Congratulations to Caroline Hempel, APAO 2017 Student Scholarship Winner!

Caroline just started work at MD Anderson in Surgical Oncology and was a Physician Assistant Student at the Medical University of South Carolina. Even as an undergraduate, she possessed an innate interest for medicine and the fascinating field of oncology. While studying Spanish and International Health, she completed an internship with the Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer in Granada, Spain where she provided social and emotional support to pediatric cancer patients and their families. After graduating, her passion for oncology deepened while working at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As a Research Assistant with the Lineberger Cancer Center, she interviewed gynecology oncology patients and collected specimens that were sequenced in order to deliver specific tailored therapy. Additionally, she often consented women to the study at their first clinic visit where her emotional intelligence allowed her to naturally communicate with patients in an informative yet compassionate manner. It was at that point she knew she was destined to pursue a career in cancer and applied to school with the intentions of becoming a physician assistant in oncology.
As a PA student, she is continually fascinated by the innovative cancer research and therapy that has burgeoned in the past decade. While completing a rotation in Medical Oncology at MUSC, she had the opportunity to see new lung cancer patients and present at weekly tumor board. She is currently completing her last rotation at MD Anderson in Stem Cell Transplant and looks forward to embarking on her career as a PA in oncology. She possesses an analytical, curious mind and is tenacious about understanding, adequately diagnosing and properly treating patients on an individual basis. She believes each patient has his or her own unique story and genome and looks forward to working with a medical team that delivers the best-individualized care possible to cancer patients. 


APAO Student Scholarship

Scholarship Information

  • A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded at the APAO Annual Conference August 9-12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
  • $500 of the total scholarship is allotted for the recipient’s travel expense to the APAO Annual Conference in Chicago; the other $2,000 is unrestricted.
  • The winner is strongly encouraged to receive the scholarship in person at the conference. If this is not possible, the total amount awarded to the winner is $2,000 (travel expenses deducted from the initial $2,500)

Eligibility Criteria

  • AAPA member (or applicant)
  • PA student enrolled in a ARC‐PA‐accredited program
  • Clinical phase (completed basic science courses or near completion). Applicant should graduate before June 2019
  • Applicant has not previously received a PA foundation or other specialty organization scholarship
  • Applicant has a strong interest in pursuing a career in the oncology field
  • A clinical rotation in an oncology specialty is strongly encouraged but not required
  • Applicant must not graduate before May of the application year
  • Applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. If your program does not provide a numerical GPA (i.e. PASS/FAIL), the program director/designee must provide an explanation of the grading system.

Instructions‐ Please Read Carefully

  • Electronic Application is preferred
  • All Information should be typed
  • Brevity is encouraged, but additional sheets may be included if needed to fully respond to questions.
  • Additional unsolicited information that does not pertain directly to the questions in the application will not be forwarded to the selection committee.
  • The application package must include
    • One copy of the application form
    • Two personal statements (500 words or less)
    • One copy of an official or signed unofficial transcript from the PA Program
    • One copy of the Program Director/Designee Reference Form
    • One Letter of Reference from a Healthcare Professional who can attest to the applicant’s interest in oncology
  • APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2018: May 4, 2018

Methods for Submission

  • Apply Online
  • Email application to: [email protected]
  • *** Note that the Program Director/Designee Form is submitted separately from the student application. Please follow up with your Director/Designee to ensure that your scholarship application is complete. Program directors must complete the following component of the applications: PA Director Reference Form
  • For questions/additional information, please contact Maria Gargano, PA-C at [email protected]


The APAO offers free membership to all students, students are encouraged to become members.