Former hospital corpsman turned adult learner excels in physician assistant program

When not in class, Cory Page can be found working on assignments in the Main Campus Student Center or working out in the Eakin Student Recreation Center.

Cory Page came to ECU with credits from four colleges and experience as a hospital corpsman and paramedic after 8 1/2 years in the Navy. He said he found his passion for medicine while serving in the Navy, and ECU is providing him a road toward his goal of becoming a physician assistant.

His journey to ECU’s College of Allied Health Sciences wasn’t easy. He had applied to ECU while stationed in Japan and was expected to arrive in time for the fall 2021 semester. The military had other plans and delayed his departure. He had to defer his enrollment until this spring, and communication with ECU from the opposite side of the world proved difficult at times.

He and his wife Emily, who is still active duty and stationed at Cherry Point, moved into their New Bern home in November, just in time to start classes in the spring.

“It’s my first semester of college in nearly 10 years,” he said.

As a husband and father of a 1-year-old child, he’s trying to balance his studies and home life. As an admitted fitness junkie, he enjoys time at the Eakin Student Recreation Center. And he says his classes are going well.

“My advisors, the professors, everyone I’ve talked to on a personal level, they’ve gone out of their way to help me with things. They’ve been awesome,” Page said. “They really take the extra time once you get your foot in the door to guide you. If you ask a question, if they don’t have the answer, they’ll circle back and get you the answer and make sure that you’re on the path that you need.

“Here, you’re more than just a stat. You’re a student, and they want you to succeed. Every professor I’ve had so far absolutely enjoys teaching and is very engaging. It makes it easy to learn and take notes. It’s nice and refreshing.”

Though just a dozen or so weeks into the semester, Page is happy with his decision to leave the Navy and become a student at ECU.

“I’m happy to be here and happy to be pursuing my dreams,” Page said. “I left a lot behind in the military to do this, and I feel ECU is validating that choice to leave and pursue this.”