School of Health Sciences

Turning Points: Part 3

How four School of Health Sciences alumni discovered their calling and pursuit toward advanced degrees.

Evon Kashat, SHS alum, standing outside of oakland university human health building

Article from SHS InHealth Magazine

icon of a calendarWinter 2019 Issue of SHS InHealth

icon of a pencilBy Patrick Dunn

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Turning Points Part 3

PART 3: “An endless circle of giving”

Evon Kashat’s overall career goal was clear when she started at the School of Health Sciences. She just didn’t know exactly how she was going to get there.

“I always knew that I needed to be around patients and be with people, not be behind the scenes,” Kashat says.

She started pursuing her bachelor’s in clinical and diagnostic sciences (CDS) in 2009 with the eventual goal of becoming a physician assistant. As a mom of two kids, she says she chose her undergrad program partly because it seemed like a solid foundation that could provide good career opportunities if she didn’t have the chance to pursue a master’s degree. But Kashat would indeed go on to pursue a master’s degree and fulfill her career goals – thanks in part to what she describes as “life-changing” input and assistance from professors.

Kashat says School of Health Sciences Associate Dean Dr. Kristin Landis-Piwowar’s open-door policy was invaluable to her, as the two had many conversations about the differences between working in a clinical lab and working in firsthand patient care.

“You need someone who has gone on that path before you to tell you what’s ahead,” Kashat says.

Kashat also expresses gratitude for the CDS Chair Dr. J. Lynne Williams, who gave Kashat an opportunity to co-author a research paper on cancer immunotherapy with her. Williams and Landis-Piwowar also offered Kashat the opportunity to continue working at the school as a teaching assistant after she graduated in 2013.

The experiences offered by the CDS faculty and the deep clinical knowledge that she gained from her courses provided Kashat with unique content for her application to a physician assistant program.

Kashat went on to pursue a Master of Science in physician assistant studies at Wayne State University, graduating in 2017. She now works as a physician assistant at Beaumont Hospital in Troy, where she still applies the values she learned from School of Health Sciences faculty.

“When you have people who are willing to teach and willing to guide you, it just makes a world of difference,” Kashat says. “The only thing you know after that is to give back the same way those people gave to you, because it’s just an endless circle of giving.”

Read more - Turning Points: Part 4

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