Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies Morgan Luck, Ed.D., PA-C, who is based at Scholar Plaza, Loudoun, is the subject of our December 2021 Friday Faculty Spotlight. One area of focus for Dr. Luck is diversity, and her interest in the issue grew out of her teaching experience at Shenandoah. Find out about her research and more in her full Friday Faculty Spotlight Q&A!
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When did you begin teaching at Shenandoah?
What drew you to the university?
Prior work with the SU Physician Assistant (PA) program (guest lecturing, admission day interviews) introduced me to the culture of support and camaraderie among the faculty, as well as the intelligence and vast potential of the students.
You just successfully defended your Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership dissertation at Shenandoah. Why did you decide to study for a Doctor of Education?
The Master of Science degree I received in 2001 prepared me to practice clinically as a PA. Once I transitioned to a position in graduate education I recognized my need to gain expertise in the education field as well, especially in terms of research skills and leadership.
Your doctoral dissertation and your research fellowship with the Physician Assistant Educators Association (PAEA) both focus on increasing diversity in the physician assistant profession. What drew you to this topic?
I was drawn to this topic early in my first year of teaching at SU as my students from diverse backgrounds shared with me their stories and challenges with the PA admission process. A focus of the PAEA fellowship was the connection between research and advocacy. Evidence is needed to advocate for change in admissions processes at departmental, institutional and national levels. Researchers can provide that evidence if they undertake well-designed projects (and if the outcomes of those projects turn out to support the cause). I see the potential for my research to mitigate the challenges my students described.
How does your research work connect with your teaching?
I have been able to incorporate my knowledge of social determinants into my teaching of clinical medicine topics.
What do you hope your students take away from your classes?
That my classes will contribute to their success in becoming my future practicing PA colleagues!
What do you do in your free time?
I spend time with my husband and our four teenagers, read, take long walks with our puppy, and plan upcoming foodie adventures.
What is a little-known fun fact about you?
I love to plan foodie adventures, which can take my husband and I pretty much anywhere within an hour or two drive from our home in Northern Virginia. Most recently we took several weekend trips to tour the top BBQ restaurants/food trucks in Loudoun County and beyond.