Wayne State Students Receive Rutan Scholarships 2016


Left: John McGinnity, M.S., P.A.-C,Program Director of PA Studies
Center: Scholarship Recipients Alexandra Sharples and Chelsea Niemi; Right: Judy Rutan


Alexandra Sharples-Collins, BS, PA-S

Alexandra Sharples-Collins, BS, PA-S graduated from the University of Michigan –Ann Arbor with honors in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Since she could remember, she has always known that the medical field was where she was meant to be. In high school, she began researching professions in the medical community. After reading a description of what a physician assistant was, she knew that it was the perfect profession for her. PA encompassed all that she had been looking for in a career- the ability to make decisions in the care of patients, interact with a medical team, and connect with patients.

While studying at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, she became a member of the Pre-PA club and worked as a volunteer year round at UofM hospital. After graduating, she obtained her certification in Nursing Assisting at Schoolcraft College. She began working at Crystal Creek Assisted Living which specialized in Alzheimer’s patients and, while there, was able to touch many lives, getting to know both the patients and their families.

In 2014, she started working at Henry Ford West Bloomfield hospital on the Neurology floor and Stroke Unit. It was one of the most moving experiences of her life as she watched patients regain their ability to walk and relearn everyday tasks that many take for granted such as washing their face or putting on a T-shirt. While at HFWB, she was able to interact with all branches of medicine including physicians, physician assistants, nurses, PT/OT, social work. Medicine is not about following one provider. It is about working as a team with the patient to establish the best plan of treatment. She feels that both of these experiences have made her the provider that she is today and have helped her in both the didactic and clinical aspects of the WSU PA program.

Alexandra currently serves as the treasurer of the WSU PA class of 2017. She feels honored to have this responsibility and to be able to work with each of her classmates. She is member of AAPA and MAPA. This past fall, she attended her first MAPA conference in Traverse City and looks forward to attending the conference for many years to come.   

Thank you so much to Mr. and Mrs. Rutan and to all of those that support this scholarship.


Chelsea Niemi, BS, PA-S2

Chelsea Niemi PA-S2 graduated with academic honors from Oakland University in May of 2015 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science and a pre-health profession concentration. During her undergrad years she was actively involved with the pre-physician assistant society and served as their Treasurer. She was also a member of the alternative spring break club, she gave up her spring break to serve HIV/AIDS victims and their families in Chicago by working in a food pantry, helping to clean out a home, and tutoring children. Since graduation, she has returned to Oakland University on various occasions to give presentations on how to get into PA school in hopes to help other students.

While attending college full time she also worked part time as a nursing assistant at Troy Beaumont Hospital on a medical surgical unit for two years. This position allowed her to gain essential hands on patient care experience. She obtained knowledge on medicine and over 1,000 hours of patient care hours. In addition, Chelsea volunteered in the emergency department at Troy Beaumont Hospital acting as their liaison.

Chelsea also volunteered at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit which was one of several experiences that motivated her to attend graduate school in Detroit. She applied to several PA programs the summer before her final year as an undergraduate student. Chelsea was accepted to the program right away and began graduate school just one week after graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree.

At this time Chelsea is undecided on which area of medicine she wants to work in. She is truly enjoying her clinical rotation experience and is excited to discover which area of medicine she is most passionate towards. Chelsea is extremely grateful to the Rutan family and those who have made donations in order to relieve some of the financial burden that comes with a college education.


If you would like to donate click the link below.

Parents of physician assistant studies alumna celebrate daughter’s life and legacy with memorial scholarship


© copyright  2012  LoveAlwaysRememberAlways.com  All rights reserved.  Web design Powered by Lawrence Park Place.