Franklin Professor Receives Educator of the Year Award
Campus News

Franklin College’s Jennifer Simmons, PA-C, assistant professor of physician assistant studies, clinical coordinator, has been named Educator of the Year by the Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants (IAPA). Simmons won the award on Friday, Nov. 3, at the IAPA 2023 Fall Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference hosted at Valle Vista Golf & Conference Center in Greenwood. 

The honor is a part of IAPA’s annual awards which celebrate achievements and contributions of physician assistants across Indiana. Simmons was awarded for her dedication to education and her impact on Franklin College’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program.

Simmons holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science degree and a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree, both from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She joined the faculty at Franklin College in 2021, and previously worked in family medicine and urgent care/occupational medicine. 

“In the few years that I have been a professor, I have learned as much from the students as the students have learned from me,” said Simmons. “I have grown with the good and the bad. I am still learning to this day how to best serve our students. The truth is that these exceptional humans have helped me to grow as an educator. I owe this award to them and to my team. The fact that the students took time out of their very busy schedules to nominate me for this award fills my heart with pure gratitude. I am just in shock.”

Simmons grew up in Salem, Indiana, but has been a resident of Indianapolis for over a decade.

The IAPA is the definitive and authoritative voice of Indiana Physician Assistants (PAs). The organization advances quality healthcare that is cost-effective and accessible as well as fosters the best practice environment for PAs. The association supports all PAs in the state of Indiana and promotes the PA profession through legislative advocacy, continuing medical education (CME) and community health support.  

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program at Franklin College is made possible by a nearly $1 million grant awarded to the college in 2012 from the Lilly Endowment Inc, as part of its Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations. The college also received support from private donors supporting the program. It is the second master’s program launched by the college and builds on its strong track record in science and pre-professional health programs.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.


By: Preston Bertram ’24, Pulliam Fellow

POSTED Nov 17, 2023