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Faculty Spotlight: Cathy Nowak

November 10, 2021

photo of PA faculty Cathy Nowak wearing white shirtCatherine Nowak joined the Physician Assistant (PA) Program faculty in August 2013 in the capacity of clinical coordinator for Women’s Health and Pediatrics rotations and then in an administrative capacity as director of Clinical Education. She previously worked at the PA program at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she served as the clinical coordinator for four years and then associate program director for 18 months. Nowak now serves as associate program director of Drexel University’s PA Program. She has earned the distinction of Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Nowak has a long clinical history, beginning as a registered nurse where she spent most of her nursing career working in emergency medicine. Determined to better serve her patients, she returned to the classroom in 2001 to purse a new career as a physician assistant. Nowak continued to work in the emergency department as a PA until relocating to the Philadelphia area to join the Drexel faculty. Nowak continues her clinical practice in primary care.

What music is currently on your playlist? 
I don’t have a playlist per se. I rely on Alexa to put one together depending on what I’m in the mood to listen to. Sometimes, it’s “Alexa, play Brooklyn Duo” or “Alexa, play Beethoven.” Or “Alexa, play Yanni” or variations of these. Sometimes, it’s 1970s oldies.

What is an item on your bucket list?
I’ve always wanted to travel across the U.S. in an RV. I’d like to take my time, spend time in different areas of the country and soak up the local culture and cuisine.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I’ve been going to Rehoboth Beach every September for the last eight years since I moved to Philadelphia and started working at Drexel. My kids join me for at least part of the two-week vacation with their families. The group gets larger each year, now including five grandchildren. We all love going to the beach, walking on the boardwalk and eating at the great restaurants.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself that may not be on your resume?
Although I rode a bicycle as a kid, I hadn’t ridden since I got my driver’s license at age 16 until about five years ago. At my sister’s encouragement, I started riding again, learned how to manage a 21-gear bike and ultimately went on a 10-day bike/boat trip a few years ago from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Bruges, Belgium! We rode an average of 35 miles per day across the beautiful countryside. We have another trip planned in 2022 from Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary along the Danube.