Tamara Simmons joined ARC/STSA as the director of accreditation services on December 1 of last year. She brings an extensive background of service in higher education, having served as the director of student services, director of student affairs and graduate employment, and academic dean at various colleges. We sat down with Ms. Simmons to discuss her new role, and what she’s most looking forward to in 2017.

Ms. Simmons shared that she is excited to grow the support and commitment to accredited programs and to continue working with CAAHEP. As a result of her past experiences, she brings a deep knowledge of the accreditation standards and process, as well as the importance of compliance. After all, the better the education that is provided to students in surgical technology and surgical assisting, the better they will be able to serve their communities past graduation. “I am dedicated to assisting programs in providing high-quality education to students, and also safety to the communities in which they will serve,” she said. “ARC/STSA has been serving the surgical technology and surgical assisting communities for 45 years, and I hope that I can contribute to the accomplishments of this long-standing organization.”

She is also an advocate for collaboration, and recognized it as a key contributor to the success she hopes to see throughout her tenure. “I understand the importance of strong community existing within our organizations,” she explained. “I believe collective teamwork is necessary for overall success.”