Grad Stories: Winter '18
As a student in the St. Ambrose University Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, Will Markes spent every day with his fellow classmates, both studying and in the classroom. Spending all that time together helped him form some great friendships.
"You need to form those friendships to keep your sanity," he said. "I had one friendship that turned out to be much more."
Megan Wickett was one of Will's classmates. Will and Megan spent most of their time together in big groups with other classmates, but they would always ride their bikes together to and from campus, even in the cold winter months.
"That was our only one-on-one time that we both cherished," Megan said.
Eventually, Will mustered up the courage to ask Megan on a date.
"One evening as I was walking out to my car, Will sprinted after me and asked me to dinner," Megan said.
As they say, the rest is history.
"We never really looked back, and we're together all the time," Will said. "We got engaged at my cabin in Wisconsin over Fourth of July weekend."
The couple got married in September and celebrated a second milestone Dec. 15 during the St. Ambrose University 2018 Winter Commencement Ceremony, each graduating with a hard-earned MPAS degree.
Both of Will's parents work in the medical field, and he always saw himself following in their footsteps. After graduating from Iowa State University with a major in kinesiology/pre-med, he decided the MPAS program at SAU would be his next step.
"It was a great route to practicing a high level of medicine with less of a time commitment than pursuing medical school," he said. "I heard great things about the program and the area."
Megan also graduated from Iowa State after majoring in biology, but they didn't meet until their first day in the MPAS program in June 2016. A Minnesota native, she chose SAU because she liked the small classes. "I already became close with the faculty at the interview," she said.
Will appreciated the challenging program. "It feels like a big accomplishment, and I feel prepared to enter my practice," he said. "Our program does a good job at getting amazing clinical rotations."
Megan believes anyone interested in the MPAS program should go for it.
"Do it! Then, join a yoga studio," she said. "You will need something to get away from stress, but also to unkink your neck after studying all day."
Planning a wedding is stressful, but even more so for two graduate students. Will said one key was to spend their evenings just studying. "There were definitely a few months where wedding planning did get very stressful, but my wife did an amazing job," he said.
"We wanted to get married sooner rather than later, and we knew we could make it work," Megan said.
After graduation the couple plans to move to Duluth, Minn. Will has accepted a position working in robotic urology surgery, and Megan will be a family practice PA.
Although Will and Megan both attended Iowa State University for their undergraduate degrees, they did not cross paths until they enrolled in the MPAS program at SAU. The couple married in September and will relocate to Duluth, Minn. Will has accepted a position working in robotic urology surgery, and Megan will be a family practice PA.
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