Professional Associations & Activities

Students are encouraged to become members of a wide variety of professional associations. For example, the GWU Department of PA Studies supports the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the North Carolina State Association of Physician Assistants (NCAPA), of which students are strongly encouraged to become members to allow our student society to participate in the AAPA National Student Challenge Bowl as well as the state level NCAPA Challenge Bowl and a variety of other national, state, and regional activities. Leadership opportunities and occasional scholarships are available from the organizations listed below:

Professional Associations

Professional Activities

  • GWU PA Student Society activities
  • Community service activities
  • National Physician Assistant Week (October 6-12 annually)
  • NCAPA Continuing Medical Education conferences
  • AAPA Annual Conference
  • Student Academy of the AAPA (SAAAPA) activities
  • Federal advocacy in Washington, DC
  • NCAPA Board meeting

Conference Attendance Policy

Attendance at a state or national conference is encouraged and is the financial responsibility of the student. Faculty will attempt to honor a student’s request to attend a conference given adequate notice of attending; however, an excused absence from class, lab, or rotations will be approved by individual faculty. 

Student Society & Governance

Class Representatives

The Gardner Webb University Physician Assistant Student Society is the leadership group of PA students who meet regularly to discuss issues of common interest. The GWUPASS is registered with the Student Academy and is eligible to prepare for and participate in the National Student Challenge Bowl annually. The didactic class should elect class representatives by the end of the Spring I semester. Election includes the following Student Society officers:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Community Outreach Chair
  • Student Academy Representative (SAR)
  • Student Academy Representative (SAR) Alternate
  • State Chapter (NCAPA) Student Representative (SCSR)
  • Class Historian
  • Diversity Chair
  • New Student Co-Coordinators (male and female)

Each member of GWUPASS is strongly encouraged to become a member of the AAPA (a one-time payment of $75 covers membership through graduation). Eligibility to participate in the AAPA National Student Challenge Bowl requires at least 75% of students in the program to be members.

PA Student Society Faculty Advisor

A member of the PA faculty is appointed as the student government faculty advisor by the program director. The role of the faculty advisor is to motivate future leaders in the PA profession by encouraging participation, providing information about resources, and nurturing interest in the activities of the program’s student society.