Chief Delegate Delilah Dominguez
Delilah Dominguez is a third-year student at Quinnipiac University, where she is president of her class.
Since starting PA school, Dominguez has become passionate about advocating for the PA profession. She has served as a two-term student delegate for the AAPA House of Delegates, as a PAEA Health Policy Fellow, a University of Connecticut/Area Health Education Center Network Program Scholar, and on the AAPA Student Leadership Committee. She is a current member of the AAPA Joint Task Force on PA Burnout, Connecticut Academy of PAs Legislative Committee, PAs in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, LBGT PA Caucus, and African Heritage PA Caucus. She is dedicated to volunteer work and has completed more than 260 hours of community service during PA school. She was recently named the AAPA 2020 Student of the Year.
Prior to PA school, Dominguez earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from the Yale School of Drama and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. She worked as a licensed clinical social worker with older adults in central Texas in hospice care, on an inpatient geriatric psychiatric unit, and as a research associate.
Dominguez is passionate about serving older adults and is particularly interested in end-of-life, hospice, mental health, and LGBTQ health. She believes that the primary mission of medicine, like social work, is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people. She is an advocate for social justice and is interested in helping to create and shape policies in the profession that will help improve our healthcare system and provide greater access to health resources.
Annie Yang is a third-year student at University of Southern California’s Primary Care PA program. She previously served as the Director of Student Communications for the Student Academy of AAPA and as the Student Academy Representative of her class and student society.
In her first-year of PA school she attended USC’s annual PA Advocacy Trip with PA Education Association (PAEA) to Washington, D.C., which sparked her interest in PA education and advocacy. Yang is passionate about educating PA students regarding various issues facing our profession. She hopes to empower more students in exercising their voices.
Prior to PA school, Yang graduated in an accelerated four-year program with a Master of Science in Global Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from University of Southern California. While being a full-time student, she worked as a part-time medical assistant at a worker’s compensation clinic to gain clinical experience. It was in her master’s program where her passion for disease prevention and policy work was ignited.
After PA school, Yang plans to remain in the Los Angeles area to serve her community and hopes to one day work in PA education or policy. In her spare time, Yang loves baking different desserts and watching crime dramas. She enjoys playing the piano, but most of all spending time with her newly rescued cat, Cheddar.
Anthony Carli is a second-year PA student at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. An Arizona native, he obtained his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Arizona. Thereafter, he moved to Washington, DC with his now-wife to pursue a career in politics and public affairs. He has experience working for the U.S. House of Representatives, and as a public affairs and communications professional in the fields of technology and healthcare. After witnessing an accident involving a bus and a pedestrian after leaving work in D.C., he decided to enroll in EMT training and joined a volunteer fire department in Bethesda, Maryland. Carli hopes to combine his passions for medicine, writing and public policy as a PA, and is interested in practicing in emergency medicine or a surgical subspecialty.
Bari Peyser is a second-year student at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. She is passionate about advocating for PA students and the PA profession, as well as for underserved populations. Peyser believes that awareness of and engagement in the PA profession starts at the student level and that access to and quality of healthcare must be increased and improved. Since starting PA school, she has been eager to make progress in these areas, and has gotten more involved in healthcare policymaking, as well as the PA profession.
Peyser served as a student delegate for the AAPA House of Delegates during the 2019-2020 term and is excited to serve her second term this year. She was selected to serve as a University of Connecticut/Area Health Education Center Network Program Scholar for the duration of her PA program, which focuses on prevention and primary care in Connecticut’s urban underserved communities. In this unique program, Peyser collaborates with students across other health disciplines to provide a holistic approach to healthcare for special patient populations, including the underserved. This program also provides her with the ability to still go above and beyond in her commitment to community service, even with the demands of PA school. Peyser is dedicated to volunteer work and her goal is to further increase her involvement in the next year.
Prior to PA school, Peyser earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Global and International Studies, as well as a minor in Spanish, from The Pennsylvania State University. She interned during college on Wall Street at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and continued working for the firm full-time post-graduation. She spent time in various roles across the firm including: Investment Banking, Prime Brokerage, Credit Derivatives Trading, Strategy and Process Improvement, Business Resiliency and Crisis Management, and Human Resources. Peyser wanted to more tangibly help others, make change, and make a positive impact in the world, which led her to the PA profession. She looks forward to continuing this journey and increasing her involvement in the AAPA.
Brandon Hughey is a second-year student at The University of Toledo PA Program.
Throughout his studies, Hughey has served in a variety of leadership and advocacy roles. These roles include executive board member of his program’s student society, director of PA relations of the Community Care Free Medical Clinics, member of multiple committees within the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA), and Student Delegate on the AAPA House of Delegates. He is currently a member of the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA), Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), LGBT PA Caucus, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telemedicine (PAVMT), and PAs for Global Health (PAGH).
Prior to PA school, Hughey earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Alongside his PA studies, he is also working towards his Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree at Colorado State University Global.
Following PA school, Hughey plans to attend a postgraduate fellowship in Hospital Medicine while completing his Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) degree at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.
Chelsey Chapman is a second-year PA student at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) where she serves as the OHSU PA Student Representative for the Oregon Medical Association (OMA). She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic School of Health Science where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions -Echocardiography.
Prior to PA school, Chapman worked for three years as a registered diagnostic cardiac sonographer followed by two years as an associate clinical research coordinator at the Mayo Clinic. During that time, she helped train echocardiography staff on advanced imaging techniques, contributed to designing Mayo’s new electronic medical record, and worked with a research team that was focused on developing novel cancer screening techniques. Her experiences caring for underserved patients as well as her volunteer work with the Salvation Army Good Samaritan Clinic are what inspired Chapman to become a PA focused on service-oriented medicine.
Chapman centers her future medical practice around the tenet that every patient, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographic location, deserves access to exceptional and affordable healthcare. Her connection to rural communities and strong commitment toward creating equitable access to healthcare motivated her to become a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Scholar. She looks forward to uplifting the voices of progress and change that echo in the hearts of her peers while serving as a House of Delegates Student Representative. Ultimately, Chapman hopes to develop into a PA who advocates for the voiceless and finds novel solutions that bridge divides between underserved communities and affordable healthcare.
Corinne Benson is a Midwestern native currently attending Touro University California’s joint PA and Public Health program. She is incredibly passionate about reproductive justice and intersecting public health issues. Prior to PA school, Benson worked with Planned Parenthood of Illinois in a variety of capacities, including direct patient care, management and business operations to help streamline projects throughout the state. She continues to work with the affiliate remotely in an administrative role, dedicated to the organization’s mission and creed to care for all, no matter what.
Throughout her time at Touro, Benson has immersed herself in AAPA’s student advocacy efforts and ways she and her future colleagues can be actively engaged in their profession. She has served as her student chapter’s Student Academy Representative, a volunteer on the Student Academy Leadership Committee, and is a returning student delegate for the House of Delegates. Benson is incredibly excited to continue working on resolutions in collaboration with her fellow delegates.
Benson also takes an active role in social justice in her school’s community. As a member of Rainbow Health Coalition, she has helped organize events promoting the LGBTQ community and to raise awareness about issues of sexual assault. Additionally, Benson has worked with Medical Students for Choice, attending the annual conference in Philadelphia and promoting PA representation. Here she gained valuable insight into many challenges facing reproductive rights and efforts PAs can make to help.
Outside of studying and work, Benson enjoys biking the Bay Area. As an avid cyclist, some of her most memorable trips include riding from Virginia to Oregon and more recently from Chicago to New Orleans. She can’t wait to plan the next adventure upon graduation. In her free time, Benson also enjoys hiking with her partner, Brandon, traveling, reading short stories, and cooking delicious food with great friends.
Jasmine Cofield is a PA student at University of Detroit-Mercy currently in her clinical year of studies. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and minor in psychology from Central Michigan University in 2016. In high school, she was afforded the opportunity to dual-enroll in college classes; she earned 73 college credits and three Associate degrees before beginning her undergraduate career.
Her love for diversity continues beyond her undergraduate studies. Currently, she is the Resident Director of the residence hall that houses the majority of University of Detroit-Mercy’s international students. She also serves as the diversity chair of her 2020 graduating class where she was tasked with supplementing the didactic portion of the curriculum with thought-provoking talks surrounding race, poverty, LGBTQ, mental health, and disabilities in healthcare. As a proud student attending a program involved in its community, she accompanies faculty and community clinicians on visits to inner-city high schools and pre-PA clubs to raise awareness of the profession and to talk about the university’s PA program. She has served on many health panels in the Flint, Detroit, and Dearborn communities to educate on women’s health and minorities in STEM. She also served as the Health Education co-chair in her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC where she was tasked with planning health events surrounding preventative medicine and healthy lifestyles in the Black community.
Cofield is the CEO/Founder of her organization, ThePAC Movement, LLC. Short for Physician Assistants of Color, ThePAC is committed to diversifying the medical field through mentorship, increasing awareness, and providing networking opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds who are in the pursuit of, or already practicing in the profession. Among many other resources ThePAC provides, her organization hosts events across the country for students and providers on all levels to network and support one another. ThePAC has addressed many of the disparities medicine sees today by hosting webinars and providing low-cost opportunities for students to obtain healthcare and volunteer experience.
After graduation, Cofield hopes to practice in her highest capacity as a certified PA. Her location of interest is back home in Flint, Michigan where she can give back to her community through exceptional healthcare and fulfill her secondary passion for teaching. In the future, Cofield plans to start a non-profit that will properly prepare youth in Flint who are interested in STEM and medicine.
Joanna Trujillo is a first-year PA student at the University of St. Francis in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She currently serves as the Student Academy Representative (SAR) for her cohort where she encourages student engagement.
Trujillo was born and raised in a village in the northern New Mexico mountains with three older brothers, where she learned how to be an outdoors person. She attended the University of New Mexico for her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science. While attending undergraduate school, Trujillo became more and more interested in helping people heal. After graduation, she moved to Maui to attend a massage therapy program that specializes in neuromuscular therapy.
Upon returning from Hawaii, Trujillo opened a wellness center that encompassed neuromuscular therapy, acupuncture and stretching classes. During this time, she became very passionate about understanding how to effectively communicate with people about their pain and educate them on how to be proactive in their health.
Trujillo’s goal as a Student Delegate in the House of Delegates is to truly advocate for the PA students working tirelessly in their respective programs. She is also interested in finding resources for patients and PAs to reduce the use of prescription medications through effective coping mechanisms, promotion of preventative care, and improved risk management. While understanding the later can be a daunting task, she remembers the wise words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
In the special time carved out between classwork, Trujillo can be found traveling, skiing, backpacking, camping, playing board games, and running.
John Cuenca is currently a PA student at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston and will be graduating in August 2020. Prior to his time on the student delegation for the HOD, Cuenca served as the South Central Regional Director for the Student Academy, the UTMB Student Liaison for the Texas Gulf Coast PA Association, and as a member of the C-13 Task Force for the Affirmative Action Paper for the AAPA House of Delegates. During his time on the Student Academy Board of Directors, Cuenca chaired the Leadership Committee, focused on highlighting diversity initiatives within the PA profession, and worked closely with AAPA staff to develop and distribute the first annual AAPA Student Survey.
Prior to PA school, he worked as a healthcare consultant for McKesson Health Solutions, ECG Management Consultants, and TeleTracking Technologies. He also has a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University Commerce and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. When he’s not studying, Cuenca enjoys taking photos, cooking, traveling, and woodworking.
Julia Piwowarski is a second-year student at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) PA Program in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has served as the Student Academy Representative (SAR) of her student society, volunteers as a member of the USJ Academic Integrity Board, and is currently serving her second term on the student delegation to the AAPA House of Delegates. Her experience on the 2019-2020 delegation motivated her to remain involved and further direct her focus on issues she is most passionate about, such as diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ health, and Optimal Team Practice.
Piwowarski’s primary goals are to encourage student involvement in AAPA, advocate for diversity within the PA profession, and, most importantly, emphasize ethical, evidence-based decisions in all settings to provide exceptional care to patients and increase access to care for underserved populations.
Prior to PA school, Piwowarski earned her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Hispanic Studies from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. During those years, she spent much of her time in oncology research. She was a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she studied the anti-inflammatory effects of bioactive lipids in the tumor microenvironment. After graduating, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she continued performing research at Emory Medical School on the use of perioperative nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent breast cancer recurrence. To gain more translative, clinical experience, she moved back to Boston to be a regulatory coordinator in breast oncology research at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Throughout the years, she gained hands on patient experience through her work as a volunteer EMT-Basic at Boston College and a private patient care assistant.
In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, gardening, hiking and exploring with her partner, Cam, and spending time with her family and friends.
Karina Arrelucea is a first-year student at the Sacred Heart University PA Program in Connecticut. She completed her undergraduate education at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey at the Newark Campus where she was a double major earning her Bachelor of Arts in biology and psychology. While at Rutgers, Arrelucea worked at the Learning Center tutoring students in biological science courses as well as veterans with learning disabilities. She also conducted research with the biology department on “The effects of powerline management on bumblebees” which participated in the GS-LSAMP Annual Alliance Conference and won second at Undergraduate Research Day. During undergradu, she also volunteered as a science tour guide to elementary kids at the Newark Museum.
After graduation, Arrelucea joined a non-profit organization called Amazon Health Project (AHP). They provided free medical and dental care to indigenous communities that live in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. They would travel by boat for two hours to reach communities and setup dental, medical, women’s health, and clean water clinics for the day. Afterwards, she enrolled in a PA shadowing program abroad called Gap Medics doing clinical rotations in Iringa, Tanzania and La Romana, Dominican Republic. Back in New Jersey, she worked as a medical assistant and scribe for a gastroenterology office, run and owned by a Cuban Medical physician largely serving the Latino community.
Since starting PA school, she serves as her student society’s Diversity Chairperson for the Class of 2021. She is a student member of the Connecticut Academy of PAs, PAs for Latino Health, and the African Heritage PA Caucus.
After completing PA school, Arrelucea either plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine or OB/GYN and eventually becoming a Global Health PA, traveling the world, and proving healthcare to those who need it most. She is passionate about serving communities that lack access to healthcare. She believes that healthcare is a human right, and everyone should have access to it regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, education, socioeconomic status, or any other status. “I want to not only provide healthcare but quality healthcare to everyone because everyone should experience living life, rather than just being alive”, she says. In her free time, she enjoys eating different cuisines, spending time with friends and family, playing board games, scuba diving, traveling, and just laughing because tomorrow is never promised.
Katie Crandall is a third-year PA student at the University of Southern California (USC), currently on clinical rotations. A Los Angeles native, she has enjoyed her time in the USC PA program where she has had the opportunity to be immersed in and give back to the community where her roots are. She has enjoyed serving in leadership positions in her PA program, including as co-Chair of the USC Pipeline Program and as a member of the Student Executive Board, as well as in national organizations including as an AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) Student Delegate. The bulk of her medical experience has been in the orthopaedic field in hospital and private practice settings, and as an EMT during her undergraduate studies at Syracuse University. She has been continuously passionate about volunteer work throughout her life, and has contributed such work as an EMT and as a medical assistant in Panama and Mexico, as well as in non-medical settings including the LA Food Bank and the Ronald McDonald House.
Other than being a PA student, Crandall is also an avid cook, athlete, photographer, singer, and traveler. She has been lucky to visit myriad different communities across the globe, including having studied abroad in Italy and working in Panama and Mexico. She aspires to advocate for more work opportunities for PAs in foreign countries, so she can help empower their ability to deliver care to underserved communities worldwide.
Kayla Young is a first-year student at the University of Mount Union PA program. She was born and raised in Elyria, Ohio, a small suburb of Cleveland.
Young completed a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Physiology of Exercise at Ohio University. While at Ohio U, she was a peer mentor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion where she aided in the retention of incoming multicultural students. She was also a resident assistant, community service chair of her sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., and worked as a medical scribe in the emergency room. Young was a part of the first group of students from Ohio University to study abroad in Cuba to learn about their national healthcare system. Here is where her initial spark to serve in family medicine occurred. In her graduate studies, she worked as a first aid and basic life support instructor, wellness coach, and completed an internship in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.
Prior to starting PA school, Young was a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist working in assisted living and memory care. She also spent much of her free time volunteering as her church’s social media manager and as a peer mentor for Elyria Teens Achieve Success, an after-school program for at-risk teens.
Her experiences growing up in a medically underserved community, studies in Cuba, and working as a clinical exercise physiologist inspired her to become a future PA working in family medicine. She is passionate about advocating for self-determination in disenfranchised communities, health promotion, disease prevention, and creating systemic change within the healthcare system to provide health equity for all.
In her free time, Young enjoys spending time with her loved ones and doggies, traveling, watching Cleveland sports, and “dancing it out” Christina Yang style while blasting Beyoncé.
Laura Okolie is a second-year PA student who will graduate from the Duke Physician Assistant Program in August 2020.
Prior to PA school, Okolie completed her undergraduate education at Duke University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Comparative Studies with a concentration on Sub-Saharan Africa and minored in Cultural Anthropology. Her clinical experience includes working as a certified nursing assistant in an assisted living Alzheimer’s/ Memory Care Unit and as a medical scribe in multiple healthcare settings.
In addition to being a student, Okolie served on the Duke PA student society board (Stead Society) as the alternate representative to the Student Academy and as a member of the Stead Society Bylaw Committee. She also served on the Duke University Graduate and Professional Student Council Young Trustee Screening Committee. Okolie is a 2020 North Carolina Medical Society and Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Future Clinician Leaders Scholar who worked with an interprofessional team to address increasing diversity within the North Carolina healthcare workforce. She currently serves on the NC Medical Society’s Race and Reconciliation Taskforce, the NCAPA Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce, and is a member of the African Heritage PA Caucus
Okolie has a passion for policy, advocacy, and change. As a recipient of the NCAPA Endowment Lanny Memorial grant, she attended the March 2020 Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C., where she joined several passionate colleagues to advocate on the Capitol Hill. This experience solidified Okolie’s passion for leadership development and PA advocacy. As a future clinician leader, she hopes to competently and compassionately serve marginalized groups, work to increase minority representation in the PA profession, actively participate in mentorship initiatives, and strategically advance the PA profession. Additionally, she intends to remain engaged within AAPA and embark on other opportunities that will help reform our healthcare system.
In her free time, Okolie enjoys being involved with ministerial work, attending Zumba class, watching Nollywood movies, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Leslie-Anne Flego is a second-year student at the Duke University PA Program in Durham, North Carolina. She completed her undergraduate education at Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as Environmental Studies. While at Tufts, she was a GIS intern for the Rhode Island State Department Division of Planning, a research assistant for the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology in addition to the Biomedical Engineering Department, and a volunteer with The DREAM Program dedicated to reducing the opportunity gap for low-income children.
Prior to PA school, worked in cardiology and later surgical specialties as a medical assistant, where she had the opportunity to work under the guidance of remarkable general, colorectal, plastic and reconstructive, bariatric, vascular, and thoracic surgeons.
Flego is passionate about increasing diversity and cultural competency within the PA realm, providing quality and accessible care for low-income, low-English proficiency communities, and promoting mentorship as well as creating additional opportunities for minority pre-PA students. Furthermore, she also aspires to advocate for the globalization of the PA profession.
In her free time, she enjoys creating music and singing as well as diving deeper into the world of videography. Lastly, you are likely to find her in the middle of a Duolingo quiz, as it is her personal goal to know a minimum of seven languages.
Megan Pederson is a third-year PA student at St. Catherine University, located in St. Paul, Minnesota.
From the very beginning of Pederson’s PA career, she was interested in PA advocacy. As a first-year student, she served as her program’s Student Academy Representative and Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) Representative. In her second year, she continued her involvement with MAPA and served her first term as a student delegate for the AAPA House of Delegates.
Prior to PA school, Pederson attended the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a minor in Chemistry. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she found a passion for serving the poor. She spent time serving those suffering from poverty and a lack of access to medical facilities in Los Juries, Argentina. This mission work further inspired her to go on another mission trip to Kingston, Jamaica, where she worked with the Missionaries of the Poor to help provide care to the poorest of the poor. These experiences ultimately led her to pursue a Global Health and Underserved Populations track at St. Catherine University.
Outside of PA school, you can find Pederson at her local coffee shop catching up with friends. She also enjoys baking, running, and playing board games. When she is not being an extrovert, Pederson likes to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.
Michael is a second-year PA student and class president of his cohort at Rosalind Franklin University (RFU) in North Chicago, Illinois. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. Prior to starting PA school, he held a variety of positions, including serving as an EMT-B for his local volunteer fire department, acting as a scientific grants policy specialist for the National Institutes of Health, and researching antimalarial drug therapies during undergrad.
Since attending RFU, Fratina has pursued advocacy-driven solutions to issues facing the PA profession and health inequity. He serves in a panel position for the school’s Interprofessional Community Clinic (ICC), which acts as a free student-led clinic for the underinsured population of Lake County, Illinois and surrounding areas. He has started initiatives to enhance patient education measures in the clinic and has also started a quality improvement project to increase health literacy among the populations served by the ICC. He was also a 2019 Fellow of the PAEA Student Health Policy Fellowship, where he had the chance to visit several members of Congress in Washington, D.C. to lobby for several bills enhancing accessibility and affordability of PA education that were put forth by Rep. Karen Bass, the first PA elected to Congress. He has participated in similar lobbying efforts at the state level in Illinois and is passionate about continuing similar initiatives while acting as a student delegate.
When not pursuing his studies, Fratina enjoys volunteering, traveling, cooking, gardening, and hiking/camping with his partner and their dog.
Molly deButts is a third-year PA student at Rutgers University. She served as the Student Academy Representative (SAR) for the Rutgers PA Student Society and was inspired at the AAPA Conference in Denver by all the amazing ways that PA students across the country are involved in shaping the profession. She is a current member of her program’s Committee for Inclusion and Diversity and on a task force to evaluate racial equity in their curriculum.
Since beginning PA school, deButts has discovered a passion for advocacy, specifically for the PA profession as well as for the intersection between healthcare, public health policy, and social justice. She was selected as a 2019-2020 PAEA Student Health Policy Fellow and has continued to introduce her fellow classmates to small, but sustainable advocacy action steps.
Prior to PA school, deButts attended Princeton University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and neuroscience. She was a four-year member of the women’s cross country and track and field teams, serving as captain her senior year. After graduating, she spent two years training, traveling and competing domestically and internationally as a triathlete for Team USA. The desire for intellectual growth and service to others ultimately called her back to the medical profession. In preparation for PA school, she worked as a medical assistant in a dermatology practice in New Jersey as well as a chiropractic rehab assistant in Virginia.
deButts is looking forward to graduating and moving to Virginia with her husband, who currently serves in the United States Navy, and their two-year-old golden retriever, Dune. While it has always her dream to train Dune to be a therapy dog, deButts realizes that Dune’s spiritual gifting may not be “formalized” pet therapy, and they may have to settled for spreading joy on the roads and trails in their community.
Natalie Crump is a second-year PA student at Rocky Vista University (RVU) in Parker, Colorado where she serves as a mentor to two pre-health high school students through the RVU MC^2 Mentorship Program.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Colorado Denver and Master of Science in medical sciences from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. Prior to PA school, Natalie served as a senior research assistant and patient navigator for the University of Colorado Fertility Preservation Program where she led research protocols to help pediatric, adolescent, and adult patients preserve gonadal tissue and/or gametes prior to fertility-harming medical treatment. Observing the inequity between patients who were able to afford fertility preservation treatments and those who were not, Crump took the initiative to create “The Freedom to Hope- A campaign for Fertility Preservation,” to help offset the cost of treatments for patients in need.
Since beginning PA school, Crump has become a passionate advocate for culturally competent training and diversity within the PA profession. She believes that healthcare providers should reflect the diversity of the patients they serve and feels strongly that PAs are well positioned to lead the charge in healthcare reform to one of inclusivity, increased cultural sensitivity, and enhanced delivery of care.
Natalie Griffin is a third-year PA student at Touro University California where she is completing a dual PA/MPH program. At Touro, Griffin served as the VP of Operations for the College of Education and Health Sciences and a board member for the Rainbow Health Coalition. Outside of her coursework, she has enjoyed volunteering at Touro’s student-run free health clinic, coordinating and working on the student-run vegetable garden, and facilitating training on LGBTQ-inclusive patient care practices.
Prior to PA school, Griffin earned a Bachelor of Science in cognitive science from the University California, San Diego where she also played collegiate ultimate frisbee. After graduation, Griffin gained clinical experience first as a volunteer doula, and later as a clinical research coordinator specializing in trials for schizophrenia, opioid use disorder, bipolar disorder, and migraine treatments. During these years she enjoyed volunteering for monthly pop-up medical clinics in Tijuana as well as playing for the San Diego women’s ultimate frisbee team.
Griffin is passionate about improving LGBTQ+ healthcare, increasing diversity at PA schools, and eliminating barriers that impede PAs in the pandemic response.
Griffin lives in San Diego with her wife, cat, and dog. When she is not on rotations, she enjoys staying active, taking her dog to the beach, playing disc golf, playing spikeball, and tending to her vegetable garden.
Sara Naeem is a second-year PA student at the Wagner College PA Program in Staten Island, New York. Naeem served as co-chair for PA Admissions at Wagner where her responsibilities included reviewing student applications and organizing interviews for the incoming cohort. She is also a member of the program’s Diversity Coalition, in which she was recently elected as Diversity Representative for the student society, and serves as a writer for the student publication called “Highlight.”
A Staten Island native, Naeem received a Bachelor’s degree in human biology with a minor in sociology from Hunter College in New York City in May 2019. During her time at Hunter, she served as Outreach Coordinator for Hunter’s Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (SNMA-MAPS) for three years. She also worked as a medical assistant in a local family medicine clinic, in which a majority of the patients were people of color. Clinically, she received a greater understanding of the PA profession by interning at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in their Advanced Practice Provider Program (AP3). She was able to shadow a clinical research PA there, who also deepened her interest in both clinical trials and improvement projects. This ultimately led to her clinical research intern position at Staten Island University Hospital, where she worked for more than two years.
Naeem has always had a passion for advocacy and promoting diversity within medicine. As a proud Pakistani-American woman of color who is also a first-generation college graduate, she has always been committed to being socially conscious about issues that marginalized communities encounter. For that reason, she chose to become a PA so that she could promote health and wellness within disenfranchised communities, and be an advocate for those who may not have a voice. The PA profession needs more diversity, and promoting it in the most effective way possible is a goal that Naeem has been actively working toward every day. Her program’s Diversity Coalition was created only recently by a group of PA students. Naeem wants to serve as an advocate for all PA students while learning how to be an empathetic, even-handed leader within the profession. She is excited to start her professional journey as an AAPA Student Delegate for the House of Delegates and honored to represent both Wagner College, and PA students nationally, within the organization.
In her free time, she likes to make monthly vlogs with her sister, take pictures, read (historical fiction is her favorite genre), and explore new places.
Timothy Ulleseit is a second-year PA student at Oregon Health and Science University where he serves as the Vice President of his class. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
He is the PA program chair and a founding member of the Oregon Student Service Corps, an interprofessional organization dedicated to serving the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, he is an Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Scholar with an interest in addressing healthcare disparities that affect both urban underserved and rural communities.
Prior to PA school, Ulleseit worked for seven years in emergency medical services. He started as an an emergency medical technician then later returned to school, earned an Associate of Science degree in Paramedicine, and became a nationally certified paramedic in Santa Clara County. While working as a paramedic, Ulleseit also taught EMT and paramedic classes at a local community college and he is interested in exploring PA education in the future. Outside of work, Ulleseit volunteered at the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, providing services to the visually impaired and fundraising during local bingo nights for braille classes, counseling services, and mobility workshops.
Ulleseit is passionate about making healthcare accessible to all members of his community. He is interested in how PAs can increase access to primary care services via telemedicine, mobile units, and tiered 911 dispatch systems. In addition, he wants to address the growing opioid epidemic in our country and destigmatize substance use disorder. He is excited to advocate for the PA profession on a national level and wants to use his platform as a student delegate to share the voice of his class and community.
In his free time, Ulleseit enjoys cheering for the San Jose Sharks, going on hikes with his wife, Caitlin, and their rescue dog, Taz, kayaking, creating home-made hot sauces, and photography.
Whitney Hewitt (she/her/hers) is a second-year PA student Radford University Carilion in Roanoke, Virginia. She was born and raised in northern Wisconsin. Hewitt attended a small liberal arts college, Augsburg College, located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. There, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, while working as a personal care assistant (PCA) for pediatric patients with intellectual disabilities. She also worked as a calculus tutor, volunteered at her church and local children’s hospital, and participated in the Tri Beta Honor Society.
After graduating, Hewitt moved to Richmond, Virginia, where she accumulated most of her patient contact hours working as an in-home geriatric PCA for veterans, as well as an emergency room medical scribe. After relocating to Roanoke, Virginia, to attend PA school, Hewitt became passionate about becoming an advocate for students about wanting to practice in OB/GYN, becoming the Association of PAs in Obstetrics & Gynecology (APAOG) student liaison for her program, while also serving as a Student Ambassador for the incoming class and an active member of the moral committee. She is also a member of the Virginia Academy of PAs, APAOG, and the LBGT PA Caucus.
After graduation, Hewitt is interested in staying in the south, practicing in OB/GYN, specifically maternal fetal medicine or reproductive health, and continuing to fight against health disparities. When she is not in class or Zoom meetings, she enjoys spending time with her partner, playing tennis, doing yoga, hiking, and exploring new restaurants/breweries.
William Eisenhart is a second-year PA student at Yale School of Medicine PA Online Program. He is a member of the Wilderness Medical Society, Veterans Special Interest Group and PAs for Global Health. He was the AAPA Student Assembly of Representatives Alternate. He looks forward to working with the House of Delegates to advance diversity, veteran issues, and expand the PA’s ability to work in global health.
Eisenhart was born in South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. as an infant. He was the first member of his family to attend and graduate college. He was a two-sport athlete in football and track for Salisbury University. He then attended Louisiana Tech University for his masters and was a graduate assistant for the track and field team. Eisenhart walked away from a promising telecommunications career after September 11 to serve as a Navy explosive ordinance disposal technician, clearing roadside bombs in Iraq. He then switched to the Army to become a Special Operations Medic with a Special Forces Battalion. He was chosen to be a Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar, Special Operations Medical Association Scholar, and a Connecticut Academy of PA’s Kaplowe Scholar. He has co-authored an article on civilian response to explosive and blast incidents, research on hypocalcemia and trauma patients, and a video for first responders in a high threat explosive environment. He also works with several non-profits, SOM+C and Service 2 Schools, trying to help veterans transition into higher education and a non-profit, One Small World, creating scholarship opportunities for individuals in Sierra Leone trying to attain medical education.
Eisenhart spends free time with his wife and daughter exploring the DC metro area with their beagle, running, biking, swimming, and hiking.
Katherine Feng is a second-year PA student at Case Western Reserve University’s PA Program in Cleveland, Ohio. She serves as the 2019-2020 Student Academy Representative for CWRU’s Charles L. Hudson Student Society, and is a board member of the CWRU Student Run Health Clinic’s Quality Improvement Committee. At CWRU she is a scholar in the Interprofessional Learning Exchange and Practice Program (ILEAP) where she worked on an interprofessional team to identify gaps in care for cancer patients at University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center, and developed continuous improvement plans for future scholars to address. She is also a scholar in the Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning Program (iSCTL) where she is currently working with a physician faculty to develop an innovative IPE curriculum using simulations.
Feng is passionate about advocating for the PA profession and increasing student interests and engagement in opportunities provided by AAPA and the Student Academy. Her special interests include interprofessional education and collaboration, increasing diversity within the PA profession, and increasing PAs presence in innovative research.
Feng received her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of Arkansas. She worked in a biomedical laboratory studying pancreatic cancer and acute kidney injuries before pursuing a Master’s in Medical Physiology at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to PA school she also worked as a nursing assistant caring for patients recovering from GI surgery and worked on clinical trials studying chronic illnesses such as Diabetes, SLE, Systemic Sclerosis, Raynaud’s, and HIV.
In her free time, Feng enjoys cooking, playing piano, and hiking the trails around Northeast Ohio with her dog, Nellie.
Zach Bohn is a second-year PA student at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. At his program, he currently serves as a student representative for the Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants.
Prior to PA school, Bohn spent six years working in a variety of settings as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder (UCB) in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Physiology. During his time as a night shift EMT, he began to build an interest in sleep physiology and was fortunate enough to be offered a job as a professional research assistant with the sleep physiology research laboratory on the UCB campus. While also working in urgent care clinics, an occupational medicine clinic, and in a busy emergency department, he quickly began to expand his knowledge base and interest in medicine. Bohn is passionate about promoting health and wellness to decrease burnout among healthcare professionals. Working as a healthcare professional is demanding, and to provide consistent quality care and service to others, he believes we need to first master the art of taking care of ourselves. Bohn is dedicated to increasing self-care awareness among PAs.
Bohn is a Colorado native and enjoys being in the outdoors and seeking new adventures. He is grateful to call Colorado his home as he feels it offers unlimited opportunities to improve overall health and wellness for its residents. During his free time, he enjoys serving his community in various settings as a volunteer.
Amelia Maurer is a first-year student at Quinnipiac University. She is from from Annapolis, Maryland. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Science in public health in May 2019. While at American, she served as vice president for a club focused on underrepresented students in STEM, worked as a teaching assistant within the Biology department, and was the alumni relations chair for her sorority.
Throughout her time at American, Maurer worked as a medical assistant in pain management, plastic surgery, and hand surgery. Sshe also worked at AAPA, which started as an internship in the State and Federal Advocacy department and eventually a part of the Governance department. After graduation, she began working in Washington, D.C. as a medical assistant and Mohs surgery coordinator and continuing her work part-time at AAPA.
She is a student member of Connecticut Academy of PAs and was inspired to run for a national leadership role. Maurer hopes to educate students on the conversations surrounding the PA profession and motivate them to become involved.
In her free time, Maurer enjoys spending time outside, watching movies, cooking and visiting friends and family at home in Annapolis.