On December 4, 2020, PA Studies held their annual White Coat Ceremony for the Class of 2021 (short coat). It was a virtual experience with students and faculty participating via Zoom while friends and family watched on Facebook Live. Before the ceremony closed graduate students, Mia Reyes ’21 and Emily Blair ’21 were announced as the 2020 recipients of the prestigious Jon and Keith Dyer Fellowship Awards. Jon’s passion for advancing the future of medical caregiving is based on his experience caring for his late brother Keith, who had cerebral palsy. Read his personal story here.  His generosity will offset a portion of the awardees’ second-year tuition.

The PA faculty selected Mia and Emily based on three criteria:  academic performance during the didactic year of the PA program, emerging potential as a clinician, and leadership and/or volunteerism. Both students were surprised and excited when their names were announced at the White Coat ceremony. Previous recipients, Max Kupferman ’20 and Dominque Borchard ’20 were the first pair of students to receive the award.

Most PA grad students will tell you that didactic year is a major challenge requiring extreme discipline and laser focus. Copius amounts of information have to be committed to memory in a relatively short amount of time. Add in the additional challenge of doing some of the classes online due to the pandemic, and things get even tougher. Emily and Mia prove that tenacity and commitment to excellence are possible even when times get rough. They successfully maneuvered through the challenges of 2020 and emerged with both a short coat and some tuition assistance for their second year!

We congratulate both students on this tremendous accomplishment and thank the Dyer Family for their generous contributions to our college.