Physician Assistant Studies Class of ’15 Celebrates Commencement

Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2015 and faculty members.

Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2015 and faculty members.

In front of a joyful crowd of family, friends and faculty members, 42 physician assistant studies students celebrated their commencement on Aug. 14, reciting the oath to carry out their responsibilities as health care providers with honesty and dedication.

Class of ‘ 15 Co-Presidents Eric Jacala  and Molly Pak addressed their fellow M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies graduates, who are heading out to work in a wide variety of health care settings and specialties.

Awards for this year’s graduates included:

  • Class President’s Award for Student Service: Virginia Elizabeth Tran
  • Dr. Joel Chinitz Award for Community Service: Laura Elizabeth Wall
  • Dr. Edward D. Dowden Award for Academic Excellence: Sarah Jeanne Fletcher
  • Program Director’s Award for  Clinical Excellence – Jessica Lynn Barndt
  • Clinical Preceptor of the Year for Outstanding Performance as Medical Educators and for Assisting in the Advancement of PA Education: Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates

Retiring Professor Michael Rackover, M.S., PA-C, former director of the program, delivered the keynote address and was recognized for his many years of contributions to PhilaU’s PA program and the physician assistant field.

PhilaU physician assistant studies graduates have achieved a five-year average 95-percent pass rate for first-time takers of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, which is higher than the national average.

Philadelphia University’s M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies program focuses on preparing health care professionals who extend and complement the capabilities of physicians in the delivery of health care in today’s rapidly changing medical environment. The program, which has been nationally recognized by U. S. News and World Report, offers a strong academic foundation as well as a wide range of clinical experiences.


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