Inaugural Stewart Physician Assistant Scholarship awarded to Zach Fairbanks ’19

Headshot of PA student Zach Fairbanks

Zach Fairbanks PA’19 (Martins Ferry, Ohio) was recently awarded the Dr. Gloria M. Stewart Physician Assistant Scholarship during Marietta College’s annual White Coat Ceremony in October.

Fairbanks is the first recipient of the $750 award.

“I’m so honored to receive this award. It means the world to me to be the first recipient of the award,” Fairbanks said. “Gloria Stewart sounds like an amazing person and I look forward to meeting her one day. This award has benefited my family and we are very grateful. With that being said, I want to thank the faculty and staff for choosing me for this honor.”

Miranda Collins, Director of the PA Program, said the scholarship committee felt Fairbanks was a perfect recipient for the first Stewart award.

“The scholarship committee created the scholarship to lend aid to deserving students who exemplify similar character traits and experiences as Dr. Stewart, and Zach Fairbanks was a perfect fit,” Collins said. “The scholarship committee was very excited to present Zach with the inaugural Gloria M. Stewart Scholarship award. As a non-traditional student with a previous EMT career and a family, Zach certainly works hard to balance academics with family life, all while still finding time to volunteer with various program activities.”

Stewart helped create the Physician Assistant Studies Program at Marietta College when she arrived in 2001. The program began with 15 students in 2002 and Stewart was the original program director. She retired in June 2013.

“The Stewart Scholarship was created to honor Dr. Stewart’s dedication and contributions to the PA program,” Collins said. “As a non-traditional student herself, Dr. Stewart valued the clinical and life-experiences non-traditional students brought to PA school while understanding their additional stressors and challenges. Additionally, Dr. Stewart was always quick to lend her time and talents to others; including the program, the College, the community and the PA profession as a whole.”

Fairbanks is scheduled to graduate in July 2019 with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

“I take a lot of pride in being a Pioneer and being part of such a prestigious program,” he said. “I look forward to the day that I can give back like those who have before me.”