PAEA Awards Make a Difference to Those Who They Recognize
Being recognized with a PAEA Award, which one PD called the “Academy Award for PA educators,” tells those who do often unrecognized work how much they’re appreciated and could even be part of career advancement and stability.
Terry Scott, MPA, PA-C, DFAAPA, program director at the UW Medicine MEDEX Northwest PA program, nominated his colleague and mentee Daytheon Sturges, PhD, MPAS, PA-C, assistant professor, and diversity co-chair. As a result, Sturges received the Rising Star Award in 2021.
Scott said he made the nomination because he wanted to recognize Sturges’ work locally to University of Washington and at the national level.
“How do we recognize this work, not just in our institution but in the profession? The PAEA Awards are, in a sense, the Academy Awards for the profession so it’s a way to recognize that talent,” he said.
Sturges said the award was personally meaningful but also had a tangible effect on the promotion and tenure processes for him.
“During the time that I got this award, I was also going up for associate professor and this was another thing that enhanced my packet because I had received national recognition, being seen as someone on the national stage who is noteworthy. I think it was one piece of what helped me get promoted to associate professor,” he said.
Carl A. Frizell, DMSc, MSPAS, PA-C, assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Sciences at Meharry Medical College, won the New Faculty award in 2022 after being nominated by Sheena D. Brown, PhD, MSCR, associate professor at Meharry Medical College.
He said it was “amazing” when he got the phone call telling him he had been chosen.
“That’s the great thing about it. Seeing that your peers appreciate what you have to offer to the point that they want you to be recognized is something that’s needed. A lot of times, we don’t receive appreciation from individuals,” he said.
“As PAs, as faculty, we need to really take time to celebrate the hard work that we do. As a program director, I see so often that other disciplines in academia, they do a much better job of celebrating and identifying, really awarding people for their accomplishments and accolades.”Joy Moverley, DHSc, MPH, PA-C, program director for Touro University’s PA program.
Brown said she sees another benefit for the PAEA Awards.
“It’s important to recognize colleagues, especially new faculty members that you feel will have an important impact on the field, to recognize them early on, because turnover is a real problem within PA education. Letting them know they are appreciated and their efforts do make a difference, is very important,” she said.
Grace P. Landel, MEd, PA-C, professor emeritus at Touro University, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2021. She was nominated by Joy Moverley, DHSc, MPH, PA-C, program director for Touro University’s PA program.
Moverley said she was proud to have nominated Landel but said she was just as pleased to have nominated people who haven’t won awards yet.
“As PAs, as faculty, we need to really take time to celebrate the hard work that we do. As a program director, I see so often that other disciplines in academia, they do a much better job of celebrating and identifying, really awarding people for their accomplishments and accolades,” she said.
Landel, who noted that in addition to her own award, her program won the Excellence in Diversity Award in 2020, said that two years later, she’s still in disbelief about being recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
“I’m thinking, ‘Really? Me?’ I just look at some of my peers and the incredible things they have done so I was speechless. The fact that my peers, my colleagues who nominated me, would go out of their way to do that, it’s humbling,” she said.
One might think those most grateful for a PAEA Award would be the PA educators whose names are called during the Forum. But those who nominated someone deserving seemed to feel it was just as rewarding to give a nomination as it is to receive an award.
“What better way to honor somebody that has been your mentor and teacher and my friend and colleague than nominating them for a lifetime achievement award. It was really a no-brainer for me as far as giving Grace the credit she deserves,” Moverley said.
Brown said she was aware that some may view the nomination process as lengthy, she said to her it didn’t seem like a lot of work to do when you believe in the person you’re nominating, their contribution to PA education and health care in general.
“It doesn’t take much time for you to complete the application and that little time that you’re donating could have a huge impact on the person you’re nominating,” Brown said.
Scott noted that “like anything worth attaining, there’s work to do” but he was quick to point out that it was a group of faculty at MEDEX that had pooled their efforts and planned so they could submit Sturges’ nomination.
Landel has also made nominations in addition to being a PAEA Award winner herself.
“I partly want them to know how much I appreciate what they’re doing and that I see the impact they’re having. I want other people to recognize how incredible their work has been. One way to do that is by nominating them. I think we don’t always look around us and recognize those people, what I call the ‘silent leadership.’ They would never toot their own horn, so we need to do that for them,” she said.
Landel added that learning about others in PA education who are doing excellent work can be inspirational, especially to peers who are new to the field.
A PAEA Award seems especially valuable to those like Frizell for whom being a PA educator is more than just a job. The award can be one sign of validation of the commitment people like Frizell and Sturges have made.
Frizell said he decided to go into PA education because he heard from young people going into a clinic where he was staff, there was a need for people who could communicate with and teach them. He said one student told him that the student learned more from one day with Frizell than the student had learned in a week with other educators.
Frizell said those experiences taught him he had the “passion and drive to ensure these students get the education they deserve.”
“I’ve contributed to the difference that’s needed in these students’ lives so they can become successful health care providers. (The award) has given me the strength to continue doing what I’m doing. It lets me know that this is where I’m supposed to be,” he said.
Nominate a Colleague
Don’t miss your chance to nominate a colleague. Learn more about award categories, deadlines, and nomination and selection processes. The due date for nominations is May 16.
Learn how to make your , including tips on crafting a strong nomination can be found here.