BUFFALO, NY – Canisius University student Emily Cross is the recipient of the annual New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA) Scholarship. NYSSPA awards three such scholarships each year. In addition to academic funds, scholarship recipients are mentored from a current NYSSPA board member or committee chair. NYSSPA's mission is to provide PAs a strong and collaborative voice through advocacy and the advancement of the environment for PA practice, focused on quality patient and healthcare outcomes.
Cross is a first year student in the PA Studies program at Canisius University and the social chair for Canisius University Student PA Association (SPAA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Skidmore College and a master's degree in community health education at Merrimack College.
Prior to attending graduate school, Cross spent time as a courier intern with Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky, where she learned about rural healthcare through remote hospice networks, the RAM Clinic and local volunteer support. Cross was also an EMT, a medical assistant in dermatology, and an egg and sperm donation coordinator.
Canisius University welcomed its first cohort of 30 students to the PA program in January 2021. New cohorts enter the 27-month master’s degree program each spring. The program builds on the strong foundation of the college’s pre-medical and general science programs, and leverages partnerships with local hospitals and health systems. The curriculum includes clinical assignments and service learning requirements in underserved communities to provide students with early exposure to vulnerable communities, and the social and medical issues that affect patient care and health outcomes of patients from diverse socioeconomic, religious and cultural backgrounds.
Canisius was founded in 1870 in Buffalo, NY, and is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the Northeast, Canisius offers undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional programs distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration, mentoring and an emphasis on ethical, purpose-driven leadership.