Putting Learning into Practice – Dawn White

Name: Dawn White, DHSc, PA-C

Dawn White

Title:  Director of Didactic Education, Clinical Associate Professor 

Program: Clarkson University   

Program URL: https://www.clarkson.edu/graduate/physician-assistant-studies 

What PAEA learning activity did you attend and when? The Leadership Challenge (virtual), April 2022 

Would you recommend this learning activity to other members and why? I would absolutely recommend this to other members. This workshop gave me the tools to be more intentional in my interactions with colleagues and students — to be a better leader both with my peers and in the classroom with my students. These tools will work for all members, whether they are in an official leadership role or not, to allow for personal and professional growth.

What was your biggest takeaway/aha moment? My biggest takeaway was to be more intentional in all of my interactions. I learned so many new skills and have tools now to improve my leadership skills both within my department and in the classroom, but I need to start by being more intentional. 

Tell us about what you have put into practice because of this learning activity. During the workshop, we had a virtual “acknowledgment table.” On the first day, one of the facilitators modeled what this would look like by describing an object she would give one of the attendees if we were in person and then recognizing that person for something they had done. We continued with this practice of our virtual acknowledgement table throughout the three-day I would absolutely recommend this to other members. This workshop gave me the tools to be more intentional in my interactions with colleagues and students — to be a better leader both with my peers and in the classroom with my students. These tools will work for all members, whether they are in an official leadership role or not, to allow for personal and professional growth workshop, with the attendees acknowledging each other. Our department recently held a faculty retreat and with the approval of my program chair, I brought the acknowledgement table to the retreat. My daughter and I went to the dollar store and picked up random items (she is 12, and she thoroughly enjoyed picking things out). I laid all the items out on a table in our conference room. At the start of the retreat, I explained the activity and started with the first acknowledgement of the day. By the end of the day, everyone had gotten at least one acknowledgement, and we are going to continue doing this at future faculty meetings and retreats. The dollar store trinkets were fun, but it was the positive stories people told as they made their acknowledgments that were so meaningful. A few people were brought to tears, including me. It was amazing!   


This article is part of the Putting Learning into Practice article series. We love to feature how our members are taking what they have learned through the professional development opportunities offered by PAEA and applying it to practice. Interested in being featured? Submit your Member Story on the PAEA website.