Class of 2023

Meet some of the class of 2023! These future PA's started their application process at the height of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, since then they have interviewed virtually, onboarded remotely, and started learning their didactic curriculum. Read their stories and advice for future PA students. 


Asma Abukar in her whitecoat in front of a hospital

Asma Abukar '23

Hi! My name is Asma Abukar and I am from Columbus, OH. In 2021, I graduated from Capital University with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in biology. While in undergrad, I worked as a CNA on a neurology/EMU unit which greatly/mentor influenced my decision to go to PA school. During this time, I also volunteered as a tutor for students K-12. I love teaching and I personally understood how navigating one’s way through school could be difficult, especially for first-generation students. In my free time, I enjoy baking, skating, and spending time with my family and friends.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Columbus, OH

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Capital University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Internet search

Why did you choose the PA program?  I chose CWRU PA Program because of the emphasis it puts on on the importance of community service in medicine.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Being able to go out into the community and help out while progressing through the program. ​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Don't apply to schools just because you meet the requirements. Apply to a school that aligns with your vision and goals, it really makes a difference.


Zoe Alpert in dark colored scrubs in front of a brick wall

Zoe Alpert '23

Hi! My name is Zoe Alpert and I am a proud Clemson University alumnae. I’m from Washington, DC, attended Mercersburg Academy (a boarding school) in Pennsylvania for high school, and then made my way South for my undergraduate degree. I graduated in 2018 with a B.S. in Public Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology. After graduating, I returned to DC and worked for a year at a busy OB/Gyn practice, and then 2 years at a Plastic Surgery practice, where I was able to first assist in surgeries! In my free time I love to hang out with my friends and siblings, watch college football (Go Tigers!), and, as my classmates all know, ride my Peloton. I’ve already loved getting to explore Cleveland, and can’t wait to see more of the city!

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Washington, DC

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Clemson University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Through a friend applying to the MD program.

Why did you choose the PA program? The interview was amazing.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Clinicals!

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Cast a wide net so you have options!


Heath Austin in his whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Heath Austin '23

Hello, my name is Heath Austin and I am from Denver, CO. I graduated with a B.S. in molecular biology and have spent 5 years doing clinical research with the University of Colorado in infectious diseases. Throughout my time as a clinical trial manager, I was able to work closely and develop relationships with patients, which is what led me to my decision of going back to school. In my free time, I love being outside, in the kitchen, or listening to political podcasts.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Denver, CO, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Lipscomb University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  CASPA
 
Why did you choose the PA program?  I enjoyed my conversations with the faculty and students during my interview. I also chose the program due to its accelerated nature. ​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Expanding my scope of knowledge and clinical rotations ​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Choose the program you feel most connected to and not the program that is the most convenient. It was a hard decision to not choose a program in my home state just because it was convenient. I am so happy I chose CWRU even though I had to move away!


Phillip Bounkeua in a whitecoat in front of hospital

Phillip Bounkeua '23

Hi, my name is Phillip Bounkeua and I graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in sociology. After graduating I worked as an EMT-B for a private ambulance company and medical scribe. During my time as a medical scribe, I had the opportunity to work in the following specialties: neurologic-oncology, urologic-oncology, dermatology, rheumatology, and in the ED. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my family. Go Hawks!

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Seattle, Washington, USA
 
Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree? University of Washington

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  I heard about CWRU’s PA program through my mentor. She spoke highly of the program, noting that CWRU would offer opportunities that other programs could not.

Why did you choose the PA program?  I picked CWRU because after reviewing their mission statement and heavy discussion with my support circle, we believed I would be best prepared to succeed as PA completing their program, in addition to developing my skills as a leader. ​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  The cadaver lab​​​​​​​.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Make a pros and cons list of each program you’re interested in and be open-minded about selecting programs.


Dwayne Chapman II headshot in his whitecoat in front of a blue background

Dwayne Chapman II '23

Hello, my name is Dwayne Chapman II and I attended Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan where I earned a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. I worked full-time at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and as a pharmaceutical technician at Walgreens. In addition, I was a personal care assistant at an assisted living facility prior to attending PA school at Case Western Reserve University. I also traveled from Western Michigan University to Novi, Michigan Urgent Care to shadow and present differential diagnoses and create a plan of care for each patient I encountered. While at Western Michigan University, I was voted on by teammates to serve on the team's leadership council in football as well as assistant chaplain for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Moreover, I was on the dean’s list multiple times, as well as elected Vice President of the Pre-PA society. I have several hundred hours of healthcare experience along with direct patient contact hours. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family and participate in philanthropic activities with my fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. I have a love for football and I enjoy playing the game of chess.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Detroit, MI, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Western Michigan University ​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree​​​​​​​

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Website ​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  I chose the PA program because I think the PA profession allows you to be an intricate part of the healthcare system and make a unique difference for all around you. CWRU’s program gives students the ability to start making a true impact in the community from year 1 of pre-clinical clerkships to Year 3 of community service projects and clinical rotations.​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I am looking forward to working in the community and serving the underserved. I also cannot wait to build relationships throughout the program that will last a lifetime.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Make sure you do research on each and every program you plan on applying to. Choose the school that best fits what you are looking for in a program.


Daniel Clegg in his whitecoat in front of a hospital

Daniel "Dan" Clegg '23

Hello, my name is Dan Clegg and I attended Kent State University where I obtained my B.A. in Biology Pre-Med in 2018 while working full-time as a Critical Care Paramedic for the Cleveland Clinic. I worked with the Cleveland Clinic for the past 10 years and prior to starting the CWRU PA program. Prior to moving back to Ohio, I worked as a Firefighter and Flight Paramedic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I began my journey in medicine the day after I graduated from high school in 2005. I began my prerequisite courses for my EMT-Basic and since then I have turned a career choice into a passion. I am the first and only member of my immediate and extended family to enter the field of medicine. Coming from a rural and medically underserved farming community I have first-hand experience with healthcare disparities and wish to give back to underserved populations upon finishing my education. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and newborn daughter. I also enjoy exercising and the outdoors; hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and just getting together with friends and family.


Lan Crofton in his white coat in front of a hospital

Lan Crofton '23

I graduated from Bowdoin College with a B.A. in Biology and Education, and a minor in Sociology. In college, I was a member of the ice hockey team and Residential Life. Prior to PA school, I worked as a middle and high school science teacher. I taught biology and chemistry, in addition to coaching soccer and hockey. After transitioning from teaching, I worked as a Medical Assistant in Orthopedic surgery. I’m originally from Boston, MA, and enjoy spending my time taking ceramics classes and going on adventures with my Goldendoodle, Orlie.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Milton, MA 

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Bowdoin College

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Online Google Search

Why did you choose the PA program?  The curriculum, faculty, CWRU School of Medicine name, and rotations at Cleveland Clinic.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  The amazing curriculum and dedicated faculty. ​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Be sure to pay close attention to curriculums and how they are outlined. While there are a lot of good PA schools out there- there are also a number of not-so-great programs. You only get a PA education once and that will then be your basis for the rest of your career. Be sure to find a program that is dedicated to your learning and not just having you pass the PANCE exam.


Michael Crookshanks in his whitecoat in front of hospital

Michael Crookshanks '23

Hi! My name is Michael Crookshanks and I attended the College of Wooster where I obtained my B.A. in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurosciences. During my time at Wooster, I did extensive research in neurodegenerative disorders with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to joining the CWRU PA program, I worked for the Cleveland Clinic in clinical trials research. In that time I worked in their electrophysiology section of cardiovascular medicine conducting clinical trials involving patients with atrial fibrillation. During this time I realized my true passion was being directly involved in the care plans for patients. Up until graduating from Wooster I was a competitive swimmer for 18 years and enjoyed being a part of my college’s swimming and diving team. In my free time, I enjoy cooking and hiking across the U.S.!

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Cleveland, Ohio, United States​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  The College of Wooster​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree​​​​​​​

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Through a family friend.

Why did you choose the PA program?  The PA program is a small tight-knit community that is incredibly focused and dedicated to community service and offers its students experience in world-class healthcare systems​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Pre-clinical year clerkship experiences!​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Look at each program's values, goals, and student life to make sure those all align with your needs and interests!


Yara Elboghdady in her whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Yara Elboghdady '23

Hi! My name is Yara Elboghdady, and I am from the Chicagoland area where I graduated from Benedictine University with a B.S. in health science. Shortly after graduating, I became a certified electrocardiograph technician. Throughout and since my undergraduate studies, I have worked in various areas of healthcare, such as internal medicine, family medicine, urology, pulmonology, sleep medicine as well as in health information management. Over the years, I have volunteered with various non-profit organizations such as Islamic Relief USA, the American Red Cross, PCRF, Pious Projects and have worked on a few smaller-scale projects as well in efforts to eradicate poverty, provide for children in need, improve access to clean water, healthcare, and disease prevention. Along with non-profit work, I love spending time with family and friends, exploring different coffee shops, and really enjoy poetry and spoken word.


Rose Hart in her whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Rose Hart '23

Hi! My name is Rose Hart and I graduated from the University of Notre Dame where I earned a B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior. As an undergrad, I worked as a Student Athletic Trainer for the Sports Medicine Department and was able to cheer on the Irish while learning about various careers in medicine. After graduation, I gained experience as a medical assistant in urgent care in San Jose and then as a nurse assistant on an inpatient cardiology floor in Detroit. In my free time, I love to hang out with my three dogs (Bubba, Dani, and Nala), watch sports and movies with my friends and family, and travel. I have loved exploring all of the green spaces, ice cream shops, and restaurants in Cleveland and can’t wait to see more in the coming months!


Emma Hartwig in her whitecoat in front of some green space

Emma Hartwig '23

Hello there! My name is Emma Hartwig. I was born and raised in Iowa City, IA. In 2020 I graduated from Saint Louis University with a B.A. in psychology, and minors in biology and art history. I have worked as a nurse assistant in general surgery, a medical scribe in a pediatric ER, and as a health services director at a YMCA summer camp. Exploring Cleveland and starting this program has been fantastic. In my free time, I love to drive down to Cuyahoga Valley National Park for a walk or go to Cleveland’s amazing Museum of Art!

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Iowa City, Iowa​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Saint Louis University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree
 
How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  I discovered the CWRU PA program by researching programs with an emphasis on community outreach and involvement. CWRU's PA program is a national leader in outreach through service, health literacy promotion, and commitment to their community.

Why did you choose the PA program?  After my interview experience with the CWRU program faculty and students, I had no doubt that I wanted to be a part of the program. Everyone radiated a contagious passion for medicine and a love of the program. The CWRU PA program is committed to hands-on, immersive learning through community outreach, pre-clinical clerkships, and endless service opportunities. This is what I was looking for. ​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I am thrilled to begin my physical diagnosis lab next semester where we begin to learn physical examination techniques. In the coming years, I am looking forward to completing pediatric rotations at Cleveland's amazing medical institutions.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  When I began searching for programs I kept in mind that the program I ended up in would not only be my school, but also my home for the next few years. Find a program that matches your values and recognizes your strengths.


Stephen McDonough whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Stephen McDonough '23

Hi, my name is Stephen McDonough and I attended Boston University: Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences where I obtained my B.S. in Human Physiology. During my time as an undergrad, I gained patient care experiences at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatrics. Another hobby of mine during undergrad was working with a global health initiative called Partners in Health where we aimed to provide healthcare resources to some of the poorest countries in the world. After graduation, I worked in a private cosmetic dermatology office in Newton, Massachusetts as a surgical technician. I enjoy spending my free time running road races or relaxing on the beaches of Cape Cod with my friends and family.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Whitman, Massachusetts, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Boston University
 
What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree 

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  PAEA​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  The association with a medical school and reputation. ​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Clinical experience. 

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Choosing a program may be difficult especially leaving an area that you’re used to but choosing somewhere different will remove all the distractions.


Somil Mehta in his whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Somil Mehta '23

Hi there! My name is Somil Mehta, and I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in General Biological Sciences in December of 2018. During my time at the University of Maryland, I gained clinical experience in a variety of medical settings. My experiences include a two-week medical brigade to Cusco, Peru; Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NIH); Medical Assistant at Advanced Medical Care; and Physical Therapy Aide at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists. Upon graduating a semester early, I worked as a Dermatology Technician at Montgomery Dermatology Associates for two years before I started the CWRU PA Program. I’ve loved working in this wide range of specialties, and through each of these experiences, I’ve strengthened my passion for interacting with people. In my free time, I enjoy weight lifting, exploring new restaurants, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Maryland

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  University of Maryland, College Park

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  My friend went to CWRU for undergrad and loved it, so I decided to apply for the PA program. ​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  Case Western Reserve University’s excellent reputation and connection to prestigious medical institutions makes it an excellent choice. ​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I am really looking forward to clinical rotations and the opportunity to put our knowledge to practical use. ​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  I know this may sound overrated, but find a program where you fit. Not just in terms of the program’s mission, but also geographically.


Kria Ogoshi in her whitecoat in front of a hospital building

Kira Ogoshi '23

Hi, my name is Kira Ogoshi and I graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in Biology in 2020. While in college, I was a member of the volleyball team and obtained my certification as an EMT. I then began volunteering as an EMT in the suburbs of Philadelphia and during my breaks I would return home to Hawaii to volunteer at local hospitals and senior living facilities. Upon graduating from college, I started working as a medical assistant at a private primary care office. In my free time, I like to travel, workout, and keep in touch with friends and family in Hawaii.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers
 
Where would you say you are from?  Mililani, Hawaii, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Bryn Mawr College

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  From the CareerEco Virtual PA Program Fair.

Why did you choose the PA program?  CWRU has a good reputation, ties to the Cleveland Clinic, great educators, and the HEC for health professional students.​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Learning how to provide quality care and building relationships with my classmates and future colleagues and patients​​​​​​.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Look for programs that you feel best suit you and never doubt yourself or your capabilities. Be confident in yourself as an applicant and as a future PA!


Sohyun Park in her whitecoat

Sohyun Park '23

Hello, my name is Sohyun Park and I graduated from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where I earned a B.S. in Biology and Art. After graduation, I worked as an ED medical scribe for 2 years. I then attended pharmacy school for a year and left the program as I realized my passion in direct patient care and serving the underserved population. Prior to PA school, I gained additional patient care experience while working as a physical therapy aide. In my free time, I like to draw, paint, watch movies, and travel.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Beaverton, OR, United States​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Pacific University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  I heard about CWRU's program while online researching.

Why did you choose the PA program?  I chose Case Western Reserve University PA program because of various community engagement opportunities throughout the program, as well as interprofessional opportunities to work with other health professional students.​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I look forward to various preclinical and community outreach opportunities. I specifically looking forward to pre-clinical clerkship opportunities in the second semester as it is the first clinical exposure after starting the PA program. I highly value this opportunity as it allows students to build confidence in communicating with patients and practice critical thinking skills.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  There are many PA programs out there and each program has its unique features. Like I stated above, I chose CWRU because I thought community outreach and volunteerism is the most essential element, which aligned with CWRU's core values. Therefore, it is very important to understand what is important to you as a future PA student and what you look forward to the most in that PA program.


Elliott Rainey in their whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Elliott "Eli" Rainey '23

Hello, my name is Elliott Rainey (they/them). I received a B.S. in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, and an MPH from Indiana University in Indianapolis, IN. I started my career in corporate finance, later transitioned to orthopedics, and finally worked as a first responder before beginning the PA program at CWRU. I volunteered with several after-school programs for LGBTQ+ youth as well as a healthcare clinic for homeless youth. I also served on the medical team at a summer camp for queer youth in Seattle, WA. I enjoy anything related to water and water sports, snow skiing, trying new foods, and traveling.

Preferred Pronouns?  they/them/theirs

Where would you say you are from?  Indianapolis, IN, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Pepperdine University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree and Master's degree

If you completed a master's or professional degree, which degree did you complete, and from what university?  Indiana University, MPH (focus on Epidemiology)

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  CASPA

Why did you choose the PA program?  Inclusivity, pre-clinical experiences, faculty, and school values that matched mine.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Learning about clinical medicine and clinical rotations.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Be yourself. Don’t try to fit into a mold. The right school will want you exactly as you are!


Elijah Rouse in his whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Elijah Rouse '23

Hello, My name is Elijah Rouse and I graduated from The University of Cincinnati with a B.S. and M.S in Nutritional Sciences, where I also served as an adjunct professor, teaching a freshman-level nutrition course! After graduating I worked as an EMT-B at Chester Township Fire Department as well as part-time at a private ambulance company. I’m the first in my family to go to college, let alone pursue medicine as a career. In my free time I enjoy working out, hiking, cooking, watching sports (Go Bearcats!), or serving as a mentor for foster youth (I’m an emancipated foster youth myself).

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Cincinnati​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  University of Cincinnati​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree, Master's degree 

If you completed a master's or professional degree, which degree did you complete, and from what university?  MS in nutritional sciences​​​​​​​

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  CASPA​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  Early clinical experience, diversity of the class​​​​​​.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Excited to learn medicine and clinical rotations​​​​​​.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Do your research on each program you apply for, and make sure you are actually interested in their program!


Francesca Russo in her whitecoat in front of a white wall

Francesca Russo '23

Hello, my name is Francesca Russo. I graduated from Ursuline College in May of 2019 with a BA in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. At Ursuline, I was the chemistry lab assistant for three years and anatomy and physiology tutor for freshman nursing students. While there, I also obtained my phlebotomy and STNA certification. I have previously worked as a dental hygienist and a fundraiser, but it was my time volunteering for a medical brigade in Korah, Ethiopia that inspired me to pursue my PA degree. I am a proud mother of four sons, have two rescue dogs, a rescue cat, and a tropical fish aquarium. I enjoy the outdoors, going to concerts, hiking, swimming, cross country skiing, and traveling. I am an avid cook, a certified SCUBA diver, and a first-degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. When time permits, I enjoy entertaining and spending quality time with my family, friends, and my partner Jeff.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Ursuline College​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree, Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene​​​​​​​

If you completed a master's or professional degree, which degree did you complete, and from what university?  Cuyahoga Community College​​​​​​​

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  From a friend.
 
Why did you choose the PA program?  It's reputation, diversity, outreach, and location.​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Applying the skills and knowledge I am learning to help others, particularly the underserved.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Find a school whose mission statement resonates within you and how you want to practice.


Khristiana Samake in her whitecoat sitting down

Khristiana Samake '23

Hello, my name is Khristiana Samake and I attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. I was able to earn my Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in chemistry. I later obtained my Master’s in biomedical science at Elms College in Springfield. During this time, I worked as a certified nurse assistant, a medical assistant at a SIC unit, and in the Army reverse prior to going to PA School. When I had time off, I loved to spend time with my significant other and my puppy Blizzard, try new activities, travel, eat, and sometimes play board games with friends and family. In addition, other activities that I did love doing are professional kickboxing and karate. For this past year, I learned how to swim, which is one of my greatest achievements. From my experience learning how to swim, I also learned never to give up on things you set your mind to and really want to accomplish.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Bronx, NY, US

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Quinnipiac University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far? Bachelor's degree and Master's degree

If you completed a master's or professional degree, which degree did you complete, and from what university?  Biomedicine Science Elms College

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Family friend​​​​​​​.

Why did you choose the PA program?  It was a good program.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  It gets all the materials I need to be a great PA.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Don't give up and believe in yourself.


Anmol (Anna) Sharma in her whitecoat in front of a hospital building

Anmol "Anna" Sharma '23

Hello! My name is Anmol (Anna) Sharma. I graduated from North Carolina State University in 2018 with a B.S. in Integrative Physiology & Neurobiology. I have worked as an emergency room scribe at Nash General Hospital and a MOHS surgical dermatology tech at Southern Dermatology in Raleigh. All of these experiences and volunteering at a free clinic furthered my desire to become a PA and I’m very excited to start this new journey. In my free time, I enjoy reading books, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Charlotte, NC, USA​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  North Carolina State University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  CASPA

Why did you choose the PA program?  I am interested in the PA profession. 

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I am excited to begin treating patients and using medicine.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  To keep an open mind, be willing to travel, and use your experiences wisely.


Tyler Sudol in his white coat

Tyler Sudol '23

Hello, my name is Tyler Sudol and I attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut where I earned a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. I worked as an EMT for 3 years prior to attending PA school at Case at both a commercial ambulance service and as a volunteer at my local firehouse. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports and food hunting in Cleveland. At home in Connecticut, I enjoy gardening and spending time outdoors.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his

Where would you say you are from?  Lisbon, CT, United States

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Quinnipiac University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program? ARC-PA

Why did you choose the PA program?  Great interview experience.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program? What are you looking forward to the most going into your second year in the PA program?  Learning from my classmates.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Make sure the program you choose is the right fit for you.


Samuel Swanseger in his whitecoat headshot in front of a blue background

Samuel "Sam" Swanseger '23

HI! My name is Sam Swanseger. I was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 2013 I graduated from Slippery Rock University with a B.S. in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. Prior to moving to Cleveland, I gained valuable experience that has shaped me into who I am today. As an EMT and lifeguard supervisor at Presque Isle State Park, I was responsible for running the ambulance in the park and ensuring the safety of all park visitors on and off the beach. I also worked as a phlebotomist at UPMC Hamot Hospital in downtown Erie, PA. During the summer of 2018, I began my journey into the PA Program at Case Western, taking prerequisites at Cuyahoga Community College and working full-time as an EMT at Physicians Ambulance. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the Metroparks, trying new foods, and attending local sporting events as much as I can.

Preferred Pronouns?  he/him/his
 
Where would you say you are from?  Erie, PA 

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Slippery Rock University

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Research​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  Program values and outcomes, curriculum, faculty, location​​​​​​.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Working with patients​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Make sure you do your research into program values, outcomes, and curriculum and not just location.


Michelle Tran in her whitecoat in front of a hospital building

Michelle Tran '23

Hello! My name is Michelle Tran and I graduated from Santa Clara University in 2019 with a B.S in Public Health and Neuroscience. During college, I was involved in various research projects at SCU and the Santa Clara Valley County Hospital and had the opportunity to study public health in Thailand to implement a diabetes management intervention. Prior to starting at CWRU I volunteered as an EMT and worked as a medical technician at an allergy and asthma clinic. In my free time, I enjoy baking and photography.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Milpitas, California

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Santa Clara University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree​​​​​​​

If you completed a master's or professional degree, which degree did you complete, and from what university? 

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Internet

Why did you choose the PA program?  Case Western Reserve University stood out to me because of the program's commitment to serving the community as well as the innovative learning modalities. The resources the program provides, such as the use of HoloAnatomy, are particularly exciting.

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I'm looking forward to starting the pre-clinical experiences.

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Take a look at the mission statements for each program and make sure they align with your personal mission and start early!


Katherine Trudeau in her whitecoat in front of a hospital building

Katherine Trudeau '23

Hi, my name is Katherine Trudeau and I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2020 with a B.S. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. While attending school, I obtained my CNA license and worked as a nurse assistant in memory care and assisted living. I also worked as a patient care technician at the University of Michigan Hospital on an intermediate care unit. During my time in college, I served as president of the pre-PA club and worked as a teaching assistant for a cadaver-based anatomy lab. I gained additional patient care experience during my gap year as a medical assistant in a private cardiology practice. I am so grateful to be attending Case Western’s PA program here in Cleveland! When I’m not at school, I love exploring the fantastic food and Metroparks that Cleveland has to offer.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Lake Orion, MI​​​​​​​

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  University of Michigan​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  I have a family member who attends the medical school at Case, so I decided to look into the PA program for myself.​​​​​​​

Why did you choose the PA program?  I chose Case's PA program because of the outstanding clinical rotations, interprofessional learning, didactic curriculum, and the location. I was very impressed with the culture of the program on interview day, and taking all things into consideration, I decided Case would be the best fit for me!​​​​​​​

What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  I'm looking forward to representing the PA profession and Case Western through clinical experiences and community service. I'm also excited to learn from my classmates as we cover different topics in medicine. Being a small class, everyone who has something to share has the space to bring their unique experiences to the table.​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Look for programs that align with your own passions and experiences. Try to ask yourself if you would be a good fit for the program (and vice versa). Consider which factors are most important to you -- such as clinical sites, program size, location, or cost-- and rank schools accordingly. Keep an open mind, even throughout the interview process. Schools that may have been your top choice early on may not always remain that way.


Jamie Walcheski headshot

Jamie Walcheski '23

Jamie Walcheski was born in Kazakhstan, Russia, and grew up in an orphanage before being adopted by her American parents. She graduated from Allentown Central Catholic High School in 2010 and graduated from DeSales University in 2014 with a BA in Dance and a minor in Business focusing in Marketing. Jamie taught dance at Steppin Out Academy of Dance before working in New York City, as a Modern Contemporary dancer and a Manager at Peridance, before committing herself to the healthcare field. Jamie worked as a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) in the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency and Trauma Technician in the Emergency Department at St. Luke’s University Health Network. Jamie also worked as a Pharmacy Technician at CVS and spent her free time driving rescue dogs to their forever home as well as being a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sister of America. In her spare time, she can be seen playing with her three French Bulldogs.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Northampton, Pennsylvania, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  DeSales University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree​​​​​​​

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Research

Why did you choose the PA program?  Early clinical experience, Cleveland Clinic, and the strong emphasis to serve those in need.
 
What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Skills to serve those in need.​​​​​​​

What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  Find one that meets your desires and one you are comfortable with.


Kelsey White in her whitecoat in front of a hospital building

Kelsey White '23

WAR EAGLE! My name is Kelsey White and I graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. Prior to starting PA school, I worked as a Certified Nurse Aide at a long-term care facility in Columbia, Tennessee and as a Research Assistant in the HDFS department at Auburn University focusing on health disparities specifically in rural Alabama. My nine-year-old black cat, Rolo, made the big move with me from Alabama to Cleveland this past May. During my free time I enjoy running, SEC football, and cooking.

Preferred Pronouns?  she/her/hers

Where would you say you are from?  Willoughby Hills, Ohio, USA

Where did you receive your Bachelor's degree?  Auburn University​​​​​​​

What degree(s) have you completed thus far?  Bachelor's degree

How did you hear about CWRU's PA program?  Google

Why did you choose the PA program?  Close to family.
 
What are you looking forward to the most in the PA program?  Community outreach.
 
What advice would you give future PA students as they begin to search for programs?  1) Pick a program that feels like home to you. 2) Don't worry about moving states/ far from home (coming from someone who moved 13 hours from their undergrad, I have loved every second of living in Ohio).