Using experiences as a clinician, an academician, and a researcher to challenge students’ worldview and their approach to healthcare
Beginning his career as a physician assistant in Colorado, Donald Allison has worked over 25 years in various clinical settings including migrant community health clinics and the emergency room. In 2004, along with 13 other PAs, he had the opportunity of participating in a two-year pilot project introducing the physician assistant profession to the United Kingdom (now called physician associates in England).
Throughout his career, Donald has worked in multiple settings and in various roles with diverse populations and individuals, endeavoring to decrease healthcare disparity for Mexican migrants, and other underserved populations throughout various locations in the world. Subsequently, Donald has firsthand knowledge of the health needs of the Blackfoot community in Montana, Appalachia in Northeast Tennessee, maximum security prison communities, various groups in China, and communities experiencing health disparity in Mexico and Peru. In addition, as a traveling faculty, Donald had the privilege of teaching a semester of Medical Anthropology and Public Health, in an experiential learning format, in New Orleans, India, Argentina, and South Africa.
Donald, a native of Montana, has a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies and a Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy, and Language. His dissertation, entitled “Mexican Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Culture, Gender, and Language Ideologies: Pláticas de HIV/AIDS,” is a qualitative study evaluating how Mexican migrant and seasonal farmworker men talk about HIV/AIDS and what their discourse reveals about culture and gender. Research interests include: linguistic landscape, health literacy, D/discourse, gender studies, cultural issues in health care, Mexican migrant farmworkers, and health disparity.
In his encounters with students, Donald uses his experiences as a clinician, an academician, and a researcher to challenge their worldview, and the approach they will use to provide healthcare to the diverse array of patients they will encounter in their future careers.
Specializes in assisting future physicians, physician assistants, and occupational therapists reach their goals at Washington State University
Lourdes’ professional experience also includes teaching anthropology to undergraduate students and advising them, ethnographic research in Latin America, and serving as the editor-in-chief of the journal Reviews in Anthropology. In 2005, she participated with other anthropologists in a project to assess the health needs of Venezuela’s indigenous population. Her work for this project among the Yabarana people appears in the publication Salud Indígena en Venezuela, which was given an honorific mention in the V National Venezuelan Book Award.
Lourdes has also worked as a public school teacher to mostly Navajo students in New Mexico. Her experiences teaching and mentoring university and k-12 students motivated her to become an academic advisor.
Lourdes received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, her M.S. in General Biology from Eastern Michigan University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lourdes views advising as a collaborative process between student and advisor that involves the two-way flow of ideas, constructive dialogue, learning, and personal growth.
Specializes in assisting future physicians, dentists, and physical therapists in reaching their goals at Washington State University
Lori works with students interested in applying to Medical, Dental, Physical Therapy Schools. She moved to eastern Washington from New Jersey in 2018. Lori holds a Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Rutgers University – School of Health Professions. Lori practiced Physical Therapy (PT) for 12 years in NJ. One of the most enriching experiences she had as a PT was serving as a Clinical Instructor for undergraduate students interested in PT and graduate students enrolled in an accredited PT program. Over the course of her career, she had the opportunity to treat patients in various settings including acute care, short-term subacute rehabilitation, outpatient facilities and home care. This exposed Lori to various members of the health care team.
While working as a PT, Lori also volunteered with students with special needs through Young Life Capernaum. It was through this experience that she developed an interest in transitioning to assisting, mentoring and teaching students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This shift in her career gave her the opportunity to work in various roles with students with special needs, ages 3-22, through a non-profit organization and in public and private education. During this time, Lori continued to collaborate with healthcare professional including PT’s, OT’s, SLP’s, audiologists, psychologists, behaviorists, nurses, social workers, and physicians.
Lori is honored to be part of the team of advisors at the Health Professions Student Center and use her combined 18 years of healthcare, non-profit, and education experiences to prepare students for their journey into health-related professions.
Specializes in assisting future Nurses and Pre-Speech & Hearing Science students at WSU
A long time employee of the Health Professions Student Center (HPSC), LeeAnn Tibbals has advised pre-health students since 2004. Initially, she worked with pre-physical therapy and pre-veterinary students. Since 2012, LeeAnn has advised pre-nursing students. Additionally, she assists with planning and implementation of various events that the HPSC hosts. Moreover, LeeAnn enjoys her work for the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) committee organizing the annual all-campus undergraduate research poster event. Her prior experience includes working for the Student Financial Aid Services at the University of Idaho.
LeeAnn is part-time in the HPSC allowing her to spend afternoons enjoying the time with her grandchildren and her dog, Winston. In her spare time, LeeAnn serves on the District Board of Directors for a large women’s group affiliated with the Lutheran church. Additionally, she enjoys camping, sewing and crocheting.
LeeAnn believes that student success occurs when a career choice is made that will bring enjoyment to the student, even when it is different than the original plan.
Specializes in assisting future Nurses, Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, and Pharmacy students at WSU.
Byron works with students interested in careers in Nursing, as well as Pharmacy. Before coming to WSU, Byron was in the Southeast United States. He worked as a physical therapy tech for several years, as well as a personal trainer. Byron enjoys serving and assisting others as they pursue their desired goals, dreams and aspirations. He received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science (Pre-PT) from Middle Tennessee State University while working and being a student-athlete. From his experience in undergrad, Byron was able to engage in a variety of stories and experiences that shaped the way Byron would interact with those he served, advised and interacted with going forward. Through all of his adventures, he realized his passion for assisting, advising and supporting others as they navigate their own stories. Through health and exercise, he realized he loved championing others and had a passion for helping others in taking ownership of their stories, lives, and experiences. Allowing them to explore and achieve their life and career aspirations.
Better understanding his passion and desire to walk in tandem alongside others, allowed Byron to realize he wanted to serve others during one of the largest, and most impactful periods of their journey—college. Byron went on to attain his Master’s of Science in Higher Education Administration in Tennessee. Byron is honored to join the Health Profession Student Center team of advisors and specialists, and use his experience, passion, and knowledge to advise, assist and support students throughout their adventure into the careers and passions they aspire to.
Specializes in assisting future veterinarians and optometrists reach their goals at Washington State University
Becky joined the Health Professions Student Center after directing a Writing Center in the Midwest. She is a graduate of Washington State University, with a B.A. in English. She also holds an M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from Colorado State University. She spent several years teaching at the college level before becoming a pre-health specialist. She is passionate about helping students approach Pre-Veterinary Medicine in a way that is engaging. She has found that every student is in need of something different, and her goal is to make the experience personal. While meeting with students, she encourages them to identify and pursue their goals in ways that align with their interests and passions. Additionally, she encourages students to take healthy risks and venture out of their comfort zones. Applying to professional schools can be a puzzle, but Becky reminds students that they don’t have to do it alone.