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PA Students Earn EWNJ and NHSC Scholarships

Physician assistant (PA) students, Marlie Doriston (Class of 2024) and Ariana Ochoa (Class of 2025), were recently awarded the Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) and National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarships, respectively. This marks the first time Monmouth University students were awarded these scholarships since the inaugural PA class graduated in 2017.

“[This] recognition is a testament to the excellence that our Monmouth PA students exhibit both academically and professionally,” said Pauline Papapietro, M.S., PA-C, specialist professor in the physician assistant program. “Our entire faculty and staff are extremely proud of both of them and are honored our students were chosen for these scholarships.”

Doriston, a third-year student who is currently in the clinical phase of the program, was awarded EWNJ scholarship for the 2023 Graduate Merit Program. This annual scholarship is awarded to women who are non-traditional graduate students attending New Jersey colleges and universities. EWNJ defines ‘non-traditional’ as “a student who returns to their studies several years after receiving an undergraduate degree; a student who may have completed their undergraduate degree at a later date; a student who changed careers and is returning to school to retool their career; or a student who comes from a non-traditional educational or socioeconomic background.” Doriston received an undergraduate degree as an athletic trainer, and worked for several years as a certified athletic trainer prior to being accepted into the PA program at Monmouth.

Ochoa, a second-year student who is currently finishing up the didactic phase of her program, was awarded a NHSC scholarship given to students pursuing primary care health professions training. In return, scholars commit to provide primary care health services in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). The goal of the NHSC is to increase access to quality health care in areas with health professional shortages. This is achieved by supporting primary care medical, dental, and behavioral health providers through scholarships and loan repayment programs. Ochoa has committed to work as a PA in an underserved area for a minimum of two years after her graduation in 2025.