Meet Dallas RT Program Director Tommy Rust

Having just about exhausted our allotment of Campus President spotlights, or professional profiles, we’ve decided to get a little more specific. We’re going to start introducing you to various directors of programs we have at our 16 campuses. And, since November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we decided to start out by introducing you to Tommy Rust, Program Director of our Respiratory Therapy program at Concorde Career College – Dallas.

Tommy has been a Program Director (PD) or involved in education for more than 40 years, but has been at Concorde for the last seven and just a little longer than a year as a PD. He heads up one of Concorde – Dallas’ most popular and highly-regarded programs.

Let’s learn a little more about Tommy’s love for education and helping students, his love of a certain criminal investigative show and his love of flight.

Meet Tommy Rust.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR JOURNEY TO BECOMING A CONCORDE RESPIRATORY THERAPY PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

I started with Concorde in 2009 as the National Director for Respiratory Therapy and transitioned into the PD position at the Dallas campus in 2015. I have been a PD or DCE for the past 40 years. I started in “Inhalation Therapy” in 1968.

WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST PART ABOUT BEING A PROGRAM DIRECTOR?

The best part has been being involved with Respiratory Therapy students and helping them realize their dreams to be a Registered Therapist.

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOUR RT PROGRAM IN DALLAS STAND OUT, SEPARATES IT FROM A TYPICAL RT PROGRAM?

Like all RT programs at Concorde, the faculty makes the difference. The PD sets the environment for the faculty to thrive and grow. This, I believe, allows them the freedom to be great educators.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WERE EVER GIVEN?

Work hard and do the right thing!

WHAT’S A FAVORITE TV SHOW, RECENT MOVIE YOU’VE SEEN OR BOOK YOU’VE READ?

My favorite TV show is NCIS. The last book I read was “Sully,” by Chesley B. Sullenberger III with Jeffrey Zaslow.

WHAT IS A HIDDEN TALENT, FAVORITE HOBBY OR LITTLE-KNOWN FACT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am a pilot. I have flown gyroplanes and planes. I used to own an RV-6A and flew almost every day. I also participate in “DFW Honor Flight,” which takes WWII, Korean and Viet Nam veterans to Washington D.C. to see their memorials.

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Lucy Vang | Medical Assistant Graduate

“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.”

Marcus Streator | Respiratory Therapy 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.”

James Harkins | Nursing Graduate

“What I liked about Concorde was that there was nothing flashy. They were very up front, very simple, answered all my questions. They were more concerned with my education than tuition.”

Randall Hines | Polysomnographic Technologist Graduate

“I think it’s an amazing school. When I sat down for boards, I felt more than adequately prepared. If you put the work in, your success is almost guaranteed.”

Michelle Cardona | Dental Assistant graduate

“Literally a year-and-a-half ago, I was struggling to make ends meet and barely surviving. Now I have a career, make good money, and life gets better every day. I have recommended friends and family go to Concorde, because in as few as nine months, your life can completely change for the better.”