Class: PAS II, inaugural cohort, graduating November 2020
Hometown: Craig, Colorado
Undergraduate studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Biological Anthropology from the University of Colorado
Graduate studies: Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from Indiana University
What clubs and activities are you currently involved with? Last year, I was the State Chapter Student Representative for our student chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. I am also involved with our program's PALS program, which connects students from the first and second cohorts to offer guidance and friendship.
Are you glad you chose RVU’s PA Program and why? Yes! I love being a part of a new program that values compassionate, competent care. It feels like RVU has a culture of respect and care toward students. Our faculty are approachable and open to dialoguing with us in effort to constantly improve. RVU staff also exude positivity and kindness toward students, whether security guards, library staff, or program staff. That makes a difference for us on busy, stressful days! As PA students, we basically spent our first year on campus all day, at least 5 days per week. Compared to lots of schools, the campus is a very convenient and comfortable place to essentially live, with easy parking, good study space, kitchen space, healthy snacks available, and a ping pong room for de-stressing (which my class used a TON!). The learning facilities, including the classrooms and cadaver lab, are excellent.
What do you like most about RVU’s PA Program? I love being a part of a small cohort of interesting people from a variety of backgrounds but with very similar goals. PA school is very challenging, and this program is no different. Having a fantastic class to go through it with makes a huge difference. Also, our faculty truly care about students, and they do an excellent job of developing relationships with us. They recognize that we are real people with complex lives, and they work with us to help us become the best new PAs we can be, while allowing us to deal with life stressors that come up.
What are your plans after the PA Program? I grew up in a small town in Northwestern Colorado, and I'm in love with the American West. I am hoping to work either in the Denver area, near where I grew up, or in Southern Colorado. I am most passionate about women's health, but I also enjoy primary care. I haven't yet found a specialty I haven't enjoyed.
What do you do in your spare time? I'm currently expecting my first baby, so I spend a lot of time getting ready for that new challenge! But I also make time for exercise, cooking, and the occasional weekend camping and hiking trip.
What advice do you have for first-year PA students? PA school is fast and furious, and you definitely have to be all-in from the start. That said, it is crucial to continue healthy habits to take care of yourself to keep performing your best. You might end up sleeping and exercising a little bit less than usual in the first year, but don't get too carried away! Try to see your friends and family when you can! Taking care of myself helps me maintain perspective while juggling a lot of hard work. I try to keep in mind that my goal is to be the best PA possible for my future patients. My education should center around that rather than fussing over every little exam question or assignment.
Fun facts about you: I was an exchange student to the Canary Islands in high school where I gained fluency in Spanish. I've worked as an interpreter in the past, and I love using this skill to connect with monolingual Spanish-speakers. I love doing canoe and raft trips during the summer, and I hope to get back to that after PA school. Also, I am growing a tiny human! I originally planned to start my family around the time of graduation, once rotations were over, but the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with that timeline a bit. There's no stopping this train now, so I'm gearing up to take it all on!