Pictured left to right: (Back row) Erin White-Mincarelli, Ron Ehlers, Scott Geist, Brenda Poynter, Kellie McFarlin; (Front row) Ellen Colbeck, Robin Keith, Karyn Songer, Janice Grewatz; Not pictured: Richard Royal

ARC/STSA is pleased to announce newly elected officers and newly appointed members of the Board of Directors. Get to know these individuals with more information below!

Robin Keith, BSN, CST, RN, CNOR, is the president of the ARC/STSA Board of Directors and chairperson of the Surgical Technology Department at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech) in Asheville, NC. Keith’s surgical career began in 1988 after taking a perioperative nursing course, which led to employment in the operating room. In 2002, she began adjunct teaching for the surgical technology program at A-B Tech and eight months later became the program director. Realizing her passion for the profession, she obtained her surgical technology diploma, despite bring grandfathered into her current position in 2005. In 2006, she became a certified surgical technologist (CST) and an ARC/STSA site visitor.

“Becoming a site visitor was the smartest thing I could do to support myself as a program director. It has provided me insight I would have never received otherwise … and allowed me to work with and be mentored by some of the most renowned surgical technology educators in the country. I can’t recommend it enough.” —Robin Keith

Janice Grewatz, BS, CST, CSFA, CSPDT, FAST, is the newly elected ARC/STSA vice president and the program director at Parkland College in Champaign, IL. Grewatz graduated from Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE, with an Associate of Applied Science degree in surgical technology and a bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Grewatz served as a technical reviewer for the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) textbook, “Surgical Technology for the Surgical Technologist: A Positive Care Approach.” Additionally, she has served in a number of roles for the Illinois State Assembly of AST, including president.

“Serving the ARC/STSA as both a site visitor and board member allows me to advocate for continued quality surgical technology education and accreditation, as well as give back to the profession.” —Janice Grewatz

Karyn Songer, AS, CST, FAST is the newly elected secretary and treasurer for the Board. She is the former surgical technology program director at Concorde Career College in Aurora, CO. Prior to that role, she served as surgical technology program chair at Everest College – Thornton in Thornton, CO. Songer holds an Applied Science degree in surgical technology from Vincennes University Online. She has been a member of the Association of Surgical Technologists since 1992, holding several leadership roles. Songer has also been an ARC/STSA site visitor since 2012.

“I serve on the ARC/STSA Board of Directors to protect the education of certified surgical technologists, certified surgical first assistants and the community we work in.” —Karyn Songer

Ellen Colbeck, EdM, RT(R)(ARRT), is a newly elected member of the Board of Directors and the dean of health professions at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She has 17 years of experience in higher education, including six years as radiography program director. Colbeck earned a Master of Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Arts in management from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She is a graduate of the Decatur Memorial Hospital School of Radiologic Technology. Her community service includes participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentor 2.0 program, helping high school students succeed and transition to post-secondary education.

“Validating that educational programs meet accreditation standards serves our students, employers and patients, and I am committed to using my experiences in higher education to help the ARC/STSA grow and prosper.” —Ellen Colbeck

Ron Ehlers, BSCS, is the new public member for the ARC/STSA Board of Directors and an enterprising IT executive and consultant with more than 40 years of experience. He has led highly productive IT and business teams and supported their profitable growth. Ehlers is the CEO and principal of his company, Specialty TECH Solutions, and his work has been recognized through several industry awards. He also served as the public member on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA) Board of Directors from 2008-2014. During his tenure, he provided direction and leadership in the creation of the organization’s first strategic information systems plan.

“My hope is that as the public member for the ARC/STSA Board of Directors, I will be able to provide business, financial and IT leadership to assist the organization in serving its constituents more efficiently and effectively, and thus contribute to the continued growth and success of the education programs serving [these] communities.” —Ron Ehlers

Brenda Poynter, MHA, BSW, CST, CSFA, is a newly elected ARC/STSA director and the program director at the University of Cincinnati-Clermont College in Batavia, OH. She works part-time in surgery, along with her full-time teaching position. Poynter trained in the Army as an operating room technician in 1987. She later attended the University of Cincinnati where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, and then completed a master’s degree in health administration. She served as a member of the CSFA Exam Review Committee for the NBSTSA and a site visitor for the ARC/STSA. Poynter has been a member of AST since 1993, as well as a member of the American Surgical Association (ASA) since 2010.

“Accreditation is the base that holds programs accountable to meet standards, and assures that competent employees enter the surgical technology and assisting workforce.” —Brenda Poynter

Erin White-Mincarelli, PhD, CST, FAST, is a newly elected ARC/STSA director, as well as assistant professor and surgical technology program coordinator at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Her professional experience includes more than eight years as a CST, which led to her work in higher education. White-Mincarelli earned her Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership from Alvernia University, a Master of Science from West Chester University, a Bachelor of Science from Delaware Valley College and a diploma in surgical technology from Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences surgical technology program. She has maintained a CST credential for almost 20 years.

“A properly educated surgical technologist knows how to respond and ensure patient safety when something goes wrong. This comes from a knowledge of proper technique and adherence to the Standards of Practice.” —Erin White-Mincarelli

These individuals join our seated board, including:

  • Scott Geist, MBA, CST
  • Kellie McFarlin, MD, FACS
  • Richard Royal, MD, FACS