Forty-seven graduates of the M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program received their graduation certificates in a ceremony on Aug. 10 at Philadelphia University, celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2012.
“You came here tonight as students,” said Provost Randy Swearer as he congratulated the students on their achievement. “But you will leave here as professionals. This ceremony marks the end of your education, but also the beginning of your careers.” Swearer encouraged the graduates to stay connected to their alma mater and help the next generation of PhilaU students to succeed.
The graduates gathered with friends and family and the faculty of the physician assistant studies program at the ceremony, which featured Thomas Berger, PA-C, MS, ’00, as the keynote speaker.
Berger urged the students to make a habit out of continual learning. “You have chosen a profession that demands that you become lifelong learners,” he said. Berger told the students, several of whom he has taught as an adjunct professor in the program, that they must stay motivated to learn what they do not know and apply it. “Every patient that you will see throughout your career is an opportunity,” he said as he challenged the graduates to make the most out of all opportunities.
The PA program presented the Outstanding Performance as a Medical Educator and Student Preceptor Award to John Fanning, D.O., and John Traverso, D.O. The Faculty of the Year Award went to Gerald Smith, PA-C, MS, ‘03, assistant professor of physician assistant studies.
Several students were also honored for their achievements, including:
- Analisa Ambrosi, recipient of the PA Studies Program Directors Award for Clinical Excellence
- Pollyanna Fino, recipient of the Dr. Edward E. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence
- Anna Maria Altomonte, recipient of the Dr. Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service
- Kelly Eddinger, recipient of the Class President’s Award for Student Service
“Every one of you should be proud of your accomplishments today,” said Lawrence Carey, PharmD, program director of the physician assistant studies program.