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Dr. Paul Mittman


Paul Mittman, ND, EdD, became President of SCNM January 23, 2000. In honor of his 20th anniversary as President of SCNM, Judy and Chuck Backus founded this scholarship endowment.

Dr. Mittman holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine from National College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. He practiced naturopathic medicine for 25 years, 12 years in private practice and 13 after joining SCNM. His 1990 study on the use of Urtica dioica in the treatment of Allergic Rhinitis was the first randomized controlled trial on a botanical medicine published in a peer-reviewed journal (Planta Medica).

Dr. Mittman received the American Association of Naturopathic Profession (AANP) President’s Award in 1990, was the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association Physician of the Year in 2000 and the AANP Physician of the Year in 2007. Dr. Mittman leads by example, following a healthy diet and races as a Masters 60+ cyclist.

“We have been associated with Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine throughout these first 20 years of Dr. Mittman’s presidency. We have made an initial donation to establish an endowed student scholarship in Dr. Mittman’s name to formally recognize and honor all of his contributions to the success of SCNM. We hope that others who wish to honor and thank Dr. Mittman, will also contribute to the “Dr. Paul Mittman Scholarship” Endowment. It can thus grow into a Major Force that can attract and support outstanding students to the College.” – Chuck and Judy Backus, 2020.

Recent Recipient: Lexi Parenti

Lexi Parenti was born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. She has always wanted to be a pediatric physician. Lexi discovered her calling to naturopathic medicine while undergoing her own health concerns when attending Michigan State University for her bachelor’s degree in physiology with a minor in health promotion. Lexi came to SCNM immediately following her undergraduate studies.

Lexi has worked as a hospital phlebotomist as well as nationally certified pharmacy technician. This experience has further developed her medical experience and integration with the allopathic world. Here at SCNM, Lexi has been a class note taker for students requiring ADA accommodations, a tutor, a pharmacotherapeutics teaching assistant, and a GNMD review content developer. Her true passion is helping others and she thrives when teaching. The opportunity of this scholarship has impacted Lexi’s education by further solidifying the importance of helping those around you and to remember to care for yourself. It has allowed her the opportunity to take a step back and reflect the bigger pictures in both medical school and life. Thank you so much!

Lexi Parenti

Previous Recipients

Clara Sage Sartor was born and raised in Ashburn, Virginia.  Her interest in medicine started at an early age with a love for solving mysteries.  As a child, you could find her solving puzzles with her grandparents or playing Nancy Drew with her sister, who would later join the medical field as an MD.

After high school, she moved to Williamsburg, VA where she received her Bachelor’s in Mathematical Biology with a minor in French and Francophone studies which she’s studied for over 10 years.  Throughout her time at college, she worked part-time as a calculus tutor, as teaching has always been important to her.  After graduating, she worked as an ER scribe which confirmed for her that allopathic medicine was not her calling and that a more natural, integrative, and holistic approach better suited her principals and beliefs.

Receiving this scholarship helped Clara confirm her passion for leadership, not just in the field of medicine but towards diversity, inclusion, and equality.  As the daughter of two government workers and an INFJ personality type, political activism and social justice run deeply in her blood.  Her future plans include to continue teaching and practicing docere, to bring about equity, and to make naturopathic medicine more accessible to the marginalized and disenfranchised.