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10 AAPA Resources Faculty Advisors Should Know About

10 AAPA Resources Faculty Advisors Should Know
AAPA Graduate Advisor Shares What She’s Found Most Helpful
By Paula Miksa, PA-C
I have been a PA for almost 18 years. I’ve almost always
worked with PA students, and the last 10 years, I’ve spent working full time in PA
education. I have been active in the Tennessee Academy of PAs for more than 10 years
and served as a delegate for Tennessee in the House of Delegates (HOD) for the last few
years. Now I serve as AAPA graduate advisor to the Student Academy Board of Directors
and advisor to the student HOD delegation. I know how important student involvement
is in the HOD and in the profession’s leadership, and I see eager, motivated PA students
every day. I’m passionate about helping these future leaders find their voices, and I feel
lucky that I can help them.
[22 PA Students Elected to AAPA’s House of Delegates]
Even though the profession is now more than 50 years old, we still need leaders who are
committed to growing and strengthening the profession. Today’s PA students will be
tomorrow’s leaders – they’ll be chief PAs, executive directors, and members of AAPA’s
Board of Directors and the HOD. I’ve found that a lot of PA students discover they’re
passionate about leadership during PA school. It’s been very rewarding to me to help PA
students get started on their leadership journeys, and I hope each faculty advisor
empowers and encourages interested PA students to get involved in AAPA’s Student
As a previous student government faculty advisor and now as AAPA graduate advisor to
the Student Board, there are several resources that I find helpful when I’m guiding
student leaders. Available to faculty advisors on the AAPA website, these are the
resources I find myself revisiting again and again:
[What I Wish I’d Known Before Didactic Year]
1. Faculty Advisor Handbook: The Handbook is the first and possibly most important
resource available to advisors. This handy, easy-to-read, six-page handbook includes
everything a faculty advisor needs to know. It covers everything from how to advise
students in proper student government procedures to what events PA student leaders
might consider attending. There’s a ton of other additional information for you and your
students, all in one spot.
2. AAPA Student Academy staff advisor and other specialized AAPA staff: The AAPA
Student Academy staff advisor and other members of AAPA staff are a wealth of
information. Make sure you take advantage of their expertise! They are knowledgeable,
friendly, and always willing to help. Caitlin Harrison, the Student Academy staff advisor,
can be reached at students@aapa.org or by phone at 571-319-4310.
3. Student Academy Board of Directors: These students are elected by their peers and
work tirelessly throughout their term to bring all the student societies together by
advocating, networking, researching, and motivating students around the country. The
Student Board has a lot of leadership experience, and members are always willing to
help other students and faculty advisors. Read more about the positions and
students here.
4. PA Program Portal: The portal contains resources, ready-made presentations, and
handouts for program faculty about the PA profession, AAPA, state laws and
regulations, reimbursement, and more.
5. Student Academy Homepage: If you want to know anything about the Student
Academy, this is where to go. The page has student society resources, information about
the Assembly of Representatives meeting, and Challenge Bowl!
6. Student Academy Facebook page: The Student Academy shares leadership and
volunteer opportunities, as well as student resources and general Student Academy
7. Student Membership Resources: Your students will find everything they need to know
about AAPA student membership here. Remember, AAPA student membership is only
$75 and lasts for the duration of their PA program.
8. AAPA Conference: Although it may not be possible for all students to attend every year,
AAPA Conference is a great place for students to experience the PA profession. In
addition to all the CME activities and networking opportunities, AAPA Conference also
offers a wealth of student-specific activities.
9. Leadership and Advocacy Summit (LAS): LAS is an opportunity for students and
practicing PAs who are interested in advocacy to get more involved and learn from the
10. AAPA’s Career Central: Graduation for your PA students will be here before you or they
realize it! AAPA’s Career Central has many of the resources your students need to get
them started on the right foot in their careers. Career Central has checklists (“What You
Need to Know Before You Start Working”), insurance and reimbursement information, a
PA job board, and access to PA Portfolio, an online storage and sharing tool that can
really help when it comes time to apply for jobs.
Paula Miksa, PA-C, is the director of interprofessional education and an associate
professor at the Lincoln Memorial University PA program in Harrogate, Tennesee, where
she is actively involved in many aspects of program accreditation, teaching, course
directing, and promoting interprofessional education. Miksa has worked clinically in
emergency medicine and gastroenterology and she currently volunteers weekly at her
local free clinic. Miksa enjoys working with PA students and especially enjoys promoting
the PA profession locally and nationally. When she isn’t working, Miksa enjoys hiking,
running, and camping with her family. She can be reached at pmiksa@aapa.org.