Get to know a few of our first-year students! Meet Alexander Leng, currently located on the Winston campus, and Cynthia Vallejo located on the Boone campus.

Alexander Leng

Alex Leng - Feb 2022 Engage MagazineHometown: Lexington, NC

Undergraduate University/Degree: University of California-Irvine, Bachelor’s in Human Biology (2018)

Why I Chose Wake PA: It was a clear decision for me to choose Wake PA because I was immediately drawn to the program’s concept of Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL). I enjoy learning in my IBL sessions because it gives me an opportunity to openly discuss with my peers on how to approach a multitude of different patient presentations. I believe the IBL format is an effective one because it allows me to independently research the main topics of the week instead of solely relying on a traditional lecture style. I know there are moments in IBL where I feel completely confused on some cases, but I have learned to realize it is all part of the process of becoming a stronger future PA.

Favorite Thing/event in PA School So Far: My favorite part of PA school would have to be the faculty and my fellow classmates. The staff is always available for you when you need them. For example, it is convenient to know I can go to my advisor’s office to talk about anything personal or school related. They are also very empathetic towards the struggles we face in the Wake PA program because many of them were once students in the exact program themselves. I also enjoy getting to know my classmates because even though they come from so many different backgrounds, they all share the common goal of serving others. I am fortunate to be part of a cohort that is so close-knit; being around them has helped give me the confidence that I do have what it takes to be a successful PA.

Favorite Hobby: Working out, Tennis, Listening to lo-fi music

Favorite Thing to Do in Winston-Salem: My favorite thing to do in Winston is probably exploring the food scene the city has to offer. I noticed that compared to when I was younger, Winston-Salem has really expanded in terms of opening new businesses.

Cynthia Vallejo

Cynthia V - Feb 2022 Engage MagazineHometown: I was born in South Florida and lived there until I was 8 years old. My family then moved to Statesville NC, and I’ve considered Statesville home ever since.

Family: Both my parents moved to the US from Mexico when they were young, so I am a second-generation immigrant. I have a younger sister and brother. 

Undergraduate University/Degree: I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2019. I majored in Biology and minored in Geography and Chemistry.

Why I Choose Wake PA: Having grown up in North Carolina, Wake Forest was always a dream for me. However, it was the inquiry-based learning method that made me choose Wake. PAs are lifelong learners and Wake truly focuses on helping us build the skills needed to become independent learners.

Favorite Thing/event in PA School So Far: The Boone cohort is very close, and we enjoy spending time together outside class. It’s hard for me to pick just one thing. We’ve had a potato themed potluck, a kickball tournament with faculty, and we recently all went skiing at Beech Mountain!

Favorite Hobby: I love to stay active! Whether that is lifting weights at the gym or playing kickball with my classmates.

Favorite Thing to Do in Boone: I’m always looking for new places to eat. I’ve become a big fan of Melanie’s Food Fantasy for brunch.