The Heroines

Marvis J. Lary

is honored with a Medium Paver from the WSU Physician Assistant faculty, WSU PA Class of 1997, Pat Bunton, Dori Jones-Chism, David Day, Sue Enns, James Lary, Rick Muma, and Tim Quigley.

 Marvis J. Lary
Marvis Jean Lary was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Clyta and Jim Dake. She has been blessed with two children, David Scott Goostree of Wichita and Shelly Dawn Walker of Houston. She is married to Mr. James Lary.

Marvis has a very diverse background. She graduated with a practical nursing degree from Wichita Public School of Practical Nursing in 1966. After graduating she practiced as an LPN in Obstetrics and then as an office nurse for Dr. John Weninger.

In 1972 Marvis decided she wanted to do something different. After reading about a new clinical program at Wichita State, which trained students to become primary care providers, she became intensely excited about the possibility of being more involved in the care of patients. After applying to the new Physician Assistant Program at WSU on October 11, 1972, she was interviewed and accepted into the first class of twelve, two females and 10 males. Marvis excelled in the program and graduated in 1975. She was instantly employed by Dr. Rex Lee and has worked for him continuously since graduation.

Marvis furthered her education by obtaining a BHS in 1978 and an MHS in 1986, both from WSU. In 1987, Marvis became Clinical Director in the Department of Physician Assistant at WSU. In this position she took the opportunity to totally reorganize the senior clinical year. The activities and organization of the current senior PA curriculum are reflective of her work.

In 1989 she became the first female PA Program Director at WSU. In her tenure as Program Director she has accomplished many things. Most notably she has been responsible for major curriculum revisions, increased student applicants and class size, acquisition of new teaching space, and writing grants that have generated approximately $2 million for program support.

In 1991, while serving as Program Director and in her last phase of formal education, Marvis completed the doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University. This is an accomplishment Marvis is very proud of and she joins only a handful of PA colleagues around the country who have obtained this type of academic distinction.

In addition to all of these accomplishments, Marvis has contributed many peer reviewed articles to the PA and medical literature, along with book chapters, monographs and other scholarly works. She also serves as a peer reviewer for "Physician Assistant Journal" and "The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants" and is currently on the advisory board for "Physician Assistant Prescribing Reference."
She is seen by her peers as an expert in PA education, which is evidenced by her appointment as an Accreditation Site Visitor for the Accreditation Review Committee for PA Education. In this capacity she chairs accreditation site visits at PA programs across the country.

Through all of these accomplishments and activities, Marvis has remained graceful, sincere, friendly, generous, and patient. Even during her busiest times, Marvis will take the necessary time for students and faculty to discuss issues, manage crises, and offer encouragement.

Individuals have been impacted by Marvis in so many ways. Dori Jones-Chism, Director of the Health Careers Opportunity Program in the College of Health Professions, is one of those individuals. Dori writes, "Marvis sets high standards for everyone in her program and leads by example. I admire her for reaching out to support me -- in what has become our effort to promote diversity and respect. It is because of her great heart that her PA students feel such affection for her. Marvis represents dedication and excellence; her creativity, personality and high energy illuminate the College of Health Professions."
Dr. Steve Galdhart, currently Assistant Dean of the College of Health Professions and former PA Program Director writes, "rumor has it that there might be stories to tell about Marvis during her student days in the PA program. However, since I was not with the program at that time, I won't go back quite that far. The program was very fortunate to lure Marvis away from private practice and the qualities that made her a good practitioner also make her a good administrator. She is always friendly, professional, and very competent in everything she does. I feel very fortunate to have worked with her for these many years and to have known her for even more. I feel that she and I are pioneers in many ways because we were involved in the early days of PAs in Kansas. The profession has come a long way since then because of the efforts of people like Marvis."

Finally, Dr. Dennis Blessing, former director of WSU's PA Program and the individual who was responsible for hiring Marvis writes, "Marvis Lary is an example of what can be achieved by hard work, dedication, and always expecting more of oneself. She was the first female Physician Assistant in Kansas at a time when medicine and the PA profession were male dominated. She led the way for women in health care and nothing deterred her from her goals. Yet, she has all the qualities that make great woman unique: role model and leader while being equally successful as mother, wife, and friend."

In summary, Marvis has made a tremendous impact on the PA Program at WSU and in the PA profession in general. The Physician Assistant Class of 1997, PA faculty, friends, and family believe that Dr. Marvis Lary is the perfect person to honor in the Wichita State University Plaza of Heroines.

June 7, 1999