Michelle Holloway has had a lot going against her in her life, not the

least of which was having a baby three weeks after she turned 13.

But she has had a lot going FOR her – a supportive mother and an extremely

strong drive to become a professional success.

Now a college graduate, this young single mother will begin a master’s

degree program at Western University of Health Sciences to become a physician assistant.

“”It never occurred to me at all to drop out and just stay home with my

baby, “” Holloway, 22, said. “”I always knew I wanted to become a health

care professional.””

Holloway will be one of 98 students entering Western University’s two-year

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program on Monday, August

12. She and her classmates, as well as the 312 other students starting

their health professions education at four of the university’s colleges,

will participate in the institution’s annual Convocation at 8:30 a.m.,

Saturday, August 10, at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont.

White Coat Ceremonies – at which students don their white lab coats for

the first time – will be held for the four colleges after Convocation.

Students entering the College of

Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific will remain at Bridges for their

ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., while students in the university’s colleges of

pharmacy, graduate nursing and allied health professions,

(Holloway’s college), will return to Western University’s campus for their

ceremonies at 11 a.m.

Halloway’s mother, Darlene Wade, will travel from Compton to see her

daughter put on her lab coat and take the Pledge of Commitment – in which

students promise to accept the obligations inherent in their scope of

practice: to be excellent in science and to be compassionate in their care.

“”I always wanted to be a doctor, by my mother told me ‘you’re a mother

first!'”” Holloway said. “”So while medical school isn’t right for me, the

master’s program to become a physician assistant is.

“”No one in my family has ever gotten a master’s degree and I’m the first

to graduate college. I know that Western University is where I’m supposed

to be, so I’m very excited!””

Following the White Coat Ceremonies Western University’s incoming students

and their families will reconvene at the university’s Founders Park for

the President’s Welcome Lunch and tours of the campus.

For more information on Convocation and the White Coat Ceremonies, contact

the university’s Office of Special Events at (909) 469-5379.