And the Award Goes to…

The lights dimmed and voices hushed as more than 600 PA educators turned their attention to the stage and together celebrated the accomplishments of the 2015 PAEA award recipients. The luncheon, held on November 13 during the Education Forum, was an opportunity to recognize the nine individuals and one PA program who were chosen by PAEA’s Awards Committee.

“I think I speak for everyone in this room when I say to all of the 10 award recipients, you inspire us,” said President Elect Jennifer Snyder, PhD, PA-C. “Our profession faces many challenges, but there is so much we can do to make our mark. We can each serve as a catalyst for change, growth, and forward movement.”

Congratulations to the 2015 award recipients!

Article of the Year Award
Karen Graham, PhD, PA-C
with Svetlana Beltyukova, PhD
University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse
Graham’s JPAE article “Development and Initial Validation of a Measure of Intention to Stay in Academia for Physician Assistant Faculty” provided an important first step in deciphering why some PA educators are drawn back to full-time clinical work.

Research Achievement Award
Theresa Hegmann, MPAS-PA-C
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Hegmann was recognized for playing a critical role in benchmarking research productivity among PA faculty nationally, and for her work in the areas of evidence-based medicine and strategies for teaching students how to practice evidence-based medicine.

Excellence Through Diversity Award
University of Southern California Primary Care PA Program
USC has been dedicated to recruiting, educating, and graduating a diverse group of students for more than 40 years. The program’s current Recruitment Pipeline Program is making a significant impact in the local community by exposing diverse students to careers in health care.

Partnership Award
James Pecard IV, MMS, PA-C
Partnership with Northwestern University PA Program
Since 2011, Pecard has been not just a dependable preceptor for Northwestern, but one who continually goes above and beyond. Through his work at a federally qualified health center, his volunteer efforts with Chicago’s homeless, and frequent mission trips to Honduras, Pecard also serves as a role model for students.

Clinical Education Award
Patrick Enking, MS, PA-C
Northern Arizona University
Enking has been a PA clinical educator for 16 years and has served as the first full-time clinical education faculty member at three PA programs, including one in Saudi Arabia. He served on the PAEA Committee on Clinical Education, is a current member of the Curriculum Council, and was an editor for PAEA’s Clinical Educator Handbook.

Administrative Support Staff Award
Colleen Schierholtz
Oregon Health and Science University
Schierholtz joined the staff of OHSU’s PA program in 1994. She championed the transition from a paper-based admissions process to a national online application service, known today as CASPA, and served two terms on the CASPA Committee.

New Faculty Award for Professional Excellence
Ryan White, MS, MPH, PA-C
Rutgers School of Health Related Professions
White currently serves as assistant director for clinical education for the Rutgers PA program. He is a member of PAEA’s Government Relations and External Affairs Council and has delivered two presentations at previous Education Forums.

Rising Star Award
Camille Loftin, DHEd, MPAS, PA-C
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
During her six years as a PA educator, Loftin has developed countless programs, curricula, courses, and activities. She single-handedly spearheaded UTMB’s online master’s degree program, which is geared toward practicing PAs with bachelor’s degrees.

Master Faculty Award
Hank Lemke, DHSc, MMS, PA-C
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Lemke first began instructing PA students in 1993 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. During his time as department chair at UNTHSC, he led the program through five successful accreditation reviews and helped secure more than $500,000 in federal funding.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Ruth Ballweg, MPA, PA-C
MEDEX Northwest
Ballweg received PAEA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 30-year career as a PA educator. Her many accomplishments include growing the MEDEX program as program director to include four sites, editing a major PA textbook, serving as president of PAEA, working on legislative efforts on the state and national level, and helping countries around the world develop the PA profession.