Student Spotlight: Karen Taets

Karen Taets

Karen Taets
Major: Radiography/


In 2006, Karen Taets graduated from College of DuPage with her associate's degree in Radiography.

She then accepted a position at a rural community hospital in southeastern Arizona but needed training in mammography. Having received an excellent education at COD already, Taets decided to return to the Midwest and enroll in COD's Mammography program.

"So, there I was, one lone woman with two cats driving 1,400 miles through desolate desert, mountains, cattle country and one severe thunderstorm in Oklahoma with the sole purpose to enroll in the fall semester Mammography program," she said. "In New Mexico, I had to prove I was an American to the border patrol and explain my destination and purpose."

Taets knows the gamble paid off. One key factor that gives COD's program an edge is the small class size.

"With a small number of students, we were able to practice positioning each other during lab," she said. "This is a crucial exercise since mammography is a very personal, private matter. Most patients are nervous and apprehensive before receiving this exam.

"One in eight women will experience some form of breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer also affects men, since one percent of breast cancer occurs in men. Clearly, these statistics show the importance of mammography and the necessity to provide a superior program and training to future mammography technologists."

Taets finished the program and passed the AART exam. She now is employed at a clinic in central Illinois.

"When I began the Radiography program, the college Catalog's theme was 'Follow Your Dream,' " she said. "This dream has become a reality."

More about the Mammography program