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Physician Assistant Reflects on Catholic Studies, Celebrating 20 Years  

Jessica West picture 320The Catholic Studies program will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018 as an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences, offering a B.A., minor and certificate through the College. The degree is an interdisciplinary, liberal arts, and integrated learning degree with special tracks in social sciences, education, nursing, history, literature, religion, philosophy and theology.

Catholic Studies is the program of connections and communications, connecting and communicating the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to every discipline and every school on campus. Our Catholic Studies majors and minors come from a variety of other majors at the University. "If there is one program at Seton Hall that directly proclaims the mission of the University, it is Catholic Studies," as the senate review committee once defined Catholic Studies. "Catholic Studies has been true to the senate's mandate and continues its mission of preparing big minds and big hearts."

Jessica West, 2017 Magna Cum Laude graduate of the dual degree Biology/Physician Assistant program with a minor in Catholic Studies, is just one of the many Seton Hall students who have grown in mind, heart and spirit through Catholic Studies over the past 20 years. We recently asked her about her experience in the program.

She responded:

"I am currently in my second year of graduate school in Seton Hall's physician assistant program. I always wanted to work in the medical field, and I'm so proud to be on my way to becoming a PA. The Catholic Studies program has helped guide me in every aspect of my life. The classes I have taken and the professors I have learned from have helped me better live my life according to Catholic teaching.

One class in particular, Catholicism Healthcare and Human Condition, focused on the dilemmas faced in health care and how to go about them ethically and morally as a Catholic. This class was transformative in my learning.

The Catholic Studies program has given me the opportunity to take classes that will help me make moral and ethical decisions as a future health care practitioner as well. As a PA, I will have to make life and death decisions for my patients on a daily basis. I am confident that because of my strong Catholic identity I can make these decisions and honor and protect life from its natural conception to its natural death. I am so thankful for how the Catholic Studies program has shaped my Catholic beliefs in my undergraduate career and enabled me to medically serve others with love and compassion."

Categories: Alumni , Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Gloria Aroneo
  • (973) 275-2808