Graduating senior Amanda Krook is using her leadership skills and personal experiences to pursue the path she is most passionate for — diagnostic medical sonography.
Krook kicked off her college career at Cowley Community College in Ark City, Kan. where she was involved with Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), which is the world’s largest and most prestigious honor society for two-year college students.
During the last week of April, Krook took a trip back to Cowley and spoke at the induction ceremony for new PTK members. There, she talked about leadership, her experience with PTK and what she gained.
Krook said she first heard about PTK when she received an email from one of the advisors that said she qualified to be part of the group. As time went on, she paid the membership fee, became a member and participated in elections for the officer positions.
“I signed up for the vice president spot, but one of the advisors called me back and said they wanted me to be their president,” Krook said. “It really took off from there.” Krook was president of PTK during her sophomore year and attended an international conference, where she won several awards for her chapter.
In her time in PTK, Krook completed several community service projects such as food drives and fundraisers to donate money to local schools for their libraries. She also participated in what is called the Honors and Action Project, which allows members to pick a project from different categories and work on it as a group throughout the entire year.
“It’s made me a better leader, and it’s given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she said. “One of the most rewarding parts of it was meeting people who are just as driven in completing their goals and being successful as I am, and striving for academic excellence. Being a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success here at Newman plays into that as well.”
The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) is the nation’s largest leadership honor society, where top students nominated by their college come together to identify and achieve their goals. This was Krook’s first year as a member of NSLS, but that did not stop her from receiving the National Engaged Leader Award during a recognition ceremony that took place on May 5 in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center. Of the seven individuals who received the honor, two were members, and the remaining five were members of the advisory board at Newman.
Krook transferred to Newman at the beginning of her junior year in order to pursue a degree in diagnostic medical sonography.
“I heard Newman had a great program, and ever since I was 15, I have wanted to be a sonographer,” Krook said. “I made sure everything at Cowley lined up here, and luckily I was one of the six people they chose.”
Krook’s interest in sonography started at age 15 when she thought she was gaining weight. She realized one day that her stomach poked up on one side more than the other, which was abnormal, she said. After having a sonogram done, the doctors discovered that Krook had two dermoid cysts, or tumors, located in her ovaries. Both cysts were on the inside and outside of her ovaries — one the size of a cantaloupe and the other the size of a grapefruit.
“They could have ruptured,” Krook said. When the doctors performed surgery, they could not tell that there was more than one present. They removed one of Krook’s ovaries and completely rebuilt the other so that she would still be able to have children one day.
“This inspired me to help others in the same way that I was helped,” she said. “I think it’s really fascinating that we can use sound waves to see inside the body and find all of these different pathologies.”
Krook has worked 32 hours per week of unpaid clinical rotations for the sonography program at various local hospitals and clinics for the last few semesters. When she has free time, Krook enjoys watching cooking shows, such as “The Pioneer Woman,” and admits that she is somewhat addicted to a show called “The Royals.”
Although school and work have kept her very busy this semester, Krook also enjoys spending time with her parents, grandparents and going on walks with her dogs. She and her parents together have three dogs, one of which is an adopted Yorkie named Pixie.
“I got Pixie my freshman year of college, and we’ve been best friends ever since,” Krook said. After graduation, Krook plans to move back home to Winfield for a short time in order to save money.
“I have an interview with a hospital close to home, so I hope to get the job there and work,” she said. “I am excited to have more free time to spend with family, friends and my dogs. I’m also hoping to do some traveling, but I am not sure where I’d like to go yet.
“Overall,” Krook said, “It’ll be nice to make money doing what I love to do.”