K-State radiology resident dies by suicide

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The sun sets behind Anderson Hall on April 14, 2015. (File Photo by George Walker | The Collegian)

In an internal email sent to Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine faculty, staff and students on Tuesday, the college was informed about the death of Christina Chesvick, a resident in the Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Residency program at K-State.

The email was sent out by Tammy Beckham, dean and professor of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

“It is with regret that I inform the K-State CVM family of the death of radiology resident Christina Chesvick,” Beckham said in the email. “This is an extremely difficult and sad time for all us in the K-State CVM family. I am sorry to have to provide you this sad news. Please support your fellow students, faculty and staff in this time of need.”

The email said the college is offering support assistance for students affected, in addition to the university’s assistance through Counseling Services. The college is also providing faculty and staff support through their Employee Assistance Program.

“Please encourage the use of these resources to those who may need,” Beckham said.

The location, time, date and cause of death were not provided in the initial email.

“Additional information will be shared with the CVM family as it becomes available,” Beckham said. “This is a sad day for the K-State family.”

An additional email

Bonnie Rush, executive associate dean of the college, sent an email on Thursday to College of Veterinary Medicine faculty, staff and students. A memorial fund was established to honor Chesvick, where proceeds will support student wellness activities within the college. Donations can be made online using the reference fund number, “M47147.”

Rush also said people can support Chesvick through the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and attached an email from them.

“Christina Chesvick … embarked on a journey to Kansas State University for a Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging Residency in 2016,” the email from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention said. “Sadly she took her own life on 14 March 2017.”

As of 2:30 p.m. today, $1,650 of the $5,000 goal has been raised for “Team Chesvick.”

Rush said in the email there is also a memory board in the lobby of Trotter Hall where students, faculty and staff can share their thoughts with others and Chesvick’s family, as her family will be visiting campus next week.

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Kaitlyn Alanis
Hi, I'm Kaitlyn Alanis, news editor for the Collegian and a senior in agricultural communications and journalism. I have never tried a hamburger and I hate the taste of coffee, but I love writing stories and sharing what I learn with our readers. By writing for the Collegian, I can now not only sing along when the K-State Band plays "The Band is Hot," but I also know that most agriculture students did not grow up on a farm, how to use an AED to save someone's life and why there is a bust of MLK Jr. outside of Ahearn Field House. Thanks for reading!
  • Stephanie Fissekis

    Dr. Chesvick was a resident. Why isn’t the memorial fund going to support house officers? Students already have the full support of the university healthcare system. House officers are employees, not students.

  • Kate Wilson

    I would like to see the headline changed to “died by suicide.” The phrase “commit suicide” implies a criminal act. I learned about this phrasing change only recently myself, but feel it is important to shifting our perception of mental illness.

    • Kaitlyn Alanis

      Katie, we have made that change in the headline. My apologies for the phrasing choice, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  • Jessica

    The headline of this article is very insensitive. Christina’s friends and family might some privacy during difficult time. Have some respect for them and her, please. Her life not defined by her final act.

    • SRZ

      I fully support this headline. We regularly read headlines stating the manner of death, eg, “died in a fatal car crash”. You may not recognize that your comment implies that this doctor’s family has reason for shame or embarrassment. I understand your perspective but I am concerned that you are unaware of the fact that this type of perspective propagates the stigma around suicide and mental illness. You are entitled to your opinion, but I would encourage you to think more deeply about why you feel compelled to protect “privacy” in this situation and to ask yourself if you would feel differently about the headline if this lovely woman’s death were due to cancer. On a personal note, my father died by suicide and had the local paper reported it this way, I would have been thankful that they were not shaming him or me. My condolences to Christina’s family and friends. Please know you have no need to feel ashamed. Suicide is not about no longer wanting to live, it’s about no longer wanting to be in pain. My thoughts are with you.

  • jamespat

    She helped my niece in her young career. A good vet, teacher and person. RIP.