What is your role at American Career College, and how long have you worked here?
I am the director of the Surgical Technology program at the Ontario campus. I’ve been with ACC since March 2005.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy the people the most. I like to be a part of changing people’s lives, the reward when graduates come back to the campus to say “Thank you for all you did to help me.” That means a lot to me.
Surgical Technology program director
What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments?
Completing my educational degrees and retiring from the US Navy after almost 30 years of service. Being elected to the Board of the Association of Surgical Technologists and serving as an advisor for ABHES, our accreditation institution.
How have you adapted your curriculum and teaching methods to support students who are learning from home? Has it been easier or harder than you expected?
It has been about what I was expecting. The lecture classes were easier to adapt, the challenge has been the laboratory hands-on practical. We had to use innovation and imagination to capture our student’s attention. I believe we have been successful because our attendance percentage has been in the high-90s.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always give respect and in return, you will receive respect back.
What is your favorite thing about ACC?
My favorite thing about ACC is what I call, the “ACC way” of taking care of our students, and the way we serve our students. ACC students know that they are important to us the moment they walk onto our campus.
What do you like most about mentoring students?
Knowing that I’m paying it forward. I always tell my students, “I was not born in this position. I went through the ranks. I started where you are now, but I had mentors to help me and now I’m in the position to help you. My question is: ‘What can I do to help you?’”
What do you think are the most important attributes of a good instructor?
People skills, love for what you do. Be passionate about what you do and never be afraid to say “I don’t know the answer” — but make sure that you find the correct answer and get back to your student.
Describe your teaching style.
I would describe it as hands-on, getting everyone involved in class, and having students research information and be part of the learning and teaching process.
What is your favorite course to teach?
I don’t have a favorite. I like every aspect of our program. It also keeps me updated on everything about of program and profession.
What advice would you give to current healthcare students?
The healthcare field is a vocation, and it is not for everyone. Make sure that if you are getting into the medical field, it is in your heart, that you want to do it for the right reason — to help people.
What do you like to do for fun?
Hiking, biking, and traveling, which at this time is not possible due to our current world situation.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Please share something cool going on in your classroom so we can publicize it!
We used video demonstrations, we record the instructor demonstrating the next lab practical, so when students come to campus for real hands-on practical, there is no wasted time and students go directly to do their practice, especially now that our lab times are limited.
Anything you want to add?
If I was looking for a school to go and become a certified surgical technologist, I will come to ACC, because of what we do to prepare our students. It is second to none. Students need to bring their 100% as well, but we are going to meet them halfway. I don’t say this because I work here, I say it because I believe it and I know what we do the help our students.