New Kensington student team wins statewide radiologic technology competition

Mylinda Scott and Sonya Selvaraj place first at 2024 Pennsylvania Society of Radiological Technologists Techni-bowl
Two students hold trophy while smiling

Mylinda Scott, pictured left, and Sonya Selvaraj, right, hold the Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists Techni-bowl Cup. The duo, who are both second-year radiological sciences students at Penn State New Kensington, won the 2024 Techni-bowl competition held in Harrisburg, Pa. in March. Although other teams from the campus have placed in the past, Scott and Selvaraj comprise the first team to ever place first in the event, which started in 2010. 

Credit: Penn State New Kensington RadSci Program

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A Penn State New Kensington radiological sciences student team took the win in the 2024 Pennsylvania Society of Radiological Technologists (PSRT) Techni-bowl competition held March. Mylinda Scott and Sonya Selvaraj, both second year students in the campus’ two-year radiological sciences program, hoisted the first-place “Techni-bowl Cup” from the event, which coincided with the PSRT annual conference and business meeting held in Harrisburg. 

“I am so very proud to say that for the first-time ever, a Penn State New Kensington team took first place at the annual Techni-bowl competition,” said Marica Curler, assistant teaching professor and program coordinator of radiological sciences at the New Kensington campus. Last year, a campus team placed third in the event.  

This year’s competition, which started in 2010 with the aim of promoting “student enthusiasm and demonstrating knowledge of the study of radiologic technology,” consisted of 13 teams of two students each from seven educational institutions with accredited radiological technology programs. Penn State New Kensington entered two teams, the maximum team number allowed by each institution, including the duo of Scott and Selvaraj. Teams were presented with 30 multiple-choice questions and given 10 seconds to answer each one. The questions follow American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) categories and content.  

“The competition was fast-paced, which definitely had our hearts racing,” said Selvaraj, originally from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and who also took third place in the PSRT poster and research competition. “It took a lot of team discussion and critical thinking, but we managed to correctly answer 28 out of 30 questions.” 

Scott, who hails from State College, Pennsylvania, added, “The hard work and studying in our program the past year and a half were helpful. Sonya and I also studied prior to the competition. Having my close friend compete with me was a memory I’ll never forget.” 

Both students and Curler were joined by 13 other first- and second-year New Kensington radiological sciences students and Mary Ann McKeague, lecturer and clinical coordinator of the program, at the aforementioned conference, competition and meetings. The annual trip was made possible thanks to fundraising done by the students and a successful funding request presentation to the Student Activity Fee committee. 

Curler believes her students’ successful competition run also reflects the New Kensington program’s preparedness of each year’s cohorts. 

“I think it shows how well-prepared they are to take the certification exam,” explained Curler. “Our program is unique from other programs due to the fact that students start clinical rotations three weeks of their first semester. The amount of clinical time really enhances their learning and reinforces what’s done in the classroom.” 

As part of the program, Scott’s main clinical site has been AHN Forbes Hospital, a level two trauma Center, where she gets to be part of different healthcare procedures such as spine x-rays and orthopedics. West Penn Hospital has been Selvaraj’s clinical site, where she said she has enjoyed completing tasks such as imaging in the NICU, as well as learning about the multitude of fluoroscopy procedures and imaging for women’s health. 

“Getting hands-on experience so early in my education has allowed me to build the confidence I need going into the workforce in a few months,” said Selvaraj.  

Both Scott and Selvaraj agreed that the program’s preparation of students, along with the program’s 100% certification exam pass rate and job placement rate, were reasons they applied to the program. 

“As I was looking for radiological sciences programs, Penn State New Kensington stood out as one of the only Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiological Technology (JCERT) schools in Western Pennsylvania,” said Selvaraj. “I knew that joining this program would provide me with an excellent, comprehensive education that would be recognized across the United States.” 

Scott and Selvaraj will both complete the requirements for obtaining their associate of science in radiological sciences this summer and already have more future goals. 

“After graduation, my goal is to work as an x-ray technologist while I finish a bachelor’s degree,” said Scott. “Then I’m hoping to enlist in the United States Air Force.” 

Selvaraj explained, “My goal is to hopefully take a full-time position as a radiologic technologist. I have a few offers already, and am looking forward to finding my perfect fit. I’d also like to circle back and contribute to the education of future radiological sciences students by planning to take on a leadership role as a clinical preceptor or instructor.” 

To learn more about Penn State New Kensington’s radiological sciences program, visit the program’s webpage. Those interested in visiting the campus or meeting with faculty are asked to contact the Office of Admissions at 724-334-5466 or [email protected].