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Class of Physician Assistants taking oath

SIU Physician Assistant classes honored in White Coat ceremony

Published Date:

A White Coat ceremony held on Saturday, July 31, celebrated the 37 men and women who had just completed the Physician Assistant Program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Carbondale.

A gathering of family and friends at the SIU Student Center watched as members of the Class of 2021 received long white coats in recognition of their new degrees. The graduates then presented short white coats to the incoming members of the Class of 2023. The new Physician Assistant students started the 26-month-long program in late May.

Dr. Janet Albers, chair of SIU’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, delivered the opening remarks to the classes. Mimi Charter, president of the Class of 2021, spoke on behalf of the graduates.  Preceptor of the Year awards were presented to Taylor McLard, PA-C, and Laura Law, PA-C, who were selected by the graduating class. Graduate Ryan Schneider received the Charmaine Porter Award for his accomplishment for the most improved PACKRAT test scores.

PA program director Dr. Don Diemer said, “These are unique times for medical professionals. With the dedication these individuals have shown for learning and for embracing the new, I know they are going to have a positive impact on the health care of our region.”

The Physician Assistant Program uses problem-based learning, simulated patient experiences and classroom lectures to train students. The first year of instruction takes place on the second floor of the SIU Center for Family Medicine at 300 West Oak Street, Carbondale. During the second year, learners train with faculty mentors at clinics throughout southern and central Illinois, as well as Southeast Missouri. This summer, the Physician Assistant Program began offering a Doctor of Medical Science degree to Physician Assistants who wish to advance their PA expertise.

The mission of SIU School of Medicine is to optimize the health of the people of central and southern Illinois through education, patient care, research and service to the community. SIU Medicine, the health care practice of the school of medicine, includes clinics and offices with more than 300 providers caring for patients throughout the region.


Physician Assistant graduates

Courtney Adler
Lisa Baranski
Andrew Perry Bliss
Hanna Block
Kathryn Bos
Brittany Campbell
Alyssa Carroll
Zachary Carty
Mimi Charter
Katherine Coates
Anna Mei Ying Dowling
Diana Alexandra Dragnea
Olivia Farmer
Emily Fuhler
Brett Genenbacher
Sue Ann Heironimus
Megan Brooke Heman
Britton Herrin
Katherine E. Hersberger
Althea Hinds-Cook
Rachel Hofmaier
Yvonne Hsia
Jenna M. Jackson
Jenna Marie Jacobson
Allison Fumiye Kightly
Allyssa Nicole Koerber
Caroline Kornak
Hailey Porter
Jackson Rodgers
Jennifer Sanders
Mitchell Sanders
Ryan Schneider
Cara Shelby
Casey Smith
Jacob S. Smith
Casey Unterreiner
Tracy Zander


Physician Assistant students

Ayla Adams
Jessica Baker
Erin Bolskar
Kezia Briones
Madyson Brown
Emily Chac
Devin Chen
Amanda Chow
Kyleigh Decker
Kenneth Evans
Skylar Feltner
Fareeha Fitter
Lillie Goetz
Carras Grygiel
Kelsey Hall
Mina Hanalla
Alisea Hibbs
Paige Hocking
Allison Hoefert
Anthony Hoholik
Samreen Hussain
Abigail Jolley
Rachel Kitzmann
Allison Koestering
Briana Kozak
Stephanie Kulavic
Mike Maher
Michael Marino
Ken Murphy
Emily Null
Harshi Perera
Melissa Perez
Sarah Richardson
Jonathan Sacks
Liaht Slobodkin
Hope Stewart
Emily Thies
Michael Weedman
Wendy Williams
Nicole Wolk

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