WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., June 23, 2019 — West Liberty University students Emily Puskarich and Alex Franke received scholarships from Wheeling Hospital that will provide them with financial assistance and career opportunity. Both are enrolled in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program.
“We are thankful for these scholarships, which mean so much to our students, Wheeling Hospital and its commitment to our students and our program is strong and we are grateful,” said Program Director Dr. Bill Childers, EdD, MS, PA-C, who leads the PA program at WLU.
The scholarship covers in-state tuition for the second year of the 24-month graduate program and includes an employment opportunity for each student to work at Wheeling Hospital after graduation for a period of two-years.
The students who receive the 2019 Wheeling Hospital scholarship began the PA program last spring and are now finishing the first year of classroom work. They begin their clinical rotations in late June.
- Emily Puskarich, 24, Wheeling, W.Va., earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree from Fairmont State University in 2017. She has always been interested in the medical field.
“My interest in becoming a physician assistant was confirmed after I shadowed a PA. Once I saw what they do, I began to think about it. I knew it was what I wanted to do after shadowing a PA at several local physician’s offices,” Puskarich said.
The daughter of WLU alumni Joe and Caryn Puskarich of Wheeling, she knows that she wants to remain in the area.
“It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship since I can now care for the community I grew up in. It’s very exciting,” she added.
- Alex Franke, 25, Wheeling, W.Va., earned both a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Theatre degrees from WLU in 2018.
“I knew that I wanted to go into medicine and the schedule and program of PA school fit my lifestyle and ambitions well. West Lib’s program is affordable and classes are small. Many times, I work one-on-one with professors which allows me to better digest material and work through the program,” said Franke.
Franke also served as Resident Assistant and Hall Director as an undergraduate student. He transferred to WLU after spending his first semester as a college freshman at West Virginia University.
Susan Truax and WLU alumni Scott Franke, both of Wheeling, are his parents.
The PA program at WLU began in summer 2012 and offers students a 24-month, year round program of study housed at the newly constructed Campbell Hall of Health Sciences.
Fully accredited, it is just one of several health sciences major offered by WLU’s College of Sciences. For complete information, please call 304.336.5098.