Campbell graduates 2nd cohort of PA students

BUIES CREEK — Thirty-eight students received their Master of Physician Assistant Practice degrees in one of Campbell University’s winter commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 13. They are the second cohort of PA students who have graduated from Campbell.

Marc S. Katz, president elect of the N.C. Pharmacy Academy of Physician Assistants, delivered the PA commencement speech. Katz, who has been a practicing physician assistant for more than 35 years, noted that there was no better time for graduates to join one of the foremost careers in the health care arena.

“The Affordable Care Act has brought millions of additional patients into an already burdened system,” Katz said. “I’m confident that PAs can help address the shortage of trained physicians. We are trained as generalists and can adapt to specialties as needed.”

In addition to the keynote address by Katz, the class was addressed by Jerry Wallace, Campbell University President, Ronald W. Maddox, dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Ben Thompson, chair of the Campbell University Board of Trustees, and Jaime Harding, an alumna from the inaugural Campbell PA class.

Several distinct honors were awarded in addition to the Master of Physician Assistant Practice diplomas. Six members of the class were inducted in to the Pi Alpha Honor Society, a society for the promotion and recognition of significant academic achievement, leadership, research, community/professional service, and the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among physician assistant students.

The Physician Assistant Service Award was awarded to two students this year, Andrew Nida and Allyson Norwood. Recipients of this award are selected by faculty members based on academic standing, professionalism, and outstanding dedication to service of classmates, the program, and the community.

The Excellence in Professionalism Award was awarded to Rahul Desai for his exemplary professionalism and personification of Campbell University’s guiding principles of faith, learning and service.

Andrew Zimmerman was selected for this year’s Outstanding Clinical Performance Award for his consistent high levels of performance on clinical rotations. Lastly, the newly-established Jerry M. Wallace Legacy Award was given to Abby Young. This award, named after President Wallace, was established this year to acknowledge a PA student who has shown exceptional ability to serve as a compassionate health care provider.

In addition to student awards, the members of the PA faculty selected Ronald Maddox as this year’s Honorary Physician Assistant Award recipient. Maddox will be retiring from his post as vice-president for health programs and dean at the end of this month.