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Posted 9 days ago by Erica Amianda

NJSSPA 2020 STUDENT DIRECTOR CANDIDATES:  Check your email for the link to vote!!!

Priya Sahgal

Monmouth University

My name is Priya Sahgal, I am a second year PA student at Monmouth University running for one of the student director positions. As an aspiring physician assistant, I not only value the practice of medicine, but also the practice of communication between peers and policy makers. My prior experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator allowed me to liaise patient progress and guideline changes between our site, the IRB, and pharmaceutical companies. That position, as well as my previous role as correspondent for a nonprofit aimed at reducing mental health stigma in south Asian culture, have both prepared me for this role of student director by strengthening my communication and interpersonal skills. I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to convey the student rep’s majority votes/opinions to the board members of NJSSPA.



Cristina Canestri

Rutgers University

Hi everyone! My name is Cristina Canestri and I am a 2nd year PA student at Rutgers University. I’ve lived in New Jersey my whole life and plan to remain here to practice, so I am very passionate about the future of the PAs in this state. As a NJSSPA Student Representative, I am pleased to have already been a part of the important discussions and decisions that will ultimately shape the PA profession, but I would like to take my position further and be considered for NJSSPA Student Director. As we know, the CVOID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical role that PAs have in health care. Therefore, now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to advocate for the respect and recognition our profession deserves. If elected NJSSPA Student Director, I intend to do that and more. I will carefully listen to and support the student representatives to ensure our voices are heard, while effectively communicating with the board members to bring about positive change that will benefit our futures.



Brighid Kirkwood

Seton Hall University

The New Jersey State Society of Physician Assistants (NJSSPA) helps increase awareness about the PA profession, promotes education, and advocates for issues that affect PAs. This society strives to promote positive change for PAs, which is something I am passionate about. I would like to be one of the student directors for NJSSPA because I care about lobbying and being a voice for positive change for PAs in healthcare. By acting as a liaison between the students at Seton Hall University as well as student reps, and the NJSSPA board, I will be able to share my opinions and views about certain topics, but this will also provide me the ability to hear other students and members’ opinions that may change the way I think. I am someone who has been open to hearing what other people have to say and I take ideas and topics into consideration. I am a very open minded person, but also someone who wants the most positive outcome when it comes to the PA profession. In addition, I am also someone who is very organized. My time management skills have always been a strength for me and being a PA student now, this skill has been vital for me. I stay up to date on my work and have always balanced my classes without being overwhelmed which is why being elected as student director would not interfere with my studies since I would balance my time efficiently.

By committing myself to being a student director for NJSSPA and involving more of my classmates to involve themselves in keeping up to date with the current issues, I would be an excellent candidate for this position. 



Toni Santillo

Jefferson University

My name is Toni Santillo, I am a student in didactic year at Jefferson University. Being a student representative for NJSSPA is extremely important to me. For many years I have wanted to be a member of a board or committee, to be an advocate, discuss policy, and help plan for the future of our profession. I am born and raised in New Jersey, I someday hope to practice in NJ, so being a part of this organization and participating in meetings with PAs who are in the field has been extremely rewarding. As a student representative moving into rotations within (hopefully) the next month, being a student director for NJSSPA will help me to make connections with other future providers. These connections will help me grow as a person and PA to better help patients throughout my career. It would be an honor to be elected as a student director for NJSSPA. Thank you. 


Scott Musial

College of Saint Elizabeth

Hi my name is Scott Musial, I am part of the Inaugural class of 2021 at the College of St. Elizabeth, soon to be St. Elizabeth University, PA Program. I joined NJSSPA as a student after going to a couple meetings because the sense of community for growth and development of the field captured my attention. Meeting PAs of all kinds has given me more understanding where we stand as a group in NJ and how much more we can strive for. I would like to help bring more light to topics that need them, bring that information back to PA students and help move our career forward.