MIDLAND, TX– Izzy Figueroa and Winnie Chau, second-year Master of Physician Assistant
(PA) Studies program students from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
(TTUHSC) Permian Basin campus in Midland, were recently selected as 2018-2019 Future
Educator Fellows (FEF) for the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). They
were among 153 students from 88 PA programs across the country that applied for 16
PAEA fellowships slots, and their selection made TTUHSC the only program that had
more than one representative chosen.
“I am proud to represent TTUHSC as the only program in the nation to have two representatives selected for this fellowship during this application cycle,” Figueroa said. “I also am very happy to share this experience with my classmate, Winnie Chau.”
Midland Regional Dean and PA Program Director Christina M. Robohm-Leavitt, PA-C, DFAAPA, said the FEF is designed to enhance PA students’ understanding of medical education and academic careers in PA education by providing a broad foundation of teaching to prepare students for careers in education.
“The FEF will help develop the knowledge and skills to excel in the area of PA education,” Robohm-Leavitt said. “As part of the fellowship, both students will attend the PAEA Annual Education Forum in Anaheim, California in October, and then they will be participating in a year-long program receiving additional education designed to foster foundations in PA education.”
Figueroa, who hails from Porter, Texas, a small town north of Houston, earned his Bachelor of Science in clinical laboratory science from Baylor University. When he completes TTUHSC’s PA program, he hopes to return to the Houston area and work with oncology patients at the MD Anderson Cancer Center to teach students about diseases and treatment modalities in either an academic classroom or clinical setting.
Chau, a Houston native, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, magna cum laude,from the University of Houston. Prior to enrolling in the PA program, she worked as a medical assistant in dermatology and as a private tutor. After graduation, she hopes to work full time as a practicing PA-C while also teaching PA students.
“Tutoring became a hobby for me, something I looked forward to doing,” she said. “The job that I initially started in high school for a little bit of extra money turned into a spark that ignited my passion for teaching.”