Professional Scientist Preparation Program

The Professional Scientist Preparation Program (PSP2) is designed to prepare students in the Maricopa Community Colleges for application to professional school in the health and science occupations including but not limited to: medical doctor (MD/DO), pharmacist, physician's assistant, dentist, physical therapist, research scientist, etc.

Any community college student who:

  • Is interested in a career in the sciences

  • Has a minimum college GPA of 3.2

  • Has completed at least 8 credit hours in college level lab science

Participants who participate in all PSP2 activities and successfully complete the program:

  • May increase their chances of being admitted to professional school

  • Receive individualized educational and career mentoring from outstanding PVCC faculty

  • Have an increased awareness of resources and information related to their goals and career choice

Click here to download the PSPP application form.

The application deadline for the Spring 2019-Fall 2019 cycle is Friday, March 1, 2019.

Once selected, students complete a series of activities designed to prepare them for successful admission to professional schools, including:

  • Career testing and counseling

  • Critical-thinking assessment

  • Personal statement writing workshop

  • Interview skills workshops

  • Mock interviews for professional school

  • Identification of scholarship resources

Students selected for the program attend an orientation in the Spring and participate in a number of workshops/activities during the late spring and early fall semesters.  For a schedule of events, see below.

All sessions are held at PVCC main campus.

Attendance is free to Maricopa Community College students. Reasonable costs are assessed for career testing.

For further information contact Dr. Scott Massey, Science Division Chair at (602) 787-6644 or

Listed below is the schedule of events for the Spring 2019 semester:

  • Friday, March 22, 2019, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Orientation and Critical Thinking Workshop Part I (located in room LS-206)

  • Friday, March 29, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Critical Thinking Workshop Part II (located in room LS-206)

  • Friday, April 12, 2019, Critical Thinking Essay Due

  • Friday, April 12, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, First Personal Statement Workshop (located in room M-101)

  • Monday, April 29, 2019, Occupational Profile Essay Due

Listed below is the schedule of events for the Fall 2019 semester:

  • Friday, September 6, 2019, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM, Second Personal Statement Workshop (located in room TBA)

  • Friday, September 13, 2019, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Interviewing for Professional School/Midwestern Representative (located in room LS-206)

  • Friday, September 20, 2019, Time TBD, Mock Interviews (located in room LS-Conference Room)

  • Friday, October 4, 2019, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Mock Interviews-Critique (located in room LS-206)


Dr. Harry Birkmann

Science Division, Geology Faculty



Dr. Norma Chandler

Career Services



Dr. Diane Chapman

Counseling Division, Counseling Faculty



Prof. Paul Cornell

Mathematics Division, Mathematics Faculty



Prof. Renee Cornell

English Division, English Faculty



Dr. Casey Durandet

Science Division, Physics Faculty



Dr. Scott Massey

Science Division, Chemistry Faculty & Science Division Chair



Dr. Linda Stearns

Science Division, Chemistry Faculty



Prof. Jennifer Weitz

Science Division, Astronomy Faculty



Anna Barbaric, Kinesiology

Maria Del Socorro Leon Pena, Medical Doctor/Pediatrician

Malikah Fernandez, Physical Therapy

Paige Kammeyer, Medical Doctor

Ingrid R. Mejia, Medical Doctor

Rita Oliverius, Dentist

Kayla Pabon, Research Scientist

Thao Phan, Medical Doctor

Brendon Rammell, Physical Therapy

Sonia Yu, Medical Doctor

Joylet Zuniga, Medical Doctor/Surgeon

Devin Cameron

Caleb Case

Julia Cornella

Matthew Jones

Connor Maloney

Destynee Olson

Jordon Stephens

Ali Azar

Robert Boehland

Raeann Campbell

Alisha Crabtree

Christian DeAnda

Cole Hutchens

Rosanna Ishak

Kira Peters

Gary Rosenberg

Mehal Shah

Dustin Shockley

Christine Tafoya

"The PSPP program should be offered as a 10 to 12-week course, that's how good it is. The meetings help you recognize your weaknesses as a professional school applicant, but teach you where you can improve. It is a program that requires the students to be committed and involved in their future career. The assignments that are given can be used during the interviewing process, which a person wouldn't have just attending the course requirements to obtain a degree. 
"I have yet to apply to medical school, but I know that I am more prepared for the application and interview process because of PSPP. I am very thankful to all of the faculty for taking time out of their schedules to give insight that we would not otherwise have. I know I am a better candidate having joined this "super" science club."
~K.L. Machila Dennis-Mohler (February 2017)
Future Doctor and Previous PSPP Member

"Applying to a professional program such as dentistry is a very competitive process. I joined the Professional Scientists Preparation Program before applying to dental school to build my application and gain insight into the application process. The program brings together other students that are applying for professional programs with faculty across all the different departments at Paradise Valley Community College. They worked with me on a range of topics from critical thinking exercises about ethical issues in my field to helping me prepare my personal statement.

"As part of the program I wrote a career profile reflecting on why I wanted to be a dentist. I examined my career choice and planned all the steps I would need to complete before applying to dental school. Another part of the program was to write a persuasive paper on an ethical topic in my field. This assignment exposed me to the types of issues that would be discussed in dental school and my career.

"One of the most memorable moments I have was participating in a mock dental school interview. Not only was I able to practice answering questions that I would be asked in my dental school interview but I was later able to watch my videotaped interview with students in the program. Hearing their feedback helped me to improve my answers and interviewing techniques before it was time for the real interview.

"The personal statement I wrote for the personal statement workshop was the statement that I submitted with my dental school application. It was helpful to learn strategies to set my statement apart from all the other statements that admissions committees receive. The faculty resources in the program took the time to offer feedback on my personal statement so that the final draft I submitted was reflective of my goal to be a dentist.

"The students and the faculty in the program are dedicated to helping you succeed. It was a tremendous opportunity to be a part of the program and I’m grateful for all the encouragement I received."

~Matthew Jones (February 2017)
Future Dentist and Previous PSPP Member


Asal Abdulahad - Midwestern University - Pharmacist, Walgreens

Athena Parmenter - Midwestern University - Pharmacist, Women's International Pharmacy

Cayman Martin - Chief Scribe at Scribe America

Chad Wahlgren - University of Colorado Health Sciences - Pharmacist, Walgreens

Chris Simopoulos - Southern CA School of Optometry - Optometrist

Daniel Linville - Regis University, Pharm D - Graduate Intern at CVS

Devin Cameron - University of Arizona - Pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Astrophysics

Eara Betts Gonclaves - Catholic University of America - Pursuing Master's degree in Library Science

Emily Hanka - Pre-Med at University of Arizona

Inna Arzumanova - Midwestern University

Jacquelyn Howe - Midwestern University - Independent Contractor, Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacist

Jena Cross - Midwestern University

Jill Berger - University of Arizona - Emergency Physician Scribe

Joseph Kelly - ASU, BS Genetics, Cell/Dev Bio - Day Trader/Uber Driver

Marjan Behbahani - Pharmacist, CVS

Mark Gravill - Electrician, Wilson Electric Services Corp.

Matt Gamber - Midwestern University - Pharmacist, CVS

Mehal Shah - Sullivan University - Pharmacist, Fry's

Michelle Sachau - University of Phoenix - District Manager, Hi-Health Corp.

Robert Boehland - Palmer College of Chiropractic - Dr. of Chiropractic at his own practice, Cornerstone Family Chiropractic in Prescott

Sarah Hoffman - Ohio University - Registered Nurse, Abrazo Health

Sarah Kalkbrenner - A.T. Still University of Health Sciences - Physician Assistant, Banner Pediatric Specialists

Soureth Rayis - CA North State U of Pharmacy 

Stephanie Harris - University of Phoenix - Advisor, Network Account Management at CVS

Yulia Streltsova - ASU-Chemical Engineering - Undergrad Researcher

Samantha Gimbel - PharmD; Senior Pharmacy Manager at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center