Cathy Otto is the new Dean of the Health Occupations, Physical Education and Business Division at Shoreline Community College.
“I’m very excited to bring Cathy with her academic and professional experience to the college in a leadership position for these important programs,” said Bob Francis, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “I want to thank the members of the search committee and everyone involved for their work and commitment.”
Faculty member Alison Leahy has been serving as interim dean after former dean Gillian Lewis retired in June, 2014. Leahy will now resume her teaching duties.
Otto earned a Ph.D in Law, Policy and Society: Health Policy at Northeastern University, Boston, in 1998. She also holds an MBA from Portland State University, a BA in French from Portland State, a BS in Medical Technology from Oregon Health Sciences University and a BS in Microbiology from Oregon State University.
Most recently, Otto has been an associate professor at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Md., in the Medical Laboratory Science Program. Prior to that, she was teaching in the Healthcare Administration master’s program at Pacific University, Hillsboro, Ore. She was Associate Professor and Clinical Coordinator at Oregon Health and Science University, and Otto also taught in the Clinical Laboratory Science Division at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“Shoreline’s programs have an excellent and well-earned reputation,” Otto said by phone from Maryland. “I’m looking forward to working with the talented and committed faculty and staff. I’m also excited about returning to the Pacific Northwest.”
Otto said she’s looking forward to the business-department responsibilities of her new job, too.
“It is way cool, definitely part of the attraction of the position” Otto said. At Salisbury, besides teaching first- and second-year Medical Laboratory students, Otto also teaches leadership courses for the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master’s of Geographic Information Systems programs. She also has experience teaching online courses to undergraduate and graduate students.
Otto has served as president of American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science and currently chairs the society’s Patient Safety Committee. Away from academia, Otto worked in laboratory supervisory positions at several Kaiser Permanente locations in the Portland/Vancouver area.
On the personal side, Otto said she has family ties to the Puget Sound region. “My grandma was born in Snohomish and my dad graduated from Everett High School,” she said. “Plus, the Northwest just seems to fit my view of the world.”
Otto is expected to be on campus soon after the start of the new year.