Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

SDMS Announcements

Sonographers Making Waves - Tanya Nolan

by Katie Kuntz, MEd, RT(R), RDMS, RVT, FSDMS

Sonongraphers Making Waves - Tanya Nolan
Sonographers Making Waves
Tanya Nolan, Ed.D., RT(R), RDMS

How long have you been a sonographer?
I have been a registered diagnostic medical sonographer since 2004. 

Where do you work?
In 2007, I was approached by Weber State University to teach as an Adjunct Professor in radiography. I had always loved learning, but I was now keenly aware that I loved to teach. In 2011, I was offered a full-time teaching position with assignments in both radiography and sonography. With this employment opportunity, I furthered my own learning by completing a Doctor of Education with an emphasis in curriculum and teaching from Northcentral University.

How did you become interested in your career? 
I became interested in the profession of sonography while working as a Radiologic Technologist in one of Utah's trauma one centers. At that time, there was a shortage of diagnostic medical sonographers available to scan patients, and I was approached by the sonography department and Radiologist Brett Parkinson to assist with their Breast Sonography Center. Under their instruction, I learned some of the fundamentals of scanning and technique. Needless to say, I was hooked!

How have you been “Making Waves?”
I "make waves" as an Associate Professor at Weber State University through associations with my peers and students. I count myself as blessed to work beside my esteemed colleague Dr. Diane Kawamura. Under her mentorship, I have had opportunities to act as an author and co-editor for the 4th edition of Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Abdomen and Superficial Structures. I have also gleaned from her vast experience and gained a great passion and love for our national societies. Currently, I am serving on the SDMS Nominating Committee and continue to volunteer in several microvolunteer projects.

From a teaching perspective, I feel a great responsibility and love for my sonography students and clinical faculty. Each time I work with the students, I hope to widen their perspective and deepen their enthusiasm for who they are and what they can contribute to our profession. It is beyond satisfying to watch the "ah ha" moments and plant a seed that has the potential to grow and affect future generations of sonographers. Overall, I want my students to be competent in their work, engaged in their profession, and passionate about their patients. The students are our future, and I believe our future is bright.

What would you like to tell other SDMS members to inspire them to make a difference and enrich their careers? 
I would tell SDMS members to remember their past, present, and future. As a professional group, we have a rich history with many heroes. These pioneers envisioned a profession that could challenge the sonographer, enrich patient care, and impact health care. Today, we continue their work. We each have a responsibility to share our talents and mentor the next generation whether contributing as a full-time sonographer, educator, applications specialist, or student. We each have a part to play, and our unique expertise is needed to fulfill future dreams, desires, and aspirations. 

What do I see for our future? I see continuous advances in technology, scanning, and diagnosis. I see an active and engaged group of professionals. I believe we enrich our lives and our careers when we know who we are and what we can contribute to our future, and we do it to the very best of our ability. We are a group of amazing people. We are Sonographers!

Do you know a sonographer who is doing something out of the ordinary? Whether it is a grand gesture or a small moment that makes a difference in someone’s life, the SDMS would like to hear about it so that we can share it with you. So, if YOU know someone who is making waves, tell us at!