Catherine Ford started her college career at a four-year university studying elementary education. When one of her courses required her to spend one day a week in a third grade classroom, she realized very quickly that teaching younger students wasn't for her.
After in-depth career testing, she was pointed toward radiography and discovered the program at Owens Community College.
She attended school full time and worked at Magruder Hospital in Port Clinton on evenings and weekends. Ford found her education challenging and enjoyable.
"Owens was the most demandingly rigorous educational experience I have ever had. I really had to study for the first time in my life, in addition to spending 1,600 hours in a clinical setting," said Ford.
She added, "At the same time, it was a very comfortable and supportive environment."
After working for nearly three years at area hospitals, Ford returned to Owens to teach after she had her first child. It was the right match.
Since 1981, Ford has held various positions in the Radiography department and served as a full-time Radiography faculty member. Eventually, she worked her way up to the position of Chair of the Medical Imaging department, a position she still holds today.
As Chair, she is responsible for keeping up-to-date with the medical community that supports students during their clinical work, strengthening the medical imaging programs and supporting faculty in their teaching.
Ford has seen many changes in medical imaging since she came to Owens.
"When I was a student, the only medical imaging program was radiography. Now there is the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program and the Nuclear Medicine program. Most recently, I added a totally online Computed Tomography program for registered medical imagers," said Ford.
Ford loves the critical thinking aspect and challenge of her position.
"Without a doubt, I can say that Owens is here to serve its communities. It is the support that students can find here that really sets the institution apart. I am so proud that I can be a part of that," said Ford.