Meet a Major


Helene Lin ’14


Why did you choose your major? 

Prior to entering the program, I was a technical aid at a clinic, where I assisted therapists in treating patients. I enjoyed being there, learning and interacting with patients. I decided this was what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do. I want to be a part of a team that can assist in providing quality care for my patients and to make a difference in their lives. Having to face cancer is harsh, and as therapists, we become involved at a personal level where we make patients feel as comfortable as possible by giving them a quick and painless treatment. By doing this, I feel connected to what my patients are going through and am able to monitor their progress on a daily basis. I enjoy learning and seeing my patients on their way to recovery.

What has been your favorite class? 

My favorite class in this major thus far is Radiation Therapy I (RHS 276). It was the class where everything started to make sense. It laid down the foundations of this major and introduced me to many ways of treating patients, different kinds of machines out there, history of radiation therapy, and all different cancers treated with radiation.

Have you done any internships?

Internships are where you put the skills learned in the classroom to practice. I’ve seen many interesting things during internships. One patient who had a bone metastasis experienced a lot of pain in her leg, and she had to sit in a wheelchair. On the fourth day her pain was subsiding, and she didn’t need a wheelchair anymore by the end of the treatment. Although the stage of the disease was aggressive, the patient felt a lot better and happier due to this gradual change. To change the quality of life for the better makes everyone happy. I was amazed when I first experienced a case like this which showed me what radiation can do.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will take the radiation therapy board exams. After obtaining my license, I will be a radiation therapist and hope to find a hospital or clinic where I can put my skills into practice!

What are the faculty like?

Professor Habenicht has so much knowledge of radiation therapy and helps her students every step of the way. She is always available when we need her and is a great motivation for all of us. Professor Stabile, who is the best science teacher I’ve ever had in all my years of college, goes through great lengths to help students understand the material. 

What’s your favorite thing about this major?

My favorite thing about this major is that all of us in this are a big family. The classes are so small and in a class of 10, we all have a great learning and bonding experience. We have one of the best faculty in the College who teach us everything we need to know. Also, Manhattan College is a beautiful campus. I often sit near the quadrangle before class starts just to enjoy a nice breeze. The library has everything you need. I can have my own room to study in peace or go into one of the computer labs where I can print out my lecture notes.

What’s the most difficult thing about this major?

There hasn’t been anything too difficult about this major. As long as the studying and work is done, it will be a very rewarding experience!

What advice would you give to new students trying to select a major?

Spend time trying out a variety of classes and activities and find the major that resonates with you. Your major should be enjoyable and challenging. I would say that radiation therapy is a very interesting field to be in. It feels good to be part of a team that can make a difference in many peoples lives. You will learn many aspects of healthcare. It’s not only a small field  you will also be a part of a great family of future therapists!