and Physiology TA for my last two years on campus. This job helped me discover my passion for teaching and helping my students achieve their goals within the classes.

Have you participated in any internships or externships during your time at Oregon Tech? Did you gain valuable experience from them?

I am currently completing my externship at the North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley Colorado. This externship serves as my senior year in the program and has already taught me countless life lessons. 

Is there anything more that you would like to share with future students about campus, what you wish you knew before attending Oregon Tech or anything else?

Do not be afraid of change, of the unfamiliar, or of the unexpected. It is okay to change your mind about your major, or realize midway through the year that this isn't for you. I changed my major three times before discovering echo. I wish as a college freshman I had more knowledge about exploring other majors and felt more supported when it came time to changing my major. I was so obsessed with the idea of immediately finding what I loved that I felt guilty about not liking the original major I started with. Never be afraid to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. 

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