Director, Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnostics, Provena Covenant Medical Center, Champaign
Major: Respiratory Therapy
Class Year: 1989
Growing up in Biggsville, Illinois, Jennifer wanted a job that would involve math and science, her favorite high school subjects.
After two years at a university, she decided to switch to a college that “understands the small town kid”: Parkland College.
“At the U of I, I wasn’t succeeding in the way I wanted; it wasn’t the best fit for me. Parkland College was the right fit for someone from a small town of 400.”
Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy Program Director Terry Des Jardins inspired Jennifer to high achievement. Now professor emeritus, Terry has also helped dozens of other RT take classes by live video through a distance learning agreement he set up with several other community colleges.
“Terry made RT fun; he let us kids be kids, but he made sure we understood the content and could apply it out in the field.”
As the director of Cardio-Pulmonary Diagnostics at Provena Covenant Medical Center, Jennifer leads her staff in caring for the lungs and hearts of patients every day.
“I loved Respiratory Therapy at Parkland—it had all the science and math I wanted and even the patient care that I didn’t know I enjoyed all that much! I still love what they offer there almost 20 years later.”
Jennifer also plans to stay involved with Parkland College. Des Jardins says Jennifer “contributes to new students: she’s involved in our lab, has taught a class, and mentors our students in the hospital setting.
“When you’re learning under people who’ve had Parkland College training, it makes the hospital/clinical experience that much easier as a new student. Jennifer was one of my stars.”