The Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) is honoring two members of the DeSales University faculty. Kathy Ehrhardt, assistant director/academic coordinator of the PA Program, has been named the Physician Assistant Educator of the Year. Nani Cuadrado, assistant professor, will receive the Humanitarian Award.
Neither Ehrhardt (pictured center, in pink, with the PA Class of 2017) nor Cuadrado knew about the nominations, which came as a shock. “The students nominated me so I had no idea this was happening,” says Ehrhardt, who becomes the first faculty member at DeSales to receive the PA Educator of the Year Award. “One day I went into class to teach and they said, ‘we have an announcement.’”
Cuadrado was nominated by a colleague she had done missionary work with. “I didn't know I was actually nominated,” she says. “I got the letter but I didn't know that a colleague had nominated me and collected all the letters of support. It was a complete surprise.”
The PA Educator of the Year Award honors a physician assistant educator who inspires, stimulates, and challenges students and colleagues through outstanding contributions to PA education and the profession.
Ehrhardt, who joined the faculty in 1997 and also works at the DeSales Free Clinic, was floored by the honor and speechless – something she calls unusual. “I'm having trouble processing the whole thing because I'm not a person who likes to receive adulations for what I do. It's just what I do. It's very overwhelming. It was very humbling to be perfectly honest.”
The PSPA Humanitarian Award honors a physician assistant who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to human rights and exemplifies the PA profession’s philosophy of providing accessible and quality health care to the underserved.
Cuadrado (right) graduated from the DeSales PA Program in 2002. She has traveled to Zambia, Uganda, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Guatemala and feels blessed to have the opportunity to take students abroad. “I'm flattered but in my mind, God gives me opportunities and I am blessed to carry them out,” she says. “I'm flattered but there are many others that are well deserving.”
Both Ehrhardt and Cuadrado will receive their awards at the annual PSPA conference in Pittsburgh on Friday, October 21. For Ehrhardt, it’s perfect timing since the Challenge Bowl, which she coaches, is being held there as well. “It will be a nice luncheon for DeSales faculty,” she says.
Cuadrado agrees and credits DeSales with allowing faculty to pursue the humanistic part of the University’s mission. “DeSales is doing something right. For an entire state to recognize one small university in Center Valley –we’re very lucky and very blessed.”
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