NJAST Past Presidents


These individuals have had an enormous impact on creating the representative body and advocacy champion for Surgical Technologists in our proud State of New Jersey. A testament to their commitment to the profession, and altruism of personal time and sacrifice for the greater good of our Surgical Technology in NJ, is that while no longer in a leadership role for the NJAST, they continue to campaign for, advocate, and promote the presence of STs in the state.

Melissa Fransen

Past President

Biography to come.

Carol Conover, CST/CSFA, FAST

Past President

(President 2010 – 2015)
(Vice President 2006 – 2010)

The role of the Surgical Technologist has grown a great deal over the years and continues to do so rapidly. We as Surgical Technologists and Surgical Assistants must work together to strengthen our profession. We need a strong state assembly to educate the public and our political representatives as to who we are and what we do. We need a strong state assembly to continue to educate, support and grow our membership.
I worked in the field of Surgical Technology for over forty years, in New Jersey and California. I was first certified as a CST in 1975 and then as a CSFA in 1992. In 2003 I went into the educational aspect of surgical technology as an instructor of surgical technology and was then promoted to Program Director, and held that position of Surgical Technology Program Director at Sanford Brown Institute, Iselin, NJ until the 2016 school closing when I also retired.
As a founding member of NJAST, I served as the first Vice President in 2006 then as President until 2015. As the NJAST Governmental and Public Affairs Committee Chair 2010-2012, I worked diligently with NJ State legislators, AST Legal Representatives, and our NJAST BOD to make certain legislation was put in place to require Surgical Technologists meet specific education and certification to practice in NJ. The Bill was signed into law December 2011, placing above all else, the safety and welfare of the surgical patient in accordance with the AST motto, Aeger Primo.
In 2013, I was honored to be recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Surgical Technologists (FAST). This designation recognizes those individuals who have upheld the highest standards and traditions of the surgical technology profession, and whose professional activities have been devoted to the advancement of the profession toward improving the quality of surgical patient care.
It is a privilege to have been a part of the Association of Surgical Technologists on both the National and State levels in California and New Jersey. My involvement has helped me to understand and appreciate the importance of our responsibility in the surgical arena. My experience has also made me acutely aware of how few people outside of that surgical arena know who and what a Surgical Technologist is and that we are an integral member of the surgical team that delivers expert care to every surgical patient.
As past president of the New Jersey Association of Surgical Technologists State Assembly it is my now my privilege to continue to support the Association of Surgical Technologists and all my fellow surgical technologists.

Shondra McGill, CST, CASSPT, FAST

Past President

(President 2015 – 2017)
(Vice President 2010 – 2015)
(Secretary 2007-2010)
(Board Member 2006-2007)

I graduated from the Surgical Technology program at Sanford-Brown Institute in September, 2004 with High Honors.  I achieved certification in March of 2005.
Upon graduating, I enjoyed working with wonderful people as a per-diem tech at Princeton Surgiplex, Princeton HealthCare System’s Surgical Center, CARES Surgical Center in New Brunswick and University Surgical Center in East Brunswick.  In August 2010, I accepted a full time position assisting with the new opening of the beautiful new Ambulatory Surgical Pavillion at RWJUH in New Brunswick where I worked with an amazing team of Operating Room Professionals.  In June 2011, I returned to the Princeton HealthCare System family – now known as the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro – at the new Monroe Surgical Center, a joint venture between PHCS and Princeton Orthopedic Associates.  I truly value all the relationships I’ve made in my career.  I’ve been fortunate to work with them all.
NJAST has accomplished passing minimum requirements for working as a Surgical Technologist in the State of NJ requiring mandatory certification or the successful completion of an Accredited Program, a small but elite group of programs putting out the finest Surgical Technologists to benefit our patients and our facilities, as well as maintaining 15 CEU’s per year to help keep us strong in our important profession.
In July 2015, I was appointed to and proudly serve on the SALC Committee for AST, our National Organization that supports our Profession.  I serve with a strong and dedicated group of individuals whose goal it is, to encourage and oversee growth and leadership to other State Assemblies working to help the Surgical Technologists in their states grow stronger thru education, membership and guidance. 
In June 2017, I was honored to receive the FAST (Fellow of AST) recognition at the 2017 AST National Conference in New Orleans!  This was an especially momentous occasion for me as it was the 10th anniversary of my first National Conference attendance (which also happend to be in NO), and NJAST had just celebrated our 10th anniversary as a State Assembly in the fall of 2006.
As a founding member of NJAST’s Board of Directors, and now Past President, I look forward to continuing the important work toward achieving future goals and progressing our profession.