This year, the ARC/STSA awarded a total of $7,000 in combined scholarships — ten $500 scholarships for students and two $1,000 scholarship for educators. Student recipients included:
- Maysaa Barakat, Fortis College – Houston South, TX
- Nicolle Brazil, Pueblo Community College, CO
- Jennifer Craig, Front Range Community College, CO
- Eliza Ferris, Pittsburgh Technical College, PA
- Kendra Fulton, Des Moines Area Community College, IA
- Melissa Jensen, Parkland College, IL
- Deanna Kishka, Spartanburg Community College, SC
- Mandi Marks, Lanier Technical College, GA
- Diana Stronovych, Parkland College, IL
- Courtney Waatti, Flathead Valley Community College, MT
Additionally, the ARC/STSA is proud to recognize two accomplished educators with the Chris Keegan Memorial Educator Scholarship. In years past, only one educator scholarship has been granted. However, the ARC/STSA was so inspired by the educator applicants, both of whom are currently pursuing doctoral degrees, that for the first time, it granted two $1,000 educator scholarships.
Stephanie Austin, MA, CST, Walters State Community College, TN
Stephanie Austin is the director of the surgical technology program at Walters State Community College in Sevier County, Tennessee. She has also been a site visitor for the ARC/STSA since 2019 and is a member of the Tennessee AST Board of Directors.
Austin holds a certificate in surgical technology from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, an associate degree from Roane State Community College, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Siena Heights University.
Austin entered the field of surgical technology at a level-one trauma center. She also volunteered at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and subsequently accepted a full-time faculty position with the college. When that position was dissolved several years later, Austin returned to the operating room, often serving as a preceptor. She enjoyed these interactions with students, which led her back to her teaching roots.
After Austin earned her bachelor’s degree, she transitioned back into higher education to work with students once again. She held program director roles at Virginia College and Keiser University in Florida before arriving at her current role at Walters State Community College.
Today, Austin is just as driven to achieve the next level of education. “My pursuit for a [Doctor of Education degree with a teaching and learning specialization] is fueled by my desire to one day be the dean in a higher education institution,” Austin said. “I also want to be more involved in promoting the field of surgical technology. My hope is to hold office at the national level of AST and be part of the changes that need to happen to ensure that all surgical technologists receive the respect and recognition deserved.”
Carrie Miller, MBA, MHA, CST, University of Saint Francis, IN
Carrie Miller is an assistant professor and the clinical coordinator for the department of surgical technology at the University of Saint Francis (USF) in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Miller earned her Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from USF. She is currently in her last year of the Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program at A.T. Still University. Miller has been a surgical technologist for 10 years and is starting her sixth year as a full-time faculty member at USF, teaching in both the surgical technology and health services programs.
Miller works diligently to ensure her students are completely prepared for the professional world, providing them with a learning environment in which they can obtain vital lifelong skills. In addition to didactics and clinicals, she has worked simultaneously with the University’s simulation team to create and conduct high-fidelity simulation experiences for the students within the surgical technology program.
“Receiving the ARC/STSA Chris Keegan Memorial Educator Scholarship will help offset a portion of the financial responsibilities of school and will allow me to focus on my efforts required for graduation, as well as being an educator,” Miller said. “My ultimate goal is to leave a lasting impression on the future of health care professionals, both as an educator and a leader.”