Graduate student attends inaugural diversity summit for PA studies

Ashely Boyce
Ashley Boyce at the summit
Ashely Boyce (Photo courtesy of Ashely Boyce)

A Brenau University graduate student was among a select group chosen for an inaugural summit on diversity in the physician assistant field this month.

Ashely Boyce, who is set to graduate in 2023 with her Master of Science in physician assistant studies, took part in the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants’ Represent! Summit on Sept. 8-9. The summit, which addresses inclusivity and diversity in the PA profession and in clinical settings, was held at Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

“Diversity, equity and inclusivity is far reaching and has a greater impact than most realize,” Boyce said. “I am thrilled because this opportunity will allow me to grow professionally and personally. I will take what I learn from the summit and apply it immediately with my classmates, professors and future patients.”

Dr. Julie Keena, department chair of the Physician Assistant Studies program in the Ivester College of Health Sciences, said Boyce’s selection is significant for the program and for Brenau. The summit aims to foster change and address PA DEI challenges in the workplace, programs and organizations.

Ashley Boyce takes part in an exercise at the Represent! Summit.
Boyce, right, takes part in an exercise at the summit. (Photo courtesy of Ashely Boyce)

“Boyce’s participation will be a transformative experience for her,” Keena said. “It also benefits the university, as she brings what she’s learned back to campus and continues to lead efforts to nurture our culture of inclusion and belonging.”

Boyce serves as the director of diversity for her cohort in the Capt. Douglas Hickok Physician Assistant Student Society at Brenau.

“The Represent! Summit created an environment that fostered growth and understanding while teaching valuable skills to increase diversity, equity and inclusion and address racism in its many forms,” Boyce said. “After attending the summit, it is evident that the PA profession is committed to increasing DEI and I feel better equipped with the skills to address the importance of it.”