CCP Alum Maps Out His Own Path, With a Little Help From Mom

Deep down, Adam Dickerson, ’21, always knew he wanted to become an x-ray technologist. While it was not until high school that he officially decided to pursue this career, Adam recalls the exact moment he fell in love with medical imaging. 

“I remember being three or four years old and my mom taking me to her job for the day,” Adam says. “One minute I would be playing with my toys on the floor and the next I’d be looking up at the different MRI scans on the monitor. When it came time to decide what I wanted to do career wise, I thought back to what I was most interested in as a kid. The first thing that came to mind was radiology.”

The Delaware County native took a few courses at his local community college and then transferred to CCP to enroll in the College’s Diagnostic Medical Imaging (DMI) Program to follow in his mother’s footsteps. Not only was he pursuing the same career, but he also wanted to get his degree from the same institution she did in 1998. 

His mother – Malgorzata “Gosia” Dickerson – was working at a daycare when she learned about the program. One of her instructors at the time was Elizabeth Garnett. Garnett, who teaches advanced modalities (MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds), is still an instructor at the College and also taught Adam. 

“During orientation, I mentioned to our instructors that my mom completed the same program,” Adam says. “Ms. Garnett was the only instructor who remembered her. She asked for my last name and the year my mom graduated from the program. From there I think she knew immediately that I was her son and was very intrigued that I decided to follow my mother’s footsteps.” 



Left: Adam Dickerson receiving his pin for graduation from Diagnostic Medical Imaging in Fall 2021;  Right: Adam's mother, Malgorzata “Gosia” Dickerson receiving her pin for Diagnostic Imaging in 1998


Although challenging and at times stressful, Adam says that he had a great time in the program. His cohort began in July 2019 and were expected to graduate in spring 2021. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, everything was forced online and their clinicals were delayed a semester. 

He says that Rebecca Peterson – the DMI program director – did an amazing job at moving the program online and making sure that they each received the full experience and were still prepared to enter the workforce. 

“What I loved most about the DMI program was that our clinicals were the perfect combination of learning and hands-on experience,” Adam says. “Not only did we get to practice in the brand-new labs on campus, but we did mock interviews and received help with drafting our resumes and cover letters.” 

“Overall, I had a very positive experience. As a cohort, we were always willing to keep each other up and help each other out.”

Despite the challenges they faced, everyone in Adam’s cohort passed their American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification exam on the first try. This is the 18th consecutive year that the College’s DMI program achieved an 100% pass rate on the required certification exam on the first attempt. 

When asked what advice he would give anyone interested in becoming an x-ray technologist, Adam says, “Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things.”

This advice led him to win the Clinical Excellence award at the College’s DMI pinning ceremony in November. On Jan. 3, Adam started his job as an x-ray technologist at Penn Presbyterian Hospital – the same place his mom started her career more than 20 years ago.