WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 29, 2019 — West Liberty University’s newest group of physician assistant master degree students received their white coats and recited the professional oath on Friday, July 26.
“It’s a big moment for students enrolled in West Liberty University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program and it signifies the acceptance of all the duties, responsibilities and work involved in caring for the health and welfare of all future patients,” explained Program Director Dr. William Childers, Jr.
Eighteen graduate students who began the 24-month program on June 30 received the coats at a ceremony as family, friends, faculty and staff observed the formal ceremony held in Kelly Theatre.
Program Director Dr. William A. Childers, Jr. welcomed guests and offered advice and congratulations to both them and their families.
The class of 2021 includes students from all over the country, some who just graduated from college, and others who are returning to school after time spent in the workforce.
The new class of PAs include: Lauren Blunt, Oak Creek, Wis., Sarah Bodnar, South Charleston, W.Va., Miranda Cook, Wheeling, Stephanie Courts, Wheeling, Austin Evans, Alta Loma, Ca., Steven Faddis, Harrison City, Pa., Cary Flanders, Allegany, N.Y., Olivia Franke, Longmont, Colo., Olivia Gray, Washington, Pa., Veronica Miller, Golden, Colo., Zachary Oltman, Houston, Texas, Joel Pool, Delbarton, W.Va., Amy Repko, Logan, Vt., Dylan Ringer, Mt. Pleasant, Pa., Noah Teaff, Follansbee, W.Va., Reagan Tom, Chandlersville, Ohio, Ashley Vander Sys Olson, Yakima, Wash. and Brittany Waltz, Martinsburg, W.Va.
The class also heard from a member of the second year class, Ryan Rafa of Wheeling who is expected to graduate with his master’s degree next spring.
More than 1,000 hopeful students applied for the 18 spots in the master’s program, which accepts admission applications from qualified undergraduates every fall.
Other members of the PA program faculty include: Medical Director Howard L. Shackelford, MD, FACS, FACC; Associate Professor Jennifer L. Childers, MSPAS, PA-C; Clinical Coordinator Kristie L. Meintel, PA; Assistant Professor Tonda Stauffer, MPAS, PA-C; Academic Coordinator Sarah G. Brammer, MSPAS, PA-C; Assistant Professor Robert J. Wetzel, MD, FACOG and Associate Professor Dr. Matthew Zdilla.
Staff includes Administrative Secretary Tara K. Hardman, AA, AS and Records Assistant Connie C. McVicar, BS.
WLU’s physician assistant program began as a new master’s degree program in the summer of 2012 and has graduated 98 PAs that now serve across the state and country.
For more information on the PA program, please call the department directly at 304-336-5098 or call toll free, 1-866-WESTLIB or click westliberty.edu/physician-assistant.