Hitting the Mark


For Ernie Eckenrode ’17, the importance of getting to work as soon as possible helped guide him down his career path.


Hitting the Mark

“I chose to pursue a career as a physician assistant my freshman year. I like the idea of working in a medical field and being able to see patients while having my own rights as a medical provider,” Eckenrode said. “I prefer to start working as soon as I can after college and this deterred me from going to medical school.”

Once a PA, Eckenrode sees himself specializing in dermatology. “I would like to own a dermatology practice one day and hire a doctor to work with me.” His plans could possibly involve his older sister, Katie Eckenrode ’11. “My sister just became a board certified physician assistant who initially graduated from WAC. We have talked about opening a practice together.”

As he has dedicated himself to studying to become a PA, Eckenrode has been supported by two professors, both who have become pivotal to his growth as a student: Dr Amick, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Krochmal, Associate Professor of Biology. “Both Dr. Amick and Dr. Krochmal are always available and tremendously helpful,” he stated. “They are extremely successful in portraying information to students. Both professors have personalities that make class enjoyable and actually fun.”  

Eckenrode has spend a lot of time participating in classes, and those that fall under his major, Biology, have been the most formative. “The classes for biology majors are extremely intensive and this prepares students for possible jobs in lab settings,” Eckenrode stated. “The classes also teach cooperation among students and help with problem solving.”

Beyond the classroom, Eckenrode is also a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity, Trap and Skeet Club and the Biology Honor Society, BBB. By fully immersing himself in all aspects of WC, Eckenrode has had incredible experiences on and off WC’s campus. “Joining a fraternity has introduced me to some life-long friends and established many connections for me that will help my future career,” he stated. “Also, as a competition member of the Trap and Skeet Club, I was able to compete in the national shooting competition in Texas.”

More than anything else, Eckenrode feels happy that he chose Washington College to start his journey towards becoming a Physician Assistant for the experiential learning in the classroom and out. “By coming to WAC, I have broadened my horizons and had experiences that most students at other colleges would not have had the opportunity to participate in.”