Each year ASAPA recognizes a PA Student of the Year from each PA program. The 2019 award winners would have been recognized and received their awards at the ASAPA 2020 Annual Membership Meeting held during the Spring CME Conference. With the conference first being moved to the Fall and now to a virtual meeting we would like to share with you and recognize each of the student award winners.
Nominees for PA Student of the Year are students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement while also participating in community service projects and/or activities that promote the PA profession. Each PA program in Arizona should nominate at least one student for the award. PA students should be in their second year of PA school.
A.T. Still University - Carly "Zoe" Swett
As president of the class of 2020 ATSU physician assistant class, Ms. Carly "Zoe" Swett has dedicated hundreds of hours in addition to her studies to the betterment of her class, her future profession, and her community. Zoe grew up in Bishop, California and graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Human Physiology. Prior to PA school, Zoe worked as a medical assistant for a surgical gynecologist as well as a general surgery practice. She wanted to become a physician assistant to serve to underrepresented and underserved communities. In order to prepare herself to fulfill this goal, Zoe is completing all of her clinical year rotations this year in the underserved, rural community of Albany, Georgia at Albany Area Primary Health Care. Prior to PA school, Zoe contributed to underserved international communities in central American providing medical, dental, and public health aid. This past September, Zoe was selected as a Physician Assistant Education Association's Student Health Policy Fellowship recipient. Zoe was selected from many PA students across the U.S. to attend advocacy training in Washington, D.C. to enhance students' understanding of the political process and health policy with the ultimate goal to inspire and prepare fellows for lifelong grassroots advocacy, both in Washington and at home, to promote the PA profession as an integral part of the health care system. In her spare time, Zoe enjoys snowboarding, reading, listening to live music and enjoying the outdoors. When Zoe graduates in August 2020, she would like to work in emergency medicine, urgent care or primary care providing the best care possible to her patients.
Midwestern University - Christopher Klein
Chris has demonstrated the ability to successfully navigate a rigorous academic program as well as to participate in service projects and activities that promote the profession. He is always willing to step up and offer his help with any task. He eagerly and enthusiastically brings his classmates together in his role as class historian. He is a hard worker and has demonstrated a passion for orthopaedics. He was selected as a finalist for the PAOS Susan Lindahl Memorial Scholarship and submitted a scholarly work for consideration. His drive and motivation are accompanied by a quiet demeanor and an ever-present smile.
Northern Arizona University - Brandon Braaksma
Brandon continuously embodies the perfect blend of superb academic success with notable professionalism. Brandon’s achievement of a 4.0 through the didactic phase of his education was impressive due to the commitment required to master the enormous volume of medical knowledge, all while he maintained his participation with the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society. This nationally renowned society promotes academic excellence with service and respect for others, features which are second nature to Brandon. Brandon continues his exceptional performance in the clinical phase of his education. He succeeds in mastering his course of study, all while effectively communicating with faculty, preceptors, and most importantly patients. Brandon’s first rotation preceptor called the school directly to speak to the quality of Brandon’s knowledge, compassion, and professionalism. The preceptor stated that such high-level performance is usually only expected of a student at the end of the clinical year, rather than the beginning. Brandon’s other preceptors have consistently described him as hardworking, organized, and knowledgeable. The NAU PA Program has gained a solid and devoted individual by matriculating Brandon. We are confident he will represent the program, and the profession through the remainder of the curriculum and into his career.
2020 Scholarship Recipients
A.T. Still University - Kelsey Enlow
Midwestern University- Jacqueline Fernandez
Northern Arizona University - Jennifer Gabriel