An Award Is Worth a Thousand Words

It’s time once again to start thinking about colleagues who have made an impact on their students, on their programs, and on the profession as a whole. It’s time for the 2017 PAEA Faculty & Staff Awards!

There are lots of reasons to consider nominating someone you admire — in addition to the bragging rights.

“The 2016 PAEA Lifetime Achievement Award was a very humbling experience for me. Being recognized by my colleagues, mentors and friends was a truly a wonderful experience,” said Don Pedersen, recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. “This ‘community’ of individuals was the reason for my longevity in PA education. I treasure this award. It was a grand recognition and a ‘capstone’ to a career I was blessed to have had and thoroughly loved.”

We could probably just leave it at that, but some of our other award winners had such great insights that we just had to share them.

Recognizing Your Colleagues

Everyone likes to be recognized for their hard work, but often it just doesn’t happen for one reason or another — lack of time, competing priorities — it’s frustrating, but ultimately understandable. So when it does happen, it means a lot! Nicole Dettmann, recipient of the 2016 Clinical Education Award, remembers the amazing feeling of being recognized.

“As a recent award winner, receiving this recognition was a great honor. It made the long nights and frustrating days seem like a distant memory and renewed my commitment to PA education,” said Dettmann. “The award made me feel appreciated and respected by my colleagues; this is a priceless gift.”

The 2016 PAEA Faculty & Staff Awards Ceremony. Photo © PAEA/Scott Morgan 2016

The 2016 PAEA Faculty & Staff Awards Ceremony. Photo © PAEA/Scott Morgan 2016

Building Up the PA Education Community

Another important element of PA education, and one PAEA works toward daily, is building community. The PA education world is smaller by comparison than some other health professions education realms, so many people already know each other.

However, learning from colleagues, sharing experiences, and supporting each other’s careers is a great way to make sure everyone continues to thrive. 2016 Rising Star Award recipient Kristopher Maday might have said it best:

“Receiving the Rising Star Award was such a surreal experience because educators, some who I only know by name and reputation, made it a point to come up, say hello, and congratulate me. We are such a small profession that recognition of this magnitude really lets you know you are doing something right and making a difference in the education of future PAs.”

Something for Everyone

So now that we’ve briefed you on the why of submitting nominations, here’s a little more about the what. As in past years, PAEA will be giving out the following awards:

  • Administrative Support
  • Article of the Year
  • Clinical Education
  • Excellence Through Diversity
  • Lifetime Achievement
  • Master Faculty
  • New Faculty
  • Partnership
  • Research Achievement
  • Rising Star

More information on each of these, including the criteria for nominees, is available on the Awards website.

In addition to those awards, we’d also like to highlight a new award opportunity being offered this year: the Leadership Development Award. In every PA program across the country, there are faculty or staff who excel at encouraging and strengthening the skills and abilities of their colleagues and students — this award was made for them. The ideal candidate for this award:

  • Fosters innovation and creativity, bringing a unique perspective to relationships or helping create new or improved processes
  • Encourages mentorship, serving as an advocate and guide for professional development and inspiring professional service
  • Listens actively, soliciting feedback and input, seeking to understand before being understood, and providing constructive criticism for growth and development
  • Leads by example, serving as a role model to colleagues and demonstrating a collaborative spirit

Sound like someone you know? Keep reading for the most important part — how to submit nominations.

A PAEA Faculty & Staff Award. Photo: Ryan Hicks

A PAEA Faculty & Staff Award. Photo: Ryan Hicks

Get Those Nominations In Now

Each nomination requires slightly different items to be submitted, but all of them require an initial nomination letter — that’s the first step. Nearly all require additional letters of support and a CV. A couple (specifically, Article of the Year and Excellence Through Diversity) require slightly different documents. Information about each is available on the Awards website.

Regardless of the requirements, all nominations and related materials are due by Wednesday, May 31. If you have questions, we have answers! (And if the answer you’re seeking isn’t on the website, just send an email to