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

To qualify, the physician assistant student must:

  • Be enrolled in an ARC-PA accredited PA program
  • 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
  • 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.

APPLICATION submission:

Submit Your Student Scholar Application

For the 2022 application window (December 15, 2021 through July 1, 2022), all application information must be submitted by July 1, 2022. Recipients will be notified by August 15, 2022. 

Please Note:

  • Applications will not be considered complete until all the above information is received.

Congratulations to our 2019 Student Scholarship Winner Katie Lukovich, PA-S!

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Katie's Narrative...
"I can still remember the warmth of the bright spotlights, the sounds of the patient’s heart beat on the monitor, the smells of antiseptic and the cool brisk air of the operating room from the very first surgery I ever witnessed. It was a routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy, but to me, it was anything but routine. It was that moment, that surgery, where I knew the operating room was where I belong. 

The first time I saw an exposed spinal cord was during my first laminectomy procedure. I was in awe of the delicate yet resilient anatomy.  As a Certified Surgical First assistant of several years, I have assisted and excelled in several surgical procedures in all areas of surgery. My passion for the detailed complexity of neurosurgery always drew me back into the neurosurgical operating rooms. Whether it was performing emergency burr holes on a patient with a subdural hematoma at three in the morning, or assisting on a 14 hour spinal fusion revision, I just couldn’t get enough.  As a first assistant, I never had the privilege of caring for the patient preoperatively nor witnessing the curative therapy a surgical procedure can have postoperatively on a patient. As a neurosurgical physician assistant, I will be able to encompass my patients’ care throughout the entire surgical experience.

Both my first and second didactic years have taught me so much appreciation for the human body. The amount of knowledge I have gained over the last two years inspires me. I look forward to expanding this knowledge and skill set with my patients as I embark upon clinical year. I look forward to the day I will be an instrumental part of my patient’s complete surgical experience. During clinical year, I hope to do my elective rotation in neurosurgery. I plan to return to the operating room as a surgical physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery upon completion of my program.

Moving forward, I intend to be a leader in the surgical physician assistant community by sharing my passion for surgery with students and other physician assistants by volunteering my time with AASPA. I know how important it is to not only be a member of your professional organization, but also be a leader within the organization. Accepting the mantle of leadership ensures your voice will be heard and is also the best way to advance this great profession."