Ozarks Technical Community College named Dr. Aaron Light as the Dean of Health Sciences. Light will assume his new role on July 1. He replaces Dr. Sherry Taylor, who retired in March.
Currently, Dr. Light is the Program Director for OTC’s Respiratory Therapy Program, a position he has held for six years, but he’s been with the college since 2003. Recently, Dr. Light helped make OTC history when he led the Respiratory Therapy Program through the process of earning approval to offer bachelor’s degrees. By gaining authorization from the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to offer bachelor’s degrees, OTC and St. Louis Community College became the first community colleges in Missouri approved to offer four-year degrees.
“The college conducted a national search to find the next dean of health sciences, and we received many outstanding applicants,” said Dr. Tracy McGrady, OTC provost. “Aaron’s combination of institutional knowledge, experience as a practitioner, and familiarity with higher education made him the best choice to fill this important role.”
Dr. Light is an OTC graduate with an associate degree in respiratory therapy. Plus, he holds bachelor’s degrees from Missouri State University in both respiratory therapy and management. In addition, he earned a master’s in respiratory care leadership and a doctorate in health science.
Health Sciences is the new name of the OTC department previously called Allied Health, which encompasses several programs, including nursing, respiratory therapy and dental hygiene. The name change to Health Sciences is to better align with national trends in health education. The name change takes effect on July 1.