PITTSBURG — A Pittsburg State University graduate is taking the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland.

Pittsburg State University held its 114th commencement ceremony Friday and Saturday with more than 1,200 students graduating. Among those graduating was Talon Thompson who earned a master’s degree in physics.

Thompson was accepted into the National University of Ireland in Galway, Ireland where he will continue his studies in medical physics for a year.

“I have always joked around with people that I barely get out of Kansas,” he said.  

The program in Ireland will give him the certification he needs to work with hospital equipment — including radiation, oncology departments, working with MRI and ultrasound equipment.

His last month in Ireland will be spent in a hospital directly across the street from the university to get real hands-on experience.

After his certification he plans to get a second masters in medical physics or jump into a doctoral program.

During his college career at PSU he tutored in physics, ran Cross Country as well as other clubs and organizations.

Thompson said his experience in Cross Country and as an assistant coach was a special part of his college career because of his coach Russ Jewett.

“He helped instill traits and attributes that are important in my life,” Thompson said.

In grad school he was also a graduate teaching assistant where he taught five physics labs. “Teaching in these labs taught me a lot,” Thompson said. “I learned teaching styles and methods to help other students learn and how to make it applicable and relatable to students”

Thompson said there were two professors, his advisor Dr. Benjamin O. Tayo, Ph.D. and Dr. David Kuehn, Ph.D, who helped him pursue the master’s program at PSU.

“At the beginning of the school year I didn’t have a clear idea on what to do in the future,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he is looking forward to learning other cultures.

“I always wanted to meet people, go out and travel see how others live — see the world,” he said. “This is a good opportunity to start that step.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP.