Presbyterian College Physician Assistant program celebrates with white coat, graduation ceremonies

Presbyterian College Physician Assistant program celebrates with white coat, graduation ceremonies

The Presbyterian College Physician Assistant program sent 33 outstanding new health care professionals into the world Saturday following the program’s second annual graduation ceremony.

During the annual White Coat Ceremony, the PA program also celebrated students who completed their first year of didactic studies.

PA director Dr. Joe Weber told graduates and students that they have objectively proven themselves worthy of practicing medicine from the beginning.

Weber said that on a national practice test for their board exams, the average score for the 9,382 students who take it is 157, and PCPA students’ average score was 164. Of the seven task areas, PCPA students scored above the national median score on six. They scored above the national average in 12 of 13 categories in the specialties categories.

PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg reminded graduates that they did not reach this personal milestone alone or without help. Quoting theologian Albert Schweitzer, he said a person’s light may go out but can also be rekindled by another’s spark.

“Each of us has paused to think with deep gratitude of those who have lightened the flame within us,” he said. “So today, and in the days to come, I would encourage you to remember the family and the friends who have lighted your flame with their sacrifices, with their care, and with their love.

“Your graduation this morning represents a passing of that proverbial torch. After today, you you’ve accepted a special calling on the frontlines of the nation’s health care system. Now it’s your turn to light the flame within others not just through your medical expertise, but through your deeply ingrained sense of compassion and care for others. It’s not just about the science. You have unlimited chances to shine for others, to inspire others, and to light the flame within.”

PC provost Dr. Kerry Pannell told the new PAs that pursuing their career path during a global pandemic illustrates how important their work in medicine has become.

“I’m impressed with your commitment to serve humanity and to tend to the sick and the needy,” she said. “You decided to attend Presbyterian College, where our motto is, ‘While We Live, We Serve.’ Caring for patients is the highest form of service. The world is a better place for everything you have accomplished and for the careers you have ahead of you. Let your brilliance, determination, and light shine through everything.”

At the PA graduation, several graduates and one faculty member earned awards for their hard work, effort, and perseverance. Award winners were:

  • Daina Chase – Clinical Student of the Year
  • Allison Lee Fish – Clinical Crusher Award
  • Hayden Alexis Roy – Valedictorian
  • Casey Elizabeth Roche – Donald Raber Humanitarian Award
  • Dr. Greg Mappin – Faculty Member of the Year

Earlier Saturday, the PA program presented white coats to students who completed their first year of didactic studies. Professor Mary Jean Leonardi also was inducted into Pi Alpha, the national honor society for physician assistants.

Award winners recognized during the White Coat Ceremony included:

  • Rachel Bissette – Scottie Strength Award
  • Brittany Borchers – Service to Others Award
  • Carlie Fusco – First Year Student Award

Members of the Physician Assistant Class of 2022

  • Sarah Michelle Amarillo
  • Schnyder Boucard
  • Marylee Brehmer
  • Daina Chase (Pi Alpha)
  • Mary Kathryn Dickson
  • Annie Reid Doyle
  • Ashley Elizabeth Erwin
  • Allison Lee Fish (Pi Alpha)
  • Christopher Patrick Gallegos (Pi Alpha)
  • McCall Gabrielle Gardner
  • Madeline Victoria Grant
  • Brianna Madison Harrill
  • Bennett Briard Hofmeister
  • Desiree Ann Inman
  • Alec Nicholas Jameson
  • Kyle Michael Jenkins (Pi Alpha)
  • Shelby Lynn Johnson
  • Philip Alton Jordan
  • Rachel Von Langenfield
  • Kennedy Santos Little
  • Lauren Nicole McGee
  • Marissa Nicole Mitter
  • Vanessa Lyn Ott
  • Brittany Morgan Pangilinan
  • Ethan Charles Pierce
  • Kaylee Black Quattlebaum
  • Ebonne’ Monique Quiller
  • Casey Elizabeth Roche
  • Hayden Alexis Roy (Pi Alpha)
  • Alexandra Lee Seale
  • Jonathon Charles Taylor
  • Taylor Anne Whaley
  • Jordan Skyler White

White Coat 2022 Recipients

  • Nicole Arrington
  • Moriah Austin
  • Jesse Biggins
  • Rachel Bissette
  • Brittany Borchers
  • Alexis Boyd
  • Selenica Bruce
  • Ellington Curtis
  • Katie Dzoba
  • Morgan Fields
  • Brooke Fowler
  • Carlie Fusco
  • Allie Gallagher
  • Erin Goff
  • Madison Graybar
  • Savannah Griffith
  • Brooke Hayes
  • Landon Hewell
  • Chelsea Jones
  • Laurin Jones
  • Janetta Kitchko
  • Jessica Lachowicz
  • Jordan Lawson
  • Alexandra Lucas
  • Chelsea Lyons
  • Zachary Martin
  • Morgan McAtee
  • Alexandra Mooney
  • Gabrielle Payne
  • Ty Smith
  • Savannah Stanley
  • Joshua Walker
  • Ashleigh White
  • Meghan Williams
  • Ashley Yarbrough
  • Aldiana Zahirovic