For WSU student Casey Jankord, scholarships help make getting an advanced degree possible

Casey Jankord will complete the 26-month Physician Assistant program this summer

Scholarship Recipient Casey Jankord
Casey Jankord, a second-year student in the Physician Assistant program at Wichita State, practices what she has learned on a fellow student.

Casey Jankord looks forward to the day when she can live under the same roof as her new husband, Drew.

    Not only does she miss spending time with the man she married one year ago, but she also frets about the expenses they’re incurring with two rents, two sets of utility bills, frequent gasoline fill-ups, and so on.

    On top of it all, she’s unable to work as she completes her clinical rotations to become a physician assistant.

    “It’s been stressful sometimes, but through it all I’ve had the comfort of knowing that my scholarships would help pay for school and that will make it easier for us to get our finances in order once I graduate,” said Jankord, who is two months away from completing the 26-month Physician Assistant (PA) program at Wichita State.

"I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of students." 

- Donald Sbarra

    Among the scholarships she has received at Wichita State is the Donald D. Sbarra Endowed Fellowship, established by Sbarra in 2006 to help a deserving graduate student with financial need. Sbarra also has established a scholarship for undergraduate students who need help paying for college.

    “I’m a strong believer in education, especially for students whose parents cannot afford a college education,” said Sbarra, who was chairman of the board and CEO of Multimedia Inc. before he retired in 1995. “I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of those students.”

    Before enrolling at Wichita State to enter the PA program, Jankord, 25, graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition. She then worked as a medical assistant in a dermatologist’s office for a year to get the experience required of applicants for the PA program.

    After a year of classroom work in the program, Jankord has spent the past year completing clinical rotations in family practice, emergency room medicine and endocrinology. She has one more rotation to complete before graduating this summer.

    Jankord and her husband have a home in Manhattan, so she hopes to land a job as a physician assistant somewhere in that area.

    “There is a strong demand for physician assistants, especially with the Health Care Reform Act bringing new patients into the system, so I’m optimistic,” she said of her impending job hunt.

    Paying off college loans and related expenses won’t be a big problem, thanks to the scholarships she has received.

    “It helps so much to get even a little extra money when you’re in school, especially when you can’t work,” she said. “It has made getting a graduate degree possible.”

    Jankord said she is humbled by the thought of someone who doesn’t know her personally caring enough to help students like her achieve their dreams.

    “I know that, as a result of my getting this kind of help, I want to do the same thing when I’m financially able to,” she said.  


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