Ryan Wyatt has been named the 2021-2022 recipient of the John N. Bennett Scholarship at Wilkes Community College. Wyatt is a sophomore in the Radiography program and is slated to graduate in May 2022.

Ryan Wyatt

Wyatt, a graduate of North Wilkes High School, joined the United States Navy in 2009 and served nine years as a Hospital Corpsman with two deployments: Continuing Promise 2011 aboard the USNS Comfort and as part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in 2014 aboard the USS Mesa Verde.

While serving as a hospital corpsman, Wyatt worked in many different areas of the medical field but was always drawn to radiography. Wyatt stated, “I have been fascinated with x-rays since I broke my arm at the age of six.”

After leaving the Navy and working numerous jobs his desire to help others and his fascination with x-rays led him to seek a career in radiography. Wyatt added, “I chose Wilkes Community College’s Radiography program due to its high success rate. I have thoroughly enjoyed being back in the medical profession and upon graduation, I hope to obtain employment locally so I can utilize the skills I learned in the Navy combined with the skills I obtain in the radiography program to make a difference in my community.” Wyatt currently resides in Alleghany County with his wife Anna, his five-year-old daughter, Layla, and his three-year-old son, Raiden.

In 1956, Dr. John N. Bennett, a radiologist at Wilkes General Hospital, had a vision to begin a Radiologic Technologist training program, a rigorous, two-year certificate program that taught students how to be effective radiologic technologists.

As the program flourished, the John N. Bennett Endowment Corporation was established on June 8, 1989, to honor Dr. Bennett’s contribution to the profession, as well as the program, by raising funds to be used for the educational and scientific benefit of students, current and preceding, of the hospital-based program.

The Wilkes General Hospital School of Radiologic Technology, later renamed Wilkes Regional Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology, was administered through Wilkes Regional Medical Center from 1956 until June 2013. From the time of its conception in 1956, until June 2013, the program served approximately 319 students. However, due to a change in the American Registry of Radiologic Technology standards, requiring all Radiologic Technologists to have at a minimum an associate degree to be eligible to sit for the national registry; the program was transferred to Wilkes Community College. The Wilkes Community College Radiography Program transferred in six currently enrolled WRMC School of Radiologic Technology students and accepted a new cohort of first-year students in the Fall of 2013.

In the Spring of 2015, the board of directors for the John N. Bennett Endowment Corporation saw fit to dissolve the corporation and made a donation to Wilkes Community College on December 15, 2015, to fund the John N. Bennett Scholarship for radiography students and to honor the originally intended goals of the John N. Bennett Endowment Corporation.

Members of the previously established John N. Bennett Endowment Fund are Kristain Miller, Angie Blevins, Dianne Davis, Sharon Absher, and Ruth Adams. Betty Winslow was a consultant.

Contributions to the John N. Bennett Scholarship may be sent to WCC Foundation/John N. Bennett Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC 28697.