AASPA Scholarships

The AASPA is proud to offer scholarships to deserving PA students who are interested in a career in surgery. It is one of just many benefits that we offer to our student members.

Susan and Tom Lusty Memorial Scholarship

AASPA awards at least one scholarship yearly to a student in either the didactic or clinical year. Winners receive the following:

  • $1,000 award
  • Scholarship certificate that is suitable for framing
  • Complimentary registration to the annual AASPA CME Meeting & Surgical Update
  • Ability to list "AASPA Student Scholarship Winner" on your resume
  • Recognition in Sutureline and on our website
  • AASPA's famous lapel pin

To qualify, the physician assistant student must:

  • Be enrolled in an ARC-PA accredited PA program
  • Demonstrate a financial need
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Be a student member of AASPA in good standing (membership application may be submitted with scholarship application)
  • Demonstrate an interest in surgical practice
  • Submit a completed AASPA Scholarship Application

To be considered, interested students should submit:

  • A letter from their PA program verifying student status, GPA and a transcript copy
  • Financial need information in essay format
  • A letter of recommendation from their PA program faculty member, surgical PA, surgeon or preceptor
  • A short (500 word) narrative explaining their desire to practice in surgery and career goals
  • List of completed/expected clinical rotations
  • If necessary, an application for AASPA student membership and appropriate dues.

Download a Scholarship Application

All information must be postmarked by July 1, 2019 and submitted to:

Chair, Student Scholarship Committee
278 SW Lake Forest Way
Port St Lucie, FL 34986

Please Note:

  • Applications will not be considered complete until all the above information is received.
  • For the 2019 application window (November 15, 2018 through July 1, 2019), all application information must be postmarked by July 1, 2019. Recipients will be notified by August 15, 2019.

Congratulations to our 2018 Student Scholarship Winner Timothy Cheves!

Timothy Cheves

Timothy Cheves is an Emory University PA student and veritable "Jack of All Trades" with his backgrounds in the ER, Search and Rescue, physical therapy, nursing, research and development, organ procurement, column and article writing, biosecurity, teaching, and much more. His time in the ER and OR is when he first fell in love with surgery. The thought of saving a human life with your own two hands sparked a passion in him that only continues to grows. He now aims his sights on Yale's surgical residency after graduation and plans to specialize in trauma surgery. When asked if he had any wisdom to pass along, Tim replied "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or vain conceit. Yes, aim high and aspire to much, but do so with a humble heart and do so with the goal of helping your fellow man. None of us got to where we are without the help and blessings of others around us."

Timothy's Narrative...

"The stretcher hit the ER doors as the medics wheeled in a multiple gunshot victim. It was my first night volunteering as an EMT student. I heard the victim crying, but not in a voice I expected. I looked over and saw the curled-up toes and kicking legs of a little baby. My heart sunk to my own, now curled, feet. As I ventilated the unfortunate babe, I couldn't help but think, how in the world could anyone fix this? Amidst the chaos, the trauma surgeon, Dr. Peter Rhee, arrived. He remained calm but firm; asking for vitals, inspecting the infant, and giving commands. Without wasting time, the he sped out with the baby on a mission to save her precious life. The next day I was astonished the baby survived thanks to the efforts of Dr. Rhee and his team.

I've since shadowed CT and general surgery teams unremittingly. Each time, stoking the first that was lit in me that first night in the ER. As the CT surgeon and I walked down the hall a little boy came running up to Dr. Thompson, giving him a hug, as the mother said her hello. I noticed a scar peeking out above the little boy's collar. It was one of Dr. Jess Thompson's heart surgery patient's here for one of his many follow ups. Again, I was blown away. How amazing. A child that would have otherwise not been here, is now running up and down these hallways thanks to surgery!

Almost 10 years have passed since I witnessed Dr. Rhee's miracle baby, and I still get goosebumps thinking about the skill, mindset, and resolve needed to pull off such surgeries. I love medicine in all its variations, but to literally save a life with your own two hands is on an entirely different level for me. This passion has grown from a flame into an utter fire storm that's pushed me my entire life to one day help fight death on the surgical stage.

Even before starting school, I already taught myself many of the suturing techniques and even took a job as a human organ procurement technician to learn the body as best I could. When cadaver lab came around in school, I was able to teach students some of the techniques I picked up. Day would turn to night without a notice while in cadaver lab as I'd lose track of time discovering the wonders of the human body. I loved every minute of it, knowing this hard work will eventually save someone's life.

Wanting to be the best for my patients, my ideal job after I graduate s to go into Yale's surgical residency. Afterwards, I want to work in trauma surgery at a teaching hospital, so I may share the skills and experiences I've been blessed with and, maybe, help ignite the same spark I had in someone else."