PA student, Kelsey McCleave, instantly felt like Campbell was home

“I only hope that I can continue to work hard and become someone who helps to progress mankind to a much more kind, loving, and graceful society.”

Name: Kelsey McCleave

Program: Master of Physician Assistant Practice

Undergraduate Institution: North Carolina Central University (BSW) UNC-Chapel Hill (MSW)

Why did you choose CPHS and what benefits do you believe you gained/are gaining from attending Campbell? Did you/do you connect with the “Campbell family”? During my research of PA Programs in NC, I initially thought I wanted to go to another PA school. I had the chance to visit Campbell Pre-Covid. I sat in the same classroom that I now sit in every day, and I had the chance to meet professors and former students. I genuinely felt the love of Christ from everyone. I spent my drive back to Raleigh on the phone with my wife, telling her how I knew Campbell’s PA program was the place for me. It honestly just felt like home.

Please summarize your personal, career, and academic journey: I graduated from North Carolina Central University in 2011 with my Bachelor of Social Work Degree. From there, I attended UNC Chapel Hill’s advance standing Social Work program and received my Master of Social Work degree. At UNC I was an NC Child Welfare Collaborative Scholar. After graduation, I worked in Rural NC as a Social Worker for Child Protective Services for five years. During my time with CPS, I was trained to diagnose and treat children who have experienced trauma. I earned my Licensed in Clinical Social Work and went on to help start the clinical program at the agency I was working for. I eventually transitioned to the hospital where I served as a Behavioral Health Clinician and treated adults and children in the emergency department. I also worked as a Case Manager and helped patients discharge from the hospital.   

Please summarize any additional accomplishments you would like to highlight or talk more personally about what you are passionate about! Give the reader some insights into who you are: My goal as a PA is to be able to provide care in rural communities. I am from a rural community in NC, and I have seen first-hand how access to medical care can truly make the difference for a community. My entire family had the same doctor. Everyone in our community knew him and knew they could count on him for treatment when they were sick.

At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving? I hope to leave a legacy for every student of color that follows behind me that you can achieve anything if you have faith and work hard. Medical professions are not typically high ranking for students of color because of the perception that it is too hard. While PA school is very difficult, with perseverance and a good support system, it is absolutely attainable.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: Prospective students should choose Campbell over other schools because Campbell is just like family! It only takes one visit to feel the love. The professors go above and beyond to make sure your learning experience is second to none. They are open to change and are always flexible. Day one of the PA Program, when you have the opportunity to meet the faculty and staff, it’s easy to see how cohesive the staff is and feel how much they really care about individual students and the class as a whole. It only took our faculty 3 days to learn all of our names. One thing that was super important to me was being in a program that was faith based. The Director prayed the most heartwarming prayer for us the first day and let us know that she and all the staff were there for us on every level, academically and spiritually.

What does Black History Month mean to you: Black History Month has always been important in my family. We were always taught about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and many other famous black people in history. I always take it upon myself to learn about those that are not so well known, especially North Carolina black history. Two that stand out are Dr. Alvin Blount, who was the first doctor to practice at Moses Cone Hospital, and Ann Atwater who became friends with a member of the KKK and helped to improve the life of blacks in Durham, NC, in the 1960’s. I think it is very important to take time to learn how Black men and women have literally changed the world for the better. I only hope that I can continue to work hard and become someone who helps to progress mankind to a much more kind, loving, and graceful society.