Meet Tampa CP Rod Kirkwood

health care careers

We had so much fun profiling Miramar Campus President Ginny Carpenter in our "Meet Your Campus Presidents" series last week that we decided to stay in the Sunshine State for this week's offering.

Today, we're traveling across the state and about 260 miles up Interstate 75 to beautiful Tampa, where Rod Kirkwood presides over Concorde's campus. Our Tampa campus offers seven health care career programs, and Kirkwood ensures that all run smoothly and carry the high-quality, real-world education and training to which Concorde aspires on a daily basis.

Today, we're going to learn about Kirkwood's journey to becoming Campus President (CP) at Concorde - Tampa - a journey that started on the other side of the U.S. - his love of zombies and a 10-day European bus tour where he and his wife got a little more than they bargained for.

Let's meet Rod Kirkwood.

What's been your journey to becoming a Concorde CP?

After graduation from the University of Oregon with my bachelor of science in accounting, I was hired by a small tech college in Portland, Ore. as a financial aid advisor. After a few short months, I found myself in charge of the Finance Department and the Business Office. In 1996, I left Oregon and moved to Florida as a Director of Financial Aid at Florida Metropolitan University. During that time, I obtained my master's degree in adult education from the University of South Florida. In 2013, I decided that I really wanted to be part of an organization that specialized in Allied Health. This is when I came to be President of Concorde Career Institute - Tampa.

What's the best part of being a Campus President?

Knowing that I have a part in helping adults make a better life for themselves and their families.

From your perspective, what is it that makes the Tampa campus stand out, makes it special?

The staff at the Tampa campus is what makes the campus special. It may be cliche to say that they really care about each other and seeing our students graduate, but it's true. We have a very experienced leadership team at Tampa that seems to go together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Each member seems to complement each other's skills and blend well with each other.

What's the best piece of advice you ever were given?

I have picked up quite a bit of advice through the years. One, "you need to assume innocence" when working with others. This has helped me not to rush to judgment or conclusions, but instead ask open-ended questions like "help me understand why XY and Z." One of my former supervisors used to always tell me, "Don't sweat the small stuff."

What's a favorite TV show, recent movie you've seen or book you've read?

My wife and I make it a Sunday evening ritual to turn up the lights and watch the Walking Dead together. I'm reading a book right now called "Mind Readers."

What is a hidden talent, favorite hobby or little-known fact people don't know about you?

When my wife graduated from college with her master's, as a celebration we went on a 10-day bus tour of Europe. What made it very memorable was that we were on the top end of the age category (35) while the closest other occupants of the bus were freshmen to seniors in college (18-22). It was quite the party bus. However, I've never been so tired in my life!

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“Concorde was one of my best vehicles that helped me gain the confidence I needed to change my life. … It all started with a vision, a will and Concorde.”

Lucy Vang
Medical Assistant Graduate

“Without the support of certain instructors … I would not have pushed myself to grasp the concepts and pass my boards on the first attempt. Once I passed my boards, it was less than one month after that I landed my first Respiratory Therapist job where I am currently working with so much joy every day.”

Marcus Streator
Respiratory Therapy graduate