Special Recognition: June Student of the Month
Semester of anticipated graduation:
Winter 2017 (IDS) & Winter 2018 (BMS)
My goal is to find an enjoyable career as a physician assistant in orthopedics. I intend to gain acceptance at Nova Southeastern University and am currently pursuing a position with the United States Navy in their collegiate scholarship program for physician assistants.
Tell us a little about yourself and your life:
I was born and raised in Southwest Florida where I now reside with my wife Suzi and our three children. I attended Bishop Verot High School where I was drafted by the Colorado Rockies. My baseball career ended at an early age after sustaining multiple injuries. I would end up serving for 10 years in law enforcement before retiring to make a career change. With my prior experiences and a profound interest in sports medicine, I decided to pursue a career in orthopedics as a physician assistant with hopes of tapping into my full potential as a health professional.
What are your hobbies/extracurricular activities?
My hobbies used to involve the gym, fishing and golfing when I wasn’t involved with coaching baseball. However, I have committed my most recent years to heavy loads of college courses and have not been able to make time for such hobbies. My “free time” is now consumed with extracurricular activities to include the Allied Health Club, Psychology Club and the Fort Myers Ambassadors Club, in addition to shadowing local doctors and physician assistants.
What has been your favorite class at Hodges University?
When I was navigating my way through the interdisciplinary studies program, I found the Political Processes course to be very interesting, as it just so happened to coincide with the 2016 presidential election. Now that I am navigating the biomedical sciences program [health sciences program], my favorite classes are the Anatomy & Physiology classes. With a heavy interest in orthopedics, the muscular and skeletal systems and functions are very fascinating to me.
Who are some of your favorite professors and why?
There is no question the entire Hodges staff is extremely professional and always willing to assist students with maximizing their college experience. However, the one professor that stands out to me is Professor [Gail] Sabo. No matter the circumstance, Professor Sabo always offered words of encouragement and is one of the most optimistic mentors I have ever met. Knowing I had a full plate, her positivity inspired me to keep on working hard no matter how challenging things were.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have faced is sacrificing time with my family so that I may expeditiously and successfully navigate my way through this career change. As a 36-year-old father of three, it is extremely difficult not being able to be there for every baseball game, holiday program or beach day. I continue to power through, however, by reminding myself they are my motivation to keep on going, and it will all be worth it in the end.
What does receiving a degree at Hodges mean to you?
Receiving a degree from Hodges means I will join an esteemed group of alumni, past, present and future. I have been blessed to have classes with some remarkable peers, who have not only made the process more interesting but have also made substantial contributions to the learning process. I intend to move on as a strong representative of the Hodges family as I pursue my master’s degree as a physician assistant.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are considering Hodges University?
Hodges serves as an extended family full of incredible resources. My best advice to new students is to tap into those resources by getting involved in school functions, clubs, etc. Getting involved opens up so many doors and exposes you to the opportunity to network with some amazing individuals.