From PA to VA

Cheyanne Crum, Managing editor

Alicia Abbey, a second-year Physician Assistant Studies student, received the National Veteran’s Affairs Health Professional Scholarship for the 2017-18 school year. The scholarship covers 100 percent of her tuition, gives her cost of living and annual expenses stipends and the opportunity to complete a rotation experience at a VA medical center.

“I was humbled and surprised when I received the award. I knew it would be a competitive process, because it was unknown how many people were applying and how many awards would be given out,” said Abbey. “I feel very lucky to have been chosen.”

Abbey believes that family is important and that her family has helped get her where she is today.

“My family is the most important thing. They have always supported me,” Abbey said.

She also has many professors to thank for her accomplishments.

“The teachers that I have had throughout my education have not only provided me with the knowledge to be successful, they also instilled the importance of hard work,” Abbey said.

The selection criteria for this scholarship includes work experience and academic performance.

Professors have said that Abbey demonstrates knowledge and a high skill set that others might not have in this kind of career. She has done clinical rotations where she has succeeded as well.

“Alicia is doing her clinical rotation with OB/GYN Associates of Erie at Saint Vincent Heath System, and she is such a joy. She’s learning a lot and I make sure she laughs a lot, too,” Andrea Jeffress, M.D., Mercyhurst Board of Trustees, said in a university press release.

After graduating, Abbey would like to work for the VA system for at least two years because she likes working with underserved areas.

“I like working with the VA because I feel like I am giving back to the veterans and their families,” Abbey said.