Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty


Your success is important to us at Empire College. Read more about the instructors in the Medical department that are here to help you succeed.

Shannon Tinsley
CCMA-AC, Medical Department Head
Read more about Shannon

Education: An Empire graduate herself, Ms. Tinsley brings a love for learning to the classroom. At Yuba College she learned American Sign Language and while attending Santa Rosa Junior College she studied various topics included Cardiac Telemetry and Nutrition, as well as general education courses. In 2003, she completed courses with Family Health Services in San Diego to obtain a phlebotomy certification.

Certifications: California Certified Medical Assistant since 1994, Nationally Certified Phlebotomy Technician since 2003, Certified Instructor for the American Red Cross

Professional Experience: After working part time in a pharmacy setting, Ms. Tinsley decided to begin working in medical offices to have more direct patient contact. Her office experience ranges from Family Medicine to Allergy and Cardiology. She also managed a board-and-care facility with four residents for many years.

Memberships: Ms. Tinsley is a past state president for the California Medical Assistants Association and has been a state officer for 13 years. She is very active on both a statewide and local level. She is also a member of CAHCE, California Association of Health Career Educators.

Professional Affiliations: American Heart Association Executive Leadership Team 2011, California Certifying Board for Medical Assistants (CCBMA) test committee, Chairman and Facilitator of the Sonoma County Flu Task Force.

History at Empire College: Ms. Tinsley began working at Empire as a teacher's assistant in April 1994. She was brought on full time in October that same year as a Medical Assisting Instructor and Externship Coordinator.

Megan Chieppa
Read more about Megan

Education: Ms. Chieppa completed a Specialized Associate degree in the field of Medical Assisting at Empire College, as well as the Clinical Medical Assistant program, and is a certified Administrative and Clinical Medical Assistant.

Certifications: California State Phlebotomy License, California Certified Medical Assistant – Administrative and Clinical, and California State Manicurist License

Professional Experience: Ms. Chieppa began her career in the medical field in 2003 as a Phlebotomist for Unilab, which later became LabCorp. In 2006, Ms. Chieppa joined the Sutter Medical Foundation as a Medical Assistant performing administrative and clinical duties. In 2007, Ms. Chieppa was recruited by Empire College to assist in teaching a phlebotomy class. She became a full-time instructor in Empire College's Medical department in October 2007.

Memberships: Current member of the California Medical Assistants Association and has held official positions within the organization.

History at Empire College: Ms. Chieppa has been teaching at Empire College since 2007, starting in a part-time position and moving into a full-time, split-shift clinical instructor position. Ms. Chieppa is currently teaching all clinical aspects in both the day and evening school. Ms. Chieppa has taught CPR and First Aid, Pharmacology, Insurance Plans, and Medical Terminology. Ms. Chieppa also assisted in developing Empire College's state approved Phlebotomy program, where she is currently the head instructor.

Melissa A. Vineyard
RN, B.S., B.A.
Read more about Melissa

Education: Ms. Vineyard received her Associate degree in Nursing from Santa Rosa Junior College and completed her Administrative Residency at Saint Joseph Hospital. She holds a B.S. in Health Services Administration from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and B.A. in Social Welfare from the University of Nebraska.

Licenses: California Registered Nurse

Professional Experience: Ms. Vineyard has 20+ years experience in the fields of healthcare and medicine. She has worked in a variety of medical settings that include large healthcare systems, acute care hospitals, medical clinics, skilled nursing facilities, physical rehab hospitals and home healthcare settings. Her positions have ranged from Medical Assistant and Nurse to Administrator and Director of Nursing, to Independent Contractor and Consultant.

History at Empire College: Ms. Vineyard began working for Empire College in March of 2000. She has taught Medical Terminology, Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Office Procedures, ICD Coding, and Security Practices.

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