We are thrilled to announce that two outstanding professionals have joined the ARC/STSA team. Join us in welcoming Accreditation Manager Rob Blackston and Operations Coordinator Kari Allen.

Accreditation Manager Rob Blackston, MEd, CSFA, CST, FAST

Rob Blackston, MEd, CSFA, CST, FAST, joined the ARC/STSA as its Accreditation Manager on April 1, 2022. Blackston will serve in accreditation services and will be responsible for the development and administration of site evaluation activities including visit planning, processes and procedures, and site visitor education and training.

Blackston has served in a variety of roles within the Surgical Technology profession. With more than 18 years as a practicing CST and CSFA, he has scrubbed and assisted in all specialties but is not shy about expressing his love for the neurosurgical and orthopedic specialties. Over the last 12 years, he has served as the program director for surgical technology programs in Idaho and Montana, most recently, starting a new surgical technology program at North Idaho College, in Coeur d’Alene, ID.

As a volunteer, Blackston has served for more than 10 years as an ARC/STSA site visitor. He has also served on the Montana AST State Assembly’s Board of Directors and the Idaho AST State Assembly as President. He has served as a panel member for the Core Curriculum for Surgical Technology, Seventh Edition, a member of the AST Education and Professional Standards Committee, and has been a contributor and reviewer for numerous surgical technology textbooks. In 2021, he was awarded the Fellow of the Association of Surgical Technology (FAST) designation.

“After years as an educator and a working CST/CSFA, I look forward to continuing my service to the profession in my new role as the Accreditation Manager,” said Blackston.

Blackson earned his Master of Educational Technology, with a certificate in Online Teaching, from Boise State University, in 2018. He was awarded the Carolyn Thorson departmental award for excellence in educational technology and graduated with honors.

As an avid sportsman, Blackston enjoys Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and spending time in the outdoors, hiking and hunting with his family.

Operations Coordinator Kari Allen

ARC/STSA welcomed Kari Allen as Operations Coordinator on February 28, 2022.  Allen will be responsible for the efficient and effective administration and supervision of the daily ARC/STSA office activities. Allen will also assist with accounting and data management responsibilities.

Allen has a strong administrative background in higher education, having worked in the offices of the President and Registrar at two universities.  Additionally, she served as the Certification Coordinator in the Web-based Testing (WBT) department at the NBSTSA for nine years.  Since joining the ARC/STSA team in February, Allen has worked with each staff member on a variety of projects and has implemented new processes to streamline the day-to-day operations of ARC/STSA.

“I look forward to redeveloping previous relationships and creating new ones now that I have the opportunity to work with Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting program directors again,” said Allen.

In her free time, Allen enjoys snuggling with her kitties and spending time with her friends and family watching and cheering on their Colorado sports teams.