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Elisha Fleig, Class of 2013, shares how her double major in Spanish and Physician Assistant Science prepared her to land her dream job as a PA-C at the Cleveland Clinic Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
Physician AssistantClass of 2013
First-Year Convocation 2016
"No, it's not a popular vacation spot, a well-known town, or even a bustling community. Most people living in Pennsylvania probably haven't even heard of it, unless they have driven on Interstate 22 heading to Penn State or elsewhere. While those people didn't even think twice when passing the "Loretto" exit on 22, I always smiled and beamed from the inside out. Why? Because that's my home base, a beautiful, hidden sanctuary where I've spent the past several years.
From day one at Saint Francis, I didn't hesitate to jump into any and every activity I possibly could. I knew that if I had attended a larger university, I really wouldn't have been able to participate in so many organizations. Here at SFU though, involvement was greatly encouraged. It was unusual to meet someone who wasn't part of at least one campus organization. And even better--you didn't have to be an upperclassman to make a difference; all members of any group were held accountable for something. As a freshman, I remember feeling a great sense of accomplishment by planning events like Winter Weekend and Homecoming--of which I was the co-chair for in just my sophomore year! Such a positive atmosphere could harbor only success.
From SAO to SGA, Orientation to foreign language, or Greek life to academic life, my passion to "DO" knew no bounds. Saint Francis harbored and honed in upon that passion. I aimed to make a difference on the campus, and I truly believe that there is nowhere else where I could have accomplished so much in so little time. I certainly did not anticipate this upon my admission.
I have to attribute all of this to my time here at Saint Francis. I have been prepared for a phenomenal career in the medical field, as I have been recruited by the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top four hospitals in the country, to work in their world-renowned Bone Marrow Transplant unit. The opportunities do not end there--we are eligible to apply for incredible residencies at hospitals including Johns Hopkins for their Critical Care or Surgical programs. I have learned so much in my time here, and now I can finally apply all of these skills in my current job.
It was challenging to articulate my thoughts and feelings regarding Saint Francis because the satisfaction and happiness I've enjoyed during my tenure here are intangible. While academics brought me here, the warm environment and most importantly, the people, kept me."
I pursued an education at Saint Francis for the PA program, and I certainly was not disappointed. Along the way, I joined the Honors program and picked up a second major in Spanish. These were challenging decisions, but significant and shaping nonetheless. My Spanish allowed me to travel abroad and study in Spain, along with taking two medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic to translate and assist the medical providers. The Honors program allowed my passion for research to flourish. Then during the past year as I've completed my Masters degree, I've been able to assist in many incredible medical cases and sharpen my knowledge and skills as a soon-to-be physician assistant. I even got to use my Spanish skills on many occasions throughout my rotations, which set me apart from other job candidates.
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