10 AAPA Resources Faculty Advisors Should Know About

AAPA Graduate Advisor Shares What She’s Found Most Helpful

By Paula Miksa, PA-C

Paula Miksa headshotI have been a PA for almost 18 years. I’ve almost always worked with PA students, and the last 10 years, I’ve spent working full time in PA education. I have been active in the Tennessee Academy of PAs for more than 10 years and served as a delegate for Tennessee in the House of Delegates (HOD) for the last few years. Now I serve as AAPA graduate advisor to the Student Academy Board of Directors and advisor to the student HOD delegation. I know how important student involvement is in the HOD and in the profession’s leadership, and I see eager, motivated PA students every day. I’m passionate about helping these future leaders find their voices, and I feel lucky that I can help them.

[22 PA Students Elected to AAPA’s House of Delegates]

Even though the profession is now more than 50 years old, we still need leaders who are committed to growing and strengthening the profession. Today’s PA students will be tomorrow’s leaders – they’ll be chief PAs, executive directors, and members of AAPA’s Board of Directors and the HOD. I’ve found that a lot of PA students discover they’re passionate about leadership during PA school. It’s been very rewarding to me to help PA students get started on their leadership journeys, and I hope each faculty advisor empowers and encourages interested PA students to get involved in AAPA’s Student Academy.

As a previous student government faculty advisor and now as AAPA graduate advisor to the Student Board, there are several resources that I find helpful when I’m guiding student leaders. Available to faculty advisors on the AAPA website, these are the resources I find myself revisiting again and again:

[What I Wish I’d Known Before Didactic Year]

  1. Faculty Advisor Handbook: The Handbook is the first and possibly most important resource available to advisors. This handy, easy-to-read, six-page handbook includes everything a faculty advisor needs to know. It covers everything from how to advise students in proper student government procedures to what events PA student leaders might consider attending. There’s a ton of other additional information for you and your students, all in one spot.
  2. AAPA Student Academy staff advisor and other specialized AAPA staff: The AAPA Student Academy staff advisor and other members of AAPA staff are a wealth of information. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise! They are knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help. Caitlin Harrison, the Student Academy staff advisor, can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 571-319-4310.
  3. Student Academy Board of Directors: These students are elected by their peers and work tirelessly throughout their term to bring all the student societies together by advocating, networking, researching, and motivating students around the country. The Student Board has a lot of leadership experience, and members are always willing to help other students and faculty advisors. Read more about the positions and students here.
  4. PA Program Portal: The portal contains resources, ready-made presentations, and handouts for program faculty about the PA profession, AAPA, state laws and regulations, reimbursement, and more.
  5. Student Academy Homepage: If you want to know anything about the Student Academy, this is where to go. The page has student society resources, information about the Assembly of Representatives meeting, and Challenge Bowl!
  6. Student Academy Facebook page: The Student Academy shares leadership and volunteer opportunities, as well as student resources and general Student Academy updates.
  7. Student Membership Resources: Your students will find everything they need to know about AAPA student membership here. Remember, AAPA student membership is only $75 and lasts for the duration of their PA program.
  8. AAPA Conference: Although it may not be possible for all students to attend every year, AAPA Conference is a great place for students to experience the PA profession. In addition to all the CME activities and networking opportunities, AAPA Conference also offers a wealth of student-specific activities.
  9. Leadership and Advocacy Summit (LAS): LAS is an opportunity for students and practicing PAs who are interested in advocacy to get more involved and learn from the experts.
  10. AAPA’s Career Central: Graduation for your PA students will be here before you or they realize it! AAPA’s Career Central has many of the resources your students need to get them started on the right foot in their careers. Career Central has checklists (“What You Need to Know Before You Start Working”), insurance and reimbursement information, a PA job board, and access to PA Portfolio, an online storage and sharing tool that can really help when it comes time to apply for jobs.

Paula Miksa, PA-C, is the director of interprofessional education and an associate professor at the Lincoln Memorial University PA program in Harrogate, Tennesee, where she is actively involved in many aspects of program accreditation, teaching, course directing, and promoting interprofessional education. Miksa has worked clinically in emergency medicine and gastroenterology and she currently volunteers weekly at her local free clinic. Miksa enjoys working with PA students and especially enjoys promoting the PA profession locally and nationally. When she isn’t working, Miksa enjoys hiking, running, and camping with her family. She can be reached at [email protected].