Master of Science in Respiratory Care Alumni Profiles

The College of Health Sciences is committed to educating students to become leaders in their fields and use their compassion to make an impact in health care. Take a moment to read about some of our alumni, their backgrounds and what they have been up to since graduating from the Master of Science in Respiratory Care program.

Ankeet D. Patel, MSc, RRT-ACCS

Graduating Class: 2011
Title: Clinical Manager
Current Organization: Rush University Medical Center





“My master’s degree has really accelerated my career track into respiratory management, by giving me strong clinical knowledge in the field. With this knowledge I was able to perform at a very high level in the institution which made me standout not only clinically but also as a leader for the department.”

Laura Tonyan, MS, RRT, RRT-ACCS

Graduating Class: 2016
Title: Clinical Documentation Associate
Current Organization: Abbvie





“I chose Rush because I wanted a career as a respiratory therapist specializing in clinical research. Rush’s MS in Respiratory Care program provided both the intensive respiratory care education I required as well as the robust training in clinical research I desired.  Without my MS from Rush I would not have the career I have today.”

Rebecca L. Glancy, MS, RRT-NPS

Graduating Class: 2015
Title: Clinical Sales Associate 
Current Organization: Hillrom





“I have never been more proud to be a Rush University alumna. The professors at Rush knew how to teach and challenge me so I could create strong critical thinking skills. They were able to instill the confidence in me to know that my opinion matters when it comes to critical patient care. Yes, my experiences at Rush were some of the most challenging years of schooling but the education and training I received molded me to be a strong respiratory therapist which has transformed me into a strong leader.”

Troy Ellens, MS, RRT-NPS

Graduating Class: Class of 2013
Title: Respiratory Therapist
Current Organization: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


“Six years ago, when entering the pediatric ICU at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the preceptors were surprised at the level of knowledge and comfort level I had in a high-pressured environment at a highly academic institution. After 4 years in the pediatric ICU, I decided it was time for a change and wanted to utilize my master’s degree in a leadership position. I was hired for an Associate Quality Outcomes Manager role with the support of the strong leadership and research skills from my time at Rush, and the master’s was a preferred degree for the position. However, after two years in the role of an outcomes manager, bedside care called me back into the neonatal ICU. All this time, my degree earned at Rush was invaluable. Thank you, Rush University, for preparing me so well.”

Vrati Doshi, MSc, RRT

Graduating Class: 2012
Title: Director of Respiratory Programs 
Current Organization: Integrated Respiratory Solutions





“My degree has provided me with a vast network of accomplished individuals who have mentored and supported me throughout my career, and encouraged me to follow my passion to influence the healthcare field to put the patient first.  My time at Rush has prepared me to take on leadership roles, such as a MICU therapist, clinical educator, manager of a multidisciplinary clinical team, internal hospital consultant and as of recent, the Director of Respiratory Programs at Integrated Respiratory Solutions. Students who graduate from Rush programs have gone on to be leaders in their field, proving that any degree you choose will set you on a path to success, built on a strong foundation of core values and principles.”   

Sarah E. Brundidge, MSc, RRT, AE-C, CPFT

Graduating Class: 2014
Title: Senior Program Manager
Current Organization: Propeller Health





“My time at Rush helped me realize ways that I could bring together my two passions - caring for people and education. I recently became the Senior Program Manager at Propeller Health, a leading digital healthcare company. My professors and mentors from Rush instilled the belief that I can help the field of respiratory progress through critical care, research and education. There are few master degree programs in respiratory care and I am proud to represent Rush and the evolution of what it means to be a respiratory therapist.”

Anne Geistkemper, MSc, RRT, RRT-NPS 

Graduating Class: 2012
Title: Respiratory Clinical Manager, Neonatal-Pediatric Section
Current Organization: Rush University Medical Center


“Rush gave me a vision for my career.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with my Respiratory Degree, but I knew I wanted to enter leadership.  The master’s degree allowed for me to be marketable in my field.  I entered the Rush System as an RT3 Leader (equivalent to a shift supervisor) and have worked my way up to Clinical Manager.  Rush has helped me nurture my career by helping me seek opportunities to advance my knowledge and growth.”

Maya Jenkins, MS, RRT-NPS 

Graduating Class: 2014
Title: Associate Manager Respiratory Care
Current Organization: Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital



“Rush has been very instrumental in my career path. I was a career changer and was looking to make a switch to something new after 13 years in the insurance industry. Obtaining an MS in Respiratory Care has made that possible. I am so thankful for my new career and am excited to see what opportunities might come down the road.”

Jacob R. Burd, MSc, RRT, RRT-NPS

Graduating Class: 2016
Title: Respiratory Therapist III (Supervisor), ECMO Specialist
Current Organization: Rush University Medical Center


“The connection between the university and the medical center allows for unique learning experiences. For example, we would often learn a concept or skill in lecture or lab and then be able to go experience and understand these concepts in real-world applications at the medical center. Another unique aspect of earning my degree at Rush University that I feel has influenced my career was the opportunity for interprofessional education. In my current role, it is imperative that I work collaboratively with other health care disciplines. I had such a positive experience at Rush University that I decided to stay at Rush and take a clinical position in Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care. My Rush degree helped prepare me to be a confident entry level Respiratory Therapist and to quickly move into a leadership role in my field.” 

Zachary W. Balluff, MS, RRT, RRT-ACCS

Graduating Class: 2014
Title: Education Coordinator, Respiratory Care
Current Organization: Northwestern Memorial Hospital





“Rush University prepared me in professionalism, integrity and leadership; fed my desire to learn while teaching me to never stop seeking; and to always push myself. As a Clinical Coordinator, I was able to utilize my leadership skills to provide guidance for the current shift as well as my analytical and problem solving skills to develop a staffing assignment for the oncoming shift. After I transitioned into my current role as Education Coordinator I was able to tap into the wealth of knowledge gained to help foster the development of the staff members of the respiratory department.”

Hillary O’Neill, MS, RRT

Graduating Class: 2015
Title: Respiratory Care Manager, Specialty Pediatrics
Current Organization: Dayton Children’s Hospital





“In Rush University’s Master of Science in Respiratory Care program, I completed significantly more clinical hours than respiratory therapy students in most other programs. This experience allowed me the ability to move up the clinical ladder in our department quickly. When a management position opened up, I was uniquely qualified due to my degree and the experience I had gained.”

Victoria (Nickola) Arinta, MS, RRT

Graduating Class: 2012
Title: Quality & Outcomes Coordinator- Pulmonary Services & Special Projects
Current Organization: Froedtert Health





“Obtaining my Rush degree not only advanced my knowledge of respiratory therapy but also increased my critical thinking skills and research acumen. I was able to obtain a position in quality, my true passion, and strengthen my commitment to advancing respiratory care.  Rush provided me the enhanced skills required to lead change and engage multidisciplinary teams.”

Learn More About What A Respiratory Therapist Does

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