Meet 2018’s PA Student of the Year

Blake Rogers Demonstrates Commitment to Profession

April 20, 2018

By Stephen Lewia, President-elect, Student Academy

Blake Rogers, 2018’s PA Student of the Year

Each year, AAPA presents the PA Student of the Year Award to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to exemplary service, advocacy, and leadership to the PA profession. Not an easy feat to accomplish when one is also a student pursuing their degree. PA school can feel like you are drinking from a firehose! Having the passion and drive to effectively manage your time to make an impact on your future profession deserves recognition.

Blake Rogers stood out among his peers and it is my honor to announce that he is the 2018 PA Student of the Year. Rogers attends PA school at James Madison University (JMU), in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The program director, Gerald Weniger, PA-C, speaks highly of Rogers: “Blake is the embodiment of service and leadership in a student. Our program has never had a PA student with this much ambition, passion, or energy for outreach, engagement, and volunteerism. He has gone above and well beyond expectations for any student, never mind a busy PA student.”

During PA Week in 2017, Rogers volunteered to lead formal presentations at four of Harrisonburg’s high schools promoting the PA profession. His presentations reached more than 100 students, most of whom had never heard of the PA career. Rogers also encouraged his fellow PA students at JMU to attend the Virginia Academy of PAs’ (VAPA) conference. He reserved hotel rooms, coordinated a quiz-bowl team, and organized a carpool. The 2017 VAPA conference had the highest number of student attendees in recent years, due in large part to Rogers’s efforts.

VAPA President Amanda Collins, PA-C, agrees that Rogers is, “a singularly incredible individual. He not only exemplifies the core tenets of a healthcare provider, he is an incredible citizen, leader, and friend.”

Rogers served as the student representative on the VAPA Board, and organized a social media campaign that ultimately increased VAPA’s social media followers by 200 percent. Rogers chairs VAPA’s social media committee, which is responsible for their Facebook page, Twitter account, and quarterly newsletter. He is the only student to have been selected to chair a VAPA committee.

In addition to pursuing his PA degree, Blake is also an active member of the local emergency services and has been a volunteer instructor for EMS services.  His hobbies include beekeeping, hiking, and growing pumpkins. His devotion to the PA profession is clear, and Rogers will be an invaluable advocate for PAs as he moves forward in his career.

This year, the Student Academy received a record number of nominations and applications for the PA Student of the Year Award. The pool of applicants was incredibly competitive and each of these PA students deserves recognition for their accomplishments.

Stephen Lewia is the Student Academy president-elect and is a second-year PA student at Lynchburg College. He can be reached at slewia@aapa.org.