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White Coat Ceremony

Incoming students in the Penn State College of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program start their two-year journey to become physician assistants at a white coat ceremony. The new students will receive their white coats and recite the Physician Assistant Oath, symbols of their entrance into the medical profession.

Stethoscopes lie on a table covered in a blue Penn State College of Medicine cloth

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Ceremony details

Physician Assistant Program White Coat Ceremony
Entering Class of 2022
May 17, 2022, at 4 p.m.
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center
Red Room

Download a PDF version of the White Coat Ceremony program here or view the information below.

Watch a recording of the White Coat Ceremony

Program cover for Physician Assistant White Coat Ceremony 2022
Order of Ceremonies Expand answer

Welcome Remarks

Kevin Black, MD
Interim Dean
Penn State College of Medicine

Introductory Remarks

Larissa Whitney, DBA, MHS, PA-C
Program Director, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Keynote Speaker

Eric Patten, MPAS, PA-C
Department of Internal Medicine
Penn State Health

Welcome and Introduction of Alumni

Geena Wasiak, MPAS
Class of 2022

Introduction of Students and Presentation of White Coats and Stethoscopes

Sarah Lewis, MHS, PA-C
Academic Director, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Edward Bollard, DDS, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine
Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education
Designated Institutional Official
Interim Vice Dean for Educational Affairs
Penn State College of Medicine

Larissa Whitney, DBA, MHS, PA-C

Administration of the Physician Assistant Oath

Heather Matchik, MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Clinical Coordinator
Physician Assistant Program
Penn State College of Medicine

Closing Remarks

Alison Bean
Physician Assistant Student
Class of 2023 President

Humanism in Medicine lapel pins are graciously provided by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

Keynote Speaker Expand answer

Eric Patten, MPAS, PA-C
Department of Internal Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Eric PattenEric H. Patten joined the Department of Internal Medicine at Penn State Health as a physician assistant in the outpatient division in 2020. He is a graduate of Penn State College of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Program. Eric is originally from Western Springs, a suburb of Chicago, Ill. He completed his undergraduate degree in communications from North Central College in Naperville, Ill. Following completion of his undergraduate degree, Eric volunteered for AmeriCorps, a national and state service program. He spent two years with the Lower Mississippi Delta Service Corps as the Habitat for Humanity affiliate coordinator in Tutwiler, Miss. During his time with AmeriCorps, Eric received multiple recognitions including the Andrew M. Jones Service Award which is presented annually to one member who shows exceptional dedication and perseverance while performing their duties as an AmeriCorps State and National member. His desire to continue helping others in his community shifted towards a career in medicine, and he began working as an EMT-Basic and Emergency Room Technician. As a PA student, Eric was elected to serve as Outreach Chair of the Student Society. In this role, Eric dedicated many additional hours to lead and organize class outreach events including Rise Against Hunger meal packaging, baking at the Ronald McDonald House, leaf raking for a local patient and helping begin Project Fellowship, an outreach effort with youth at the Milton Hershey School, that continues to this day. As an alumnus of the program, Eric remains involved in education serving as a clinical year preceptor–ranking in the top 5% of all preceptors for the program. Beyond clinical practice, Eric enjoys the outdoors, exploring new places, photography, birdwatching, competing in triathlons and spending time with his wife Linda.

PA Program Entering Class of 2022 Expand answer

Brayden Andrus
Bachelor of Science – Brigham Young University – 2021

Nicholas Aspinall
Bachelor of Science – University of Nebraska – 2020
United States Navy – 2012-2019

Trevor Baker
Bachelor of Science – The Pennsylvania State University – 2021

Bradley Connolley
Bachelor of Science – University of North Florida – 2011

Tiffany Cross
Bachelor of Arts and Science – Rutgers University – 2021

Julie Duong
Bachelor of Science – University of California – San Diego – 2017

Jared Ellsworth
Bachelor of Science – Brigham Young University – Idaho – 2021

Charlotte Elrod
Bachelor of Science – Mount Saint Mary’s University – 2019

Laecey Foster
Bachelor of Science – Grand Valley State University – 2021

Kara Frazier
Bachelor of Fine Arts – Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University – 2005

Jacob Fronko
Bachelor of Science – Lycoming College – 2017
United States Army National Guard – 2017-Present

Ella Gourley
Bachelor of Science – University of Michigan – 2022

Benjamin Grant
Bachelor of Arts – University of Washington – 2014

Deirdre Griffin
Bachelor of Science – Utah State University – 2021
United State Army – 2007-2010

Hannah Grillo
Bachelor of Arts – Bucknell University – 2021

Rachel Hayes
Bachelor of Science – The Ohio State University – 2019

Jenna Kauffman
Bachelor of Science – Yale University – 2021

Ethan Lee
Bachelor of Arts – Washington University in Saint Louis – 2020

Kaylee Lopez
Bachelor of Science – The Pennsylvania State University – 2021

Amanda Marks
Bachelor of Arts – Washington University in Saint Louis – 2018

Kaylan Mayo
Bachelor of Science – University of Maryland – 2020

Kathryn McCartney
Bachelor of Arts – Bucknell University – 2021

Erin McQueen
Bachelor of Science – Methodist University – 2020
United States Army Reserve – 2014-Present

Austin Miller
Bachelor of Science – University of Pittsburgh – 2020

Denny Nguyen
Bachelor of Science – Virginia Commonwealth University – 2018

Collette Poisson
Bachelor of Science – University of New Hampshire – 2021

Jenny Steindl
Bachelor of Science – Duke University – 2021
United States Army Reserve – 2021-Present

Caroline Williams
Bachelor of Science – The Pennsylvania State University – 2022

Jacob Witmer
Bachelor of Science – The Pennsylvania State University – 2021
United States Army National Guard – 2019-Present

Physician Assistant Professional Oath Expand answer

I pledge to perform the following duties with honesty and dedication:

  • I will hold as my primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings.
  • I will uphold the tenets of patient autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and justice.
  • I will recognize and promote the value of diversity.
  • I will treat equally all persons who seek my care.
  • I will hold in confidence the information shared in the course of practicing medicine.
  • I will assess my personal capabilities and limitations, striving always to improve my medical practice.
  • I will actively seek to expand my knowledge and skills, keeping abreast of advances in medicine.
  • I will work with other members of the health care team to provide compassionate and effective care of patients.
  • I will use my knowledge and experience to contribute to an improved community.
  • I will respect my professional relationship with the physician.
  • I will share and expand knowledge within the profession.

These duties are pledged with sincerity and upon my honor.

The Physician Assistant Professional Oath is recited at white coat ceremonies, which mark physician assistant students’ transition from the classroom to clinical studies and at graduation.

By taking the oath, students pledge to put the health, safety and privacy of their patients first and adhere to a professional code of ethics.

The Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants developed the oath, which their Assembly of Representatives adopted.

Physician Assistant Program Faculty and Staff Expand answer

Laura Critchfield, MSPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program Faculty

Loren Evey, MA, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences
Program Faculty

Edward Jones, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Program Faculty

Sarah Lewis, MHS, PA-C
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Academic Director

Heather Matchik, MPAS, PA-C
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Clinical Coordinator

David Richard, MD, FAAFP
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medical Director

Lori Schreckengast
Education Program Assistant

Caryn Stopper, MEd
Director of Admissions, Student Engagement and Academic Development

Jodi Verbos
Education Program Associate

Larissa Whitney, DBA, MHS, PA-C
Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Program Director

Acknowledgements and Special Thanks Expand answer

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the following Class of 2022 Physician Assistant alumni for serving as greeters:

Sheena Corl, MPAS
LaShea Townsend, MPAS

Special Thanks

Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, custom Penn State stethoscopes, Tromner Reflex Hammers and pen lights are being gifted to the Physician Assistant Entering Class of 2022. The stethoscopes are engraved with the lion shield and “We Are Penn State” as a reminder that a College of Medicine education starts with a white coat, a stethoscope and a supportive community with arms wide open.

Stethoscope, Pen Light and Reflex Hammer Donors

Mark A. Altland and Kelly A. Altland
Dr. Matthew C. Banks and Karen L. Banks
Dr. Alan D. Bedrick and Sally Pollock Bedrick
Dr. Edward R. Bollard and Denise M. Bollard
Dr. Wendy E. Braund
Dr. Carl Bronitsky
Dr. Terri L. Calvert
Dr. Todd C. Campbell
Dr. Emmanuella Cherisme
Dr. Christopher Chu
Robert J. Cilley
Dr. Barry S. Clemson and Lisa A. Clemson
Landin Comins
Fred Cooper
Lydia M. Cowher and Brian Cowher
Dr. Gwendolyn Walton Curry and Dr. William J. Curry
Dr. Patricia M. Curtin
Dr. Stephanie A. Dabulis
Dr. Glenn A. Davis
Dr. Dwight Davis and Lorna J. Davis
Dr. Sol De Jesus
Dr. James C. Fairfield
Dr. David G. Fanelli
Dr. Christian I. Fras and Khiet Fras
Dr. David M. Giampetro and Jessica D. Giampetro
Dr. Dennis L. Gingrich
Dr. Kenneth A. Glick
Dr. Mark R. Glick and Dr. Margaret L. Grotzinger
Dr. Stuart L. Goldberg
Dr. James A. Groff and Jennifer Groff
Dr. Larry B. Grossman and Joanne F. Grossman
Dr. Alan W. Halliday
Dr. Jessica K. Hensel
Anyssa M. Hining
Dr. David S. Hulbert and Randi Martin Hulbert
Dr. Margaret Johnston-Kitazawa
Dr. James R. Kerrigan
Dr. Panda Prutaseranee Korman
Dr. Kathryn T. Lafferty
Ambrose Liu and Dr. To-Nhu H. Vu
Dr. Loretta Maffei
Peggy O. Marsh and Raymond C. Marsh
Dr. Robert S. McGregor and Dr. Sharon Muscalus McGregor
Dr. Marissa A. Milchak
Dr. Hannah L. Miller
Dr. Alicia C. Morgan-Cooper
Camryn Myers
Lorie J. Myers
Dr. Clifford R. Nolt
Dr. Susan M. Nuber
Dr. Karin S. Oltyan
Melvin E. Parker
Shital Patel
Dr. Ninad D. Pendharkar and Dr. Asavari Thatte
Dr. Anastasius O. Peter and Karen A. Peter
Dr. Jane Arbuckle Petro
Dr. Rose Ann J. Salata and Laurence Scheck
Dr. Kathy J. Selvaggi and Dr. Donald J. Vigliotti
Dr. Diane E. Shafer
Dr. Kelly Cunningham Sponsler
Chelsey Straight
Dr. Harris R. Stutman and Eileen Letson Stutman
Dr. Anthony R. Tascone
Dr. Gary A. Thomas
Dr. Henry Travers
Dr. Steven J. Triantafyllou
Dr. Paul W. Weibel Jr.
Dr. Gordon L. White
Thomas M. White
Dr. Eric D. Whitman
Robert Wimmer, PA
Dr. Elizabeth Lange Zarlengo and Dr. Raymond P. Zarlengo