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Scott Rhoades M'06

Scott Rhoades M'06Scott Rhoades is passionate about many things: health care, storytelling, and public speaking just to name a few. But his true passion, he says, is in teaching.

Rhoades, who received his master’s from IUP in Nursing Education in 2006, is moving to a position as an assistant professor of nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Nursing Post-Licensure Division, where he’ll help registered nurses continue their education, the end of May.

His diverse career experiences and accomplishments earned him recognition as an IUP Young Alumni Achievement Award winner.

His career in healthcare began at the age of 16, when he started working as an emergency medical technician. His grandfather, who was a medic in World War II, and his father, who worked at the community fire department, he said, helped him become interested in the field.

As an EMT, he was mentored by flight nurses at Conemaugh Health System, and that experience ultimately led to his pursuit of a career in flight nursing. He enrolled in Conemaugh's nursing program and obtained a bachelor's in Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh. After meeting the experience requirements, he became a flight nurse with UPMC/STATMedEvac.

An internship with NASA at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida allowed him to work at four space shuttle launch missions as a nurse reservist, including the final launch of Space Shuttle Launch and Endeavor.

He said that being able to see the history of the Kennedy Space Center was amazing. “To actually walk down inside the old control rooms, it was a great experience...it’s fortunate that I did that because some of those facilities are actually being torn down now.”

Most recently, he’s worked as the nursing education coordinator at Indiana Regional Medical Center and is the founder and project lead of the Patricia Hilliard Robertson Center for Aviation Medicine, a center that provides pilots, aircrews, and students access to Federal Aviation Administration, NASA Reduced Gravity Flight, and corporate-required flight physicals and aerospace health education, according to the IRMC website.

“While I was working on the project at home, I happened to look on the bookshelf where I had a photo of my friend Patty Hilliard (a 1985 graduate of IUP, physician, astronaut, and aerobatic pilot),” Rhoades said. “Patty and I shared a love for aviation, medicine, and the space program, and I thought there wasn’t any better way to serve the public and to remember her than to name the program in her honor.”

Starting the next chapter of his life, Rhoades will now move to Merrillville, Indiana, with his family to pursue his love of teaching, while continuing writing, speaking, and working on a new podcast premiering in the fall of 2013.

--Ellen Matis '12

Published April 2013

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