Emily McKinnon, Graduate Student in the Dept. of Physician Assistant, Awarded Distinguished Allied Health Scholarship
Emily McKinnon, a second-year graduate student in the School of Health and Medical Science’s Department of Physician Assistant (PA) has been awarded The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) Scholarship of Excellence Award.
The award, never before earned by a Seton Hall student, distinguishes academic achievement, service to the university and community, leadership, diversity in activities, and evidence of strong communication skills.
McKinnon, who earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from Bowdoin College in Maine, immersed herself in the medical fields from an early age in order to succeed.
“I tried to expose myself to a lot of different medical professions, such as being a nurse’s aid and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT),” explained McKinnon. “Through my work experience and shadowing, that confirmed that medicine was the path for me.”
McKinnon’s achievement of winning The Scholarship of Excellence Award, extended to only 13 students among all fields of allied health professions in the country, is evidence of the leadership and academic excellence occurring within Seton Hall classrooms.
“Any Physician Assistant program can put out an average PA that will be a fine clinician, to go out and take good care of people,” explained Christopher Hanifin, Chair of the Department of Physician Assistant and faculty advisor to McKinnon. “Here at Seton Hall, we are really trying to promote the fact that we need leaders for our profession, and that’s a role that I think Emily will one day play.”
The scholarship, among other aspects, required an essay asking why applicants desired to go into the field of allied health professions. McKinnon’s response explained that medicine is a way in which someone can give back to another on the most fundamental level because without health, one cannot thrive in any other aspect of life.
An excerpt from her essay proves her dedication: “By improving the health of an individual patient, I will not only be impacting them, but also impacting their loved ones, friends, and community.”
Although the scholarship earned McKinnon an awarded amount of $1,000, she exclaimed that the most important aspect was making others proud.
“It’s nice to be recognized because it’s a long hard road to become a PA,” said McKinnon. “But most importantly, I hope that I made Seton Hall, and the Department of Physician Assistant proud.”
For more information please contact: