Parker Picked for Early Admission to OU Health Sciences Center

Libby Parker, a Piedmont High School senior, enrolled in CV Tech’s Biomedical Sciences program to prepare herself for the rigors of advanced medical studies in college. She was recently chosen for an early entrance program at OU Health Sciences Center. She is pictured with CV Tech instructor Corey Herndon.

February 6, 2017

YUKON – Libby Parker was at a crossroads. One path followed familiarity. Another less-trodden path was unsure but had the potential to satisfy her heart.

Parker, 17, and a senior at Piedmont High School, said she chose the direction she thinks is best suited for her future.

That led her to enroll in Biomedical Sciences at Canadian Valley Technology Center.

“I had cheer friends at Piedmont who wanted to enroll in Cosmetology,” at CV Tech’s El Reno Campus, she said. “I wanted to be with my friends, but I really didn’t see myself cutting hair.”

Biomedical Sciences is housed at CV Tech’s Cowan Campus, some 11 miles away from her cheerleading friends who are enrolled at CV Tech’s El Reno Campus. Her friends understood, she said.

Biomedical Sciences is a college-prep program that features hands-on activities in anatomy, cell biology, genetics and disease research for those students who plan to pursue advanced medical degrees in college.

The decision to enroll has paid off, Parker said. While flourishing in the program, she has been notified of her acceptance into a fairly new early entrance agreement through the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Students must apply and meet a series of criteria for acceptance into the high school early admission program at OUHSC.

Upon selection, students are guaranteed a spot once they become college juniors, said Susan Tucker, assistant professor and assistant dean for academic and student affairs at OUHSC.

“We have 300 applicants for 60 spots, so this is a way of identifying students ahead of time who meet the criteria for enrolling,” Tucker said.

Parker faced another crossroads at home.

“My whole family are huge Oklahoma State fans,” she said. “I bought my dad a license plate that says ‘OU Dad.’ So far, he still hasn’t put it on his car.”

Corey Herndon, one of two Biomedical Sciences instructors at CV Tech, said Parker is a classic example of a very driven student who knows exactly how education can help meet her career goals.

“Libby is an intelligent, intentional and diligent young lady,” Herndon said. “She came to us with all the makings of a medical professional. We merely provided biomedical knowledge and skills.

“With Libby I have but one regret, that she won’t be wearing orange and black.”

Despite her success in the program, Parker said those unfamiliar with it still quiz her about her choice. So many still think of CV Tech as the option for students who are not college-bound. 

“Sometimes when I tell people I’m here, I have to tell them I am still planning on going to college,” she said.

Roughly half of Canadian Valley’s graduates pursue a college degree.

Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Engineering are programs at CV Tech that are designed for students who want a jump-start on post-secondary goals.

Both are tied closely with Project Lead the Way curriculum, which offers students exclusive access to scholarships, preferred admission at 100 colleges and universities nationwide, internships and industry connections.

Parker still cheers and spends lots of time with her friends from Piedmont. She made new friends along the way at CV Tech.

“I love the teachers here at Canadian Valley,” she said. “I was in homecoming (as a queen candidate during football season), and both Mr. Hernon and Mrs. (Cheryl) Brannum came and supported me. It meant a lot to me to see them there.”

“I decided about two years ago to do something in radiology,” she said. “I had my appendix removed and got a CAT scan. I want to study nuclear medicine and become a nuclear medicine technologist.

“Summed up, it’s CT scans and PET scans. They inject you with a radioactive pharmaceutical.”

The drugs cause abnormal tissues to show up differently than normal tissues in scans. Doctors use the results to diagnose and treat diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders.

Paker has already been accepted at OU and plans to begin next fall.

In the meantime, she will be working on mom and dad to expand their wardrobe to make room for just a bit of crimson and cream.