Nicole Glennon will graduate from the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the Keck School of Medicine on May 12

Nicole Glennon will graduate from the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the Keck School of Medicine on May 12. (Photo/Courtesy Nicole Glennon)

Nicole Glennon is a student dedicated to her Trojan family. She knew she was home from her first interview for admission. That feeling persisted through her completion of a medical mission with her peers to creating her own nonprofit in line with the mission of the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

When she began the program, three years ago, Glennon was elected the class president and has created a legacy of leadership and advocacy.

“For me, being the class president was such a great honor,” Glennon explained. “Through tools, resources and advocacy, I could bring everything to enhance the experience for the students, which for me was really rewarding.”

Outside of the classroom, she has been dedicated to providing care to those in need.

She spent part of her first break in Nicaragua working with classmates to provide basic health care to young and old patients who otherwise would have very limited access to care.

Glennon also began her own nonprofit called Kids Can Los Angeles in 2014, finding time to make a difference between a heavy course load and clinical rotations. Kids Can Los Angeles helps low-income families fund medical and adaptive equipment for children with special needs by teaming up with companies like CorePower Yoga.

During her first year, she even helped fund four students’ travel costs so they could attend the annual Advocacy Trip to Washington, D.C., by writing an essay for scholarship money from the California Academy of Physician Assistants.

“Nicole’s selfless leadership style was an inspiration to her classmates, the faculty and staff of this program,” said Program Director Kevin Lohenry, PhD, PA-C, assistant professor of clinical family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “She reflects the definition of a servant-leader.”

Glennon also is receiving a Student Recognition Award from USC this year honoring her “outstanding leadership, scholarship, service and commitment to the university and community.” This celebration is on May 11 at Bovard Auditorium.

After graduating, Glennon will be working in Los Angeles in emergency medicine.

“I did my senior clerkship in a low-income area where the emergency room is the first place people come in to get care,” Glennon said. “They often haven’t seen a doctor in a while and have many health care problems. It is really rewarding to help people in the emergency room in that moment.”

As for the long-term future, she hopes to teach future Trojan PAs and pursue a doctorate in health advocacy.

By Claire Norman