Although he initially fell into radiography “by accident,” Assistant Professor Dan DeMaio, director of the Radiology Program in the Department of Health Sciences and Nursing, has turned his inadvertent clinical path into a busy career that involves teaching, writing textbooks, and even x-raying mummies.
DeMaio started out studying pharmacy, but soon after stumbled upon radiography and was enamored with the possibilities of a clinical career in imaging technology that could also offer opportunities in education and research. After stints teaching and practicing clinically in Long Island and Arkansas, DeMaio arrived at the University of Hartford to both manage and teach in the popular Radiology program. As an educator, DeMaio marvels at his role in transforming students into professionals who will impact patient outcomes and experiences. To this end, he strives not only to help students manage the basic skills of the field but also gain a deeper understanding of the science and research underlying clinical practice.
As a clinician and educator, DeMaio considers himself fortunate to be able to pursue projects informed and influenced by the skills developed through both career experiences. For example, several years ago he noted a critical gap in clinical practice—lack of a suitable textbook for Computed Tomography (CT) scan technologists to prepare for the certification exam—and wrote a proposal to a publishing house to write such a textbook. The successful text has subsequently been published as a second edition and DeMaio recently started on a similar text for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Similarly, during DeMaio’s first teaching job in Long Island, he developed a relationship with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, radiographing several artifacts in the Museum's state-of-the art laboratory. It was a unique opportunity to apply cutting edge radiographic technology as an art form to effectively illustrate the historical perspective. Although DeMaio may have stumbled upon radiography by accident, his career success is anything but accidental and reflects the many exciting clinical, research and educational opportunities in the growing field of Radiology.
In addition to his scholary activities in radiology, DeMaio has also collaborated with fellow Health Sciences faculty member Claudia Oakes to investigate the impact of using an Audience Response System (clickers) in classroom teaching. DeMaio and Oakes received an Educational Technology Grant to purchase and implement the use of clickers in introductory health science sections. They subsequently analyzed the impact of using this technology on classroom learning, finding that students felt more involved and confident during lectures and ultimately more willing to participate in future classroom dialogues.