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SPOTLIGHTS

The marketing department works with faculty/staff and students to spotlight individuals through our RVU Community.

Faculty & Staff Spotlights

Get to know the RVU Faculty and Staff who are here to help you exceed at Rocky Vista University. Our accomplished faculty and staff engage in student activities, research, scholarly work, hands-on training and much more.

Research Faculty Spotlights

Student Spotlights

Meet some RVU students who are making and creating news, winning awards, holding leadership positions and generally changing the Rocky Vista University and the world.

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Student Resources

COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE (COM) STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Robert Coffman, OMS III
Class of 2025 - RVUCOM-UT
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Class of 2025

Campus Location
Southern Utah Campus

Hometown:
Normalville, PA

Undergraduate studies:
Exercise Science

Graduate studies:
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences at RVU

What clubs and activities are you currently involved with?
SIM scholar club, Ultrasound society, ACOFP, ROAD, Sports Medicine interest, and hopefully the Rural and Wilderness track

Tell us a bit about yourself
My names Robert but a lot of people call me Bobby. I grew up in a small Appalachian mountain town where I discovered my love for exploring the outdoors. This took me west to the Rocky Mountains where I attended the University of Utah. Which is where I made so many amazing friends and gained too many hobbies. My family still lives in Pennsylvania so I am thankful to have the great friends I do here at RVU.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
I was initially brought to RVU because I wanted to stay in Utah but wanted to attend an osteopathic medical school. I pursued the MSBS first because I had been out of school for a while and wanted a program that got me ready for medical school but also was a MS degree and not just a certificate. Once I met Dr. Brooks and saw how genuinely he cared for his students to succeed, I was sold.

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
When I am not studying or in class I like to explore the amazing hiking, cycling, paddle boarding, and mountain biking that surround RVU-SU. The scenery here is absolutely stunning and Dr. Brooks always has a hike set up if I can make it. I look forward to seeing how the skiing is at Brian Head resort this winter!

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
An interesting fact about me is that I can ski backwards down double-black diamonds (in control).

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
ANKi…. Lol JK. I would say it’s Dr. Towne telling us and then making us tell ourselves “I belong here.” Getting over the imposter syndrome was so crucial for me to get my footing and start adapting to this new challenge.

What are your medical interests?
As of now I like too much. All I can say is that whatever and where ever I end up I know I want to incorporate an ultrasound into my care.

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
Finally meeting all of the friends that I made in our online year of the MSBS program in person at the COM orientation.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Visit the campus and meet everyone! Only thing better than the scenery is the faculty here that want you to succeed.

Click here to read previous COM student spotlights

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (MSBS) STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Tanisha Crosby-Attipoe
Colorado Campus

Hometown:
Highlands Ranch

Undergraduate studies:
Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in California but grew up here in Colorado! I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Denver. I have wanted to be a physician since I was a kid, but my road to medicine took a few minor turns. Before attending the MSBS program, I worked as a clinical research assistant in two different neuroscience labs. One focusing on how stress impacts brain development in children and adolescences, and the other studying how patients regulate stress and their emotions. Afterwards, I spent some time working as a clinical scribe in various emergency departments across the Denver Metro area.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
My mentor recommended RVU to me! She was one of the physicians I assisted during my time working in the ER. She witnessed my struggles of getting into medical school, and thought it could benefit me. Because I had been out of school for several years, I decided to pursue this degree knowing that it would give me the skills and study habits needed to be successful in med school. After looking into the masters program at RVU, talking with former MSBS students, and attending a couple of their online information sessions, I decided to take my mentor's advice and apply to the program.

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests and hobbies)?
In my spare time, I enjoy the going to live concerts, painting, watching movies, and being outdoors. I love traveling around the world (Japan, Peru, Nicaragua, Ghana, etc.), learning new languages, and spending time with family and friends.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you?
A little known fact about me is that I am a first generation American! My parents immigrated to the United States in the late 80s. I still have extended family members living all over the world!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
Don't be afraid to change things up when it comes to how you study! What works for you in one course may not be ideal in another. Be open to trying new methods to integrate your learning. Also, be sure to take time for yourself whether that be your favorite self-care regimen, maintaining your hobbies, and getting a decent amount of sleep. Just like Dr. Robert says before every exam, "sleeping is preparing." And most importantly, give yourself grace. Don't compare yourself to your classmates and have confidence in your abilities because you do know more than you think come exam day!

What are your medical interests?
I have many medical interests! Some of them include pediatrics, emergency medicine, global medicine, gastroenterology, and psychiatry.

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
My favorite memories during my time in the MSBS program includes the white coat ceremony, my first standardized patient encounter, and forming close friendships with my classmates.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
The MSBS program here at RVU lays the foundation that you will need to get through medical school. This program is very challenging but it will grow you in so many ways. Word hard and be sure to utilize the resources that are available to you. And don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it!!! The faculty here are wonderful and they want you to succeed in whatever career path you choose. Furthermore, use this time to figure out how to balance life both in and out of the classroom. Getting into a routine now will make transitioning into medical school so much smoother.

Click here to read previous MSBS student spotlights

MASTER OF PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES (MPAS) STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Ciera Black, PAS I
Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Campus Location
Colorado Campus

Hometown:
San Diego, CA

Undergraduate studies:
Psychobiology.

Graduate studies:
Masters of Biomedical Sciences

What clubs and activities are you currently involved with?
SGA, and Cadaver Lab instructor.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am from San Diego and I moved to Colorado about 3 years ago on a whim. I fell in love with the mountains and the people here, and decided to make it home for a while. I love being outdoors and hiking with my husband and our pups. We are constantly on the road to find new rural places to camp, ride dirt bikes, and take photos. I love to teach undergraduate and high school students, so I work as a cadaver lab instructor at a local community college, alongside my PA studies.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
I chose RVU because of its location and the PA program's emphasis on clinical education. I really wanted to be part of a developing program and RVU was the perfect fit for me. I chose to become a PA because I love the perfect balance it offers as a career. Not only does it balance team-based decision making with autonomy, it also offers a healthy work and home life balance.

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests, and hobbies)?
I enjoy using my telescope and learning about space. I enjoy home improvement projects, especially ones in the yard. Overall, I am happiest when outdoors, whether I'm camping, hiking, or off-roading.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I used to race dirt-bikes competitively.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
You are studying for your patients, not for a grade.

What are your medical interests?
Pediatric emergency medicine or rural medicine.

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
My favorite memories always revolve around our in-person skills days because we get to see each other face to face and actually practice what we've been learning. My first time doing an ultrasound to see the heart and vessels was my favorite memory because you could look around the room and see how proud all of my classmates were when they successfully found the structures.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
PA school is truly the hardest thing you will have ever done in your life thus far. Actively scheduling time to focus on your mental health every single day is vital to making it through this.

Click here to read previous MPAS student spotlights

RESEARCH STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Eric Haskell, PAS
Master of Physician Assistant Studies
Class of 2021

Colorado Campus

Where is your hometown?
Englewood, CO

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests, and hobbies)?
Adventures with my girlfriend and 10-year-old herding dog, climbing mountains via rock faces, descending mountains on skis, enjoying home-cooked meals with friends around a campfire after a long day outside.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I've flown into various ranges of Colorado for mountain rescue via several different helicopter's including A-Stars, Blackhawks and Chinooks.

How long have you been doing research?
This past year has been my first experience conducting research.

Where did you get your undergraduate? What was your degree?
I received my Bachelors of Art in Philosophy at University of Montana

What type of research are you currently doing at RVU?
My current research looks at the prevalence of traumatic events and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in professional and recreational alpine sports. Prior to being a student at RVU, I worked and recreated in the mountains. I saw numerous accidents and felt their effects on the communities I lived among. PTSD research over the years has expanded from veterans to include other high risk professions and I wanted to further that research. My research will be published in The Avalanche Review this month.

Anything else you would like to share:
Descartes separated the mind from the body; however, my studies in philosophy and medicine have shown me that the two are more interconnected than we think. As future health care professionals, it is important that we contemplate and treat the whole patient, not just one part.

Click here to read previous research student spotlights

CONNECT WITH US

RESOURCES

Rocky Vista University welcomes employment inquiries from qualified individuals who share and support our mission and vision. We value individuals who demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, community service, and excellence. As one of the newest of the colleges of osteopathic medicine, RVU enjoys an entrepreneurial culture featuring state of the art facilities and innovative approaches to learning.

The faculty and staff are a school's most valuable commodity. They are the basis of the school's success and the future success of its graduates. At RVU, we have a group of employees who are dedicated to the mission of providing quality healthcare education and of inspiring students to serve with compassion, integrity, and excellence. Visit the RVU Directory to get to know the faculty and staff.

The Marketing Department has developed many ways to learn more about RVU, to follow the latest news and events, and to sing the praises of our students, faculty, and staff. In the News Room, you will find press releases, the Vista View newsletter, the Prairie Dogs and Roadrunners blog, and our social media accounts.