Joanne Trembley had been a secondary teacher prior to taking time off to raise a family. When she returned to school, she chose another career path: physician assistant studies.
Trembley is one of four PAS students at Grand Valley who have earned scholarships to support their education thanks to a federal grant the department received last year.
Wallace Boeve, director and associate professor of PAS, said the $1.79 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services helps increase the number of students enrolled in the program and provides funding for more faculty members.
This year, PAS grew from 35 to 44 students. The program will gradually increase to 48 students by 2014. Boeve wrote the grant with Roy Olsson, dean of the College of Health Professions.
Trembley said receiving the scholarship was perfect for someone who is switching careers. She and the other grant recipients will receive $22,000 per year for the next two years.
Other grant recipients are Haley Crites, Gina Doman and Erin Meehan. Crites earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Michigan University; Doman and Meehan both earned bachelor’s degrees in health professions from Grand Valley.
Olsson said seven scholarships will be awarded next year.