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Surprising Fact About YourselfI bench pressed my own weight (2 reps, maxing out) in high school.

Places to Visit or Things to DoI’m happy to visit any beach at any time.

Favorite MovieCry Baby

Favorite BookThe Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Hobbies and InterestsCamping (my parents introduced my sister and me to camping very early in life, and my husband and I have done the same with our children), kayaking and backpacking

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University Faculty Spotlight:
Vanessa Worley

Title: Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
Teaches: Physician Assistant Studies

After an amazing shadowing experience at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver, I changed my professional course from neuroscience and neuropsychology to medicine. The physician assistant path was right for me because it matched my strengths, my personality and my life goals. For someone who prides herself on her ability to educate patients and who loves the challenge of teaching difficult concepts, the eventual move into the field of physician assistant education was inevitable.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
I am most proud of the work I did in plastic and reconstructive surgery in Pittsburgh, PA at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC. This was an extremely challenging field, but as an integral member of an interdisciplinary team, the work was incredibly rewarding. My main role was to empower women to make personal decisions about reconstruction then support patients through the reconstruction process.

Love of Learning
My philosophy of teaching includes the primary goals of refinement of strong critical thinking skills, creation of self-directed learners and development of well-founded confidence in knowledge and abilities. I hope that my enthusiasm in the classroom helps to foster a love of learning. To keep interest in the classroom, I use technology such as Turning Point.

Contributions to the Curriculum
I have gradually been adding more problem-based learning activities to the current curriculum and plan to continue building more opportunities to develop critical thinking skills through this powerful medical education technique.

Seeing Students Grow
I enjoy seeing the look of discovery on student’s faces when they grasp a challenging concept and seeing students grow in knowledge, confidence and maturity.

Favorite Building
It's Chapman Hall because it reminds me of the tradition that goes before me and motivates me to strive for excellence so that I may honor those who have worked hard to lay the foundation of this institution.

Mount Union Graduates
The graduates of Mount Union that I know personally are not only equipped to be successful in their work, but are also successful in life in general and approach life with a live-it-to-the-fullest mentality. I believe that this comes from a strong liberal arts education, a well-rounded and diverse campus community and teachers who truly care about the students as individuals and are willing to challenge students in order to help students grow.

Building Skills and Fostering Compassion
In Mount Union’s Physician Assistant Studies Program, we prepare students to work as competent, confident and compassionate physician assistants who can contribute in major ways to the healthcare team. The recipe for this type of success includes a rigorous academic program that requires students to rise to the challenge and grow, training in how to be patient-centered and empathetic and many opportunities to apply new information in hands-on learning.

B.S., Neuroscience and Psychology, Allegheny College
M.P.A.S., Physician Assistant Studies, Chatham University

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