Physician Assistant ‘Rock Star’ Earns Monthly Presidential Prize
When it comes to the needs of students in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, Deirdre Folkes might be considered a visionary.
Before the department’s most recent white coat ceremony, the Clinical Coordinator had the foresight to prepare small “Just in Case” kits for the students, replete with a lint roller, a detergent pen, extra patches, bandages – virtually everything they might need to prepare for the unexpected.
Of course, the “unexpected” happened: One student spilled lemonade on her brand-new, spotless white coat.
“So ‘Mrs. Dee’s Kit’ was to the rescue,” said Dr. Steve Martin, Professor and Program Director of Physician Assistant Studies. It was “just another example of her always thinking of others.”
That quality, among many others, led Dr. Blake Thompson, Mississippi College president, to award his coveted monthly “Most Valuable Person” prize, DBT’s MVP, to Folkes for September 2021.
Folkes, who joined the department in 2013, helps place physician assistant studies students in clinical rotations during the clinical phase of their training. This requires her at any given time to juggle the schedules of anywhere from 36 to 72 students, each of whom must be assigned to a new rotation every five weeks.
“Dee is a rock star,” Martin exclaimed. “She puts in extra hours and is the source of all extra needed items, such as needle-nosed pliers. And she always remembers to bring everyone’s favorite treats.”
No one in the program escapes her notice – not even the departmental leader. When Martin joined Mississippi College as a new faculty member, Folkes asked to add his name to the birthday calendar. When she discovered his birthdate was the following week, she gifted him an MC T-shirt on his special day.
“She helped me orient to the department by answering all of my questions and has been incredibly kind,” Martin said.