Words of wisdom

‘She teaches how she lives’: Dean named AOA’s Mentor of the Year

As she prepares to graduate, Ginger L. Cupit, OMS IV, nominates mentor Paula M. Crone, DO, as a thank you for four years of life lessons.


When Ginger L. Cupit, OMS IV, learned her mentor would be recognized as the AOA’s Mentor of the Year, she immediately booked a plane ticket in order to congratulate Paula M. Crone, DO, in person when she received the award at OMED 2016.

“Nominating Dr. Crone for this award was my last way to really thank her for everything she’s done for me these last four years,” Cupit says.

As dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP) and WesternU/COMP-Northwest in Lebanon, Oregon, Dr. Crone checks in with class presidents and vice presidents every week. After one such meeting, Dr. Crone pulled aside Cupit, who is president of the class of 2017, and offered to be her mentor.

“Even though she is the dean, Dr. Crone makes time to meet with me before big events such as starting clinical rotations to discuss my options and help me align my professional desires with a tangible and achievable plan,” Cupit says.

Reading rainbow

One way Dr. Crone and Cupit built their mentoring relationship is through a love of reading. Dr. Crone would share thought-provoking books that shaped her views on leadership with Cupit, whose favorite is the first book Dr. Crone recommended—“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Paula M. Crone, DO (middle), receives the AOA's Mentor of the Year award during OMED 2016.

“Dr. Crone suggested I read it to get started on my career path. Up until that point, I didn’t give much thought to how to become a leader in the osteopathic medical profession,” she says.

Cupit’s outlook on what it means to be successful has also changed after observing Dr. Crone’s leadership in action.

“Dr. Crone taught me that doing your best every day is what’s really important. She teaches how she lives,” Cupit adds.

Mentor of the Year

Started in 2004, the Mentor of the Year award recognizes DOs who have gone above and beyond in promoting osteopathic philosophy, principles and practices with osteopathic medical students, interns, residents and new DOs.

Dr. Crone was selected among three finalists for the Mentor of the Year award from 119 nominated mentors. The other finalists were David J. Park, DO, a board-certified family physician; and R. Robert Franks, DO, a board-certified family and sports medicine physician.


  1. Dawnmarie Risley, DO

    Well deserved! Paula was a new attending when I was an intern under her. Every resident at Eastmoreland wanted to be a Dr. Crone. She has always been an inspiration. She is a genuinely kind and competent physician and friend. I am proud to know her.

  2. An honorary pupil

    I can’t go anywhere without a former patient or a previous student mentioning how she too has impacted them. She has touched the lives of so many.
    She is the same person to everyone. She does things not for recognition, but because they are the right thing to do. Additionally, it is her unique and distinctive ability to role model integrity, strength, resiliency, leadership, compassion and wisdom that truly and confidently distinguishes her for who she is.

Leave a comment Please see our comment policy