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Surgical Technology Program Director Wins National Award, Scholarship

As demonstrated through continuing education achievements, and confirmed through the receipt of numerous awards and accolades, Western Dakota Tech faculty are amongst the best in their educational fields. Western Dakota Tech is proud to announce another faculty member has recently twice received recognition at the national level.

In the last few weeks, Jade Hollister, Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Western Dakota Tech Surgical Technology Program Director, has earned two national honors in Surgical Technology.

Jade Hollister, Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) and Western Dakota Tech Surgical Technology Program Director, left, recently earned two national honors. Tiffany Howe, Western Dakota Tech Vice President of Teaching and Learning, right, nominated Howe for Didactic Educator of the Year.

The 2018 Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) recently announced Hollister as a recipient of the Didactic Educator of the Year Award during the AST National Conference in Orlando, Fla, at the end of May. On June 5, Hollister was also awarded the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (ARC/STSA) Chris Keegan Memorial Educator's Scholarship for $1,000.

As a winner of the Didactic Educator of the Year Award, Hollister has received a $500 award, plaque, and recognition at the national AST conference. Hollister was nominated for the honor by Tiffany Howe, Western Dakota Tech Vice President of Teaching and Learning, and Angie Burton, Community Chair of Western Dakota Tech's Surgical Technology Advisory Board and Black Hills Surgical Hospital Certified Surgical Tech.

In her nomination, Howe said the strengths regarding Ms. Hollister's academic abilities are endless.

"Ms. Hollister is extremely organized, well prepared, and effortlessly handles any increase in workload from the program. Ms. Hollister's students greatly appreciate her tough but caring teaching style and they strive to meet the high standards she expects from them. She has had excellent reviews from students on her course surveys and students have been very well prepared for future program courses because of her comprehensive work within the classroom," Howe said.

Howe noted that for the 2017 graduating cohort, Hollister's Surgical Technology program has documented an impressively high program retention rate of 95 percent. In the latest Placement Report, 100 percent of Surgical Technology students were employed, with 92 percent working in the career field.

Hollister has worked at Western Dakota Tech for two years as a Surgical Technology Instructor. She has served as Program Director for the last year. Prior to working at the college, Hollister worked for Regional Health for two years as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and for almost eight years as a Certified Surgical Technologist at Black Hills Surgical Hospital. She completed her Surgical Technology Diploma and A.A.S. in Allied Health at Western Dakota Tech in 2010. In May of 2018, Hollister graduated Cum Laude from the University of Sioux Falls, earning a Bachelor's degree in Business.

About the Association of Surgical Technologists
The Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) was established with the mission of ensuring quality patient care. Today, AST is proud to acknowledge more than 40,000 members and represents the interests of more than 80,000 practitioners nationwide. AST actively promotes education for the profession; legislatively advocates for practitioner recognition; supports state-level constituent organizations; and has committed to students as the future of the profession.

About the Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
The ARC/STSA is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit accreditation services agency providing national recognition for higher education programs in surgical technology and surgical assisting, in collaboration with the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), in order to promote quality surgical patient care through quality credible education.

The ARC/STSA's Educator's Scholarship was recently renamed in memory of Chris Keegan, CST, FAST. Keegan was an accomplished educator program director, author, esteemed colleague and friend. Throughout her career, Keegan was a tireless advocate for surgical technology and surgical assisting educators and students, and long-time volunteer with the ARC/STSA, serving on numerous committees and as the president of the Board of Directors.

About Western Dakota Tech
Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

More than 96 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military.

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

For information about Western Dakota Tech, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit us on the web at

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