Donald Allison, Ph.D., PA-C
Director, Health Professions Student Center
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.
Smith CUE 502
Specializes in assisting future doctors and dentists in reaching their goals at Washington State University
Cathryn joined the Health Professions Student Centre in 2017 following a 15-year career in medical research. Her main research goals focused on drug development strategies for the treatment of male infertility and novel contraceptive options for men. She did both her undergraduate and graduate work in Australia, receiving a Bachelors in Biomedical Science from The University of Melbourne in 2002, followed by her Ph.D. in reproductive biology from Monash University in 2007. Cathryn then wished to broaden her horizons and moved to the U.S. to be a Postdoctoral Fellow with the School of Molecular Biosciences here at Washington State University. Over the next ten years, Cathryn had the pleasure of working with numerous WSU undergraduate and graduate students, serving as their primary mentor in the laboratory and assisting with their career development. Through this experience, Cathryn developed a passion for helping students achieve their professional goals and continues this in role as a pre-health specialist. She believes that all students can excel when provided with a supportive and stimulating learning environment and she encourages students to be proactive in striving to achieve their goals.
When not at work, Cathryn is kept busy by her husband, and twins (born in late 2016). She enjoys running, swimming, reading, trying new cuisines, and is a regular attendee of Cougar Football, Basketball, and Volleyball games (Go Cougs!). She loves living on the Palouse and her favorite time of year is the start of the Fall semester. Having the all the students back makes Pullman and the WSU campus feel alive.
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.
Specializes in assisting students who are studying to become pharmacists & physician assistants.
Marian McDonnell Horton’s original 31-year career was in college and university admissions. In that capacity, she enjoyed working for 7 years at Gonzaga University (and since that’s her alma mater, Marian will always be a Zag!), 10 years at University of Idaho, 4 years at WSU Spokane, and 10 years at the WSU College of Pharmacy (COP). After the COP decided to move to the Spokane campus, Marian preferred to stay on the Palouse, and began advising undergraduate pre-pharmacy students who wish to apply to ANY school of pharmacy.
Having worked in the Health Professions Student Center (HPSC) since 2011, she has learned about the many other areas of human and animal health. On occasion, while other HPSC office positions were temporarily vacant, Marian taught herself quickly about those professions so that she was able to assist students who were applying to medical, dental, veterinary medicine, physical and occupational therapy, nursing, and physician assistant schools. She was also once responsible for advising all Nutrition & Exercise Physiology and Speech & Hearing Sciences students. In addition to her pre-pharmacy and pre-PA students, Marian also currently advises students who seek a career in all ‘other’ categories, for instance, chiropractic, dental hygiene, public health, and hospital laboratory scientist, to name a few. Marian truly loves visiting with students and opening their eyes to the broad array of career possibilities there are in the field of health.
Outside of work, Marian loves baking, walking, crochet/knitting, traveling, volunteering for her church and other charities, reading, woodworking, and singing in the choir. She is a breast cancer survivor who regularly donates blood. More than anything, Marian loves getting to know her students, and in each one, finds infinite worth.
Specializes in assisting future Nurses and Pre-Nutrition and Exercise Physiology 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.
Pre-Speech & Hearing Sciences
Smith CUE 502
Specializes in assisting Pre-Nursing, and Pre-Speech and Hearing Science students
Specializes in assisting future Physical Therapists 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.