Skip to content

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

Jump to topic

Search

Ceremony details

Physician Assistant Program Class of 2025

White Coat Ceremony

Entering Class of 2025
Friday, May 26, 2023, at 4 p.m.
Hershey Lodge and Convention Center
Aztec Room

Download a copy of the 2023 White Coat Ceremony program here [PDF].

Watch online via Zoom

Thumbnail of program cover for Physician Assistant Program White Coat Ceremony - Class of 2025
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 of Family and Community Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Keynote Speaker

Bernadatte Gilbert, MD
Associate Dean of Student Admissions and Financial Aid
Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Welcome and Introduction of Alumni

Heather Donato, MPAS, PA-C
Clinical Coordinator, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Penn State College of Medicine

Introduction of Students and Presentation of White Coats and Stethoscopes

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

David Richard, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, Physician Assistant Program
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Larissa Whitney, DBA, MHS, PA-C

Kristi Gruber, MEd, PA-C
Faculty, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Penn State College of Medicine

Administration of the Physician Assistant Oath

Dan Weiss, MSPAS, PA-C
Faculty, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Closing Remarks

Kaylan Mayo
Physician Assistant Student
Class of 2024

Light reception immediately following the ceremony.

Keynote Speaker Expand answer

Bernadatte Gilbert, MD
Associate Dean of Student Admissions and Financial Aid
Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Penn State College of Medicine

Bernadatte G. GilbertDr. Bernadatte G. Gilbert is a board-certified family medicine physician. Originally from Harrisburg, PA, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Union University, Doctor of Medicine degree from Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency at Boston University Medical Center. She previously served as the Medical Director of Clinical Education for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Mississippi College and as part time program faculty for the Physician Assistant Program at Penn State College of Medicine. She currently serves as the Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid and as an assistant professor within the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine/Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Within her department, she previously served as the Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Within the College of Medicine, she also serves as Student Affairs Liaison for Underrepresented Medical Student Support and Society Head for the Vastyan Society. She is a member of numerous medical organizations including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Medical Association, and the National Medical Association. She is married (Rod) and has two children (Brooklynn and Rowan).

PA Program Class of 2025 Expand answer

Yosi Abiy
University of Maryland – BS

Morgan Bonner
The Pennsylvania State University – BAS

Katie Buck
Temple University – MSW Shippensburg University – BA

Gracie Chaires
Lock Haven University – BS

Jacqueline Isabel Delfeld
College of William and Mary – BS

Dillon Duttera
Bucknell University – BA

Nicole Dutzman
The Pennsylvania State University – BS

Conrad Erb
Eastern Mennonite University – BA

Hannah Ferrante
George Mason University – BS

Brandi Fitzwater
University of Pittsburgh – BS
United States Navy – 2012-2021

Riley Gerber
The State University of New York-Cortland – BS

Katie Gingerich
Millersville University – BS

Garrett Hall
The Pennsylvania State University – BS

Rebecca Hawk
Davidson College – BA

Brieanna Jung
University of Idaho – BS

Yianni Koutsofavas
University of Rochester – BS

Jasmine Martinez Soto
University of Wisconsin – BS

Roy McClelland
Lock Haven University – BS
United States Army National Guard – 2017-present

Erica Nagy
The Pennsylvania State University – BS

Georgia Olsen
University of Denver – BS

Elias Orfanides
Alfred University – BS

Dominique Short
University of Alabama – BS

Christopher Surkosky
The Pennsylvania State University – BS

Madeline Thompson
University of Michigan – BAS

Jorge Tirado Pérez
Elizabethtown College – BS

Kyle Tkach
University of Nevada, Reno – BS

Audrey Tseumie
Trinity Washington University – BS

Jacob Vondebur
University of Illinois – BS
United States Army National Guard – 2015-present

Jeremy Wasik
The Pennsylvania State University – BS

Jamie Weakley
The State University of New York-Geneseo – BA

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

Heather Aouadhi, MA
Manger for Accreditation Monitoring, Database Analysis & CQI

Laura Critchfield, MSPAS, PA-C
Program Faculty

Heather Donato, MPAS, PA-C
Clinical Coordinator

Loren Evey, MA, PhD
Program Faculty

Kristi Gruber, MEd, PA-C
Program Faculty

Sarah Lewis, MHS, PA-C
Academic Director

David Richard, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director

Lori Schreckengast
Clinical Coordinator

Caryn Stopper, MEd
Director of Admissions and Student Engagement

Jodi Verbos
Education Program Associate

Kimberly Walker, PA-C
Program Faculty

Dan Weiss, MSPAS, PA-C
Program Faculty

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

Acknowledgements, Scholarships and Special Thanks Expand answer

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the following current students and alumni:

Greeters: Alison Bean, MPAS, ’23, Tiffany Cross, ’24, & Collette Poisson, ’24

Musicians:

Bradley Connolley, ’24, is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a focus on bass, guitar, and synthesizers. Prior to PA school he worked as a busy sideman based in Brooklyn and Nashville, performing with artists across various genres including Liza Anne, Hailey Whitters, and Maggie Miles. He also helped form Brooklyn soul act The Love Supreme and is currently a member of indie pop band SUNBEARS!. From 2017 to 2022 he toured and recorded with the band JOHNNYSWIM, including appearances on The Today Show and Magnolia Network series Home on the Road. Despite having limited time, he still enjoys recording music at home and performing for events throughout the College of Medicine.

Ethan Lee, ’24, has played piano since the age of 6, and enjoys both classical and jazz music. At the age of 13, he performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra as the winner of the Greenfield Competition. Ethan continued to study music at Washington University in St. Louis, taking lessons and performing with the university jazz band. After graduation, he taught piano privately in his hometown at the Nelly Berman School of Music. As a PA student, he organizes student concerts and continues to play piano in his spare time.

Congratulations to the Class of 2025 Scholarship Recipients

Gracie Chaires
Dillon Duttera
Brieanna Jung
Jasmine Martinez Soto
Jorge Tirado Pérez
Audrey Tseumie

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 Class of 2025. 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

Dr. Thomas Abendroth
Dr. Bilaal Ahmed
Dr. Anthony P. Arlotti Jr
Dr. William R. Bachman
Dr. and Mrs. W. Stephen Barnes
Dr. and Mrs. Alan D. Bedrick
Mr. and Mrs. Paul V. Betterly
Dr. and Mrs. J. Bobin, M.D.
Dr. and Mrs. Edward R. Bollard
Dr. William J. Curry
Dr. Patricia M. Curtin
Dr. Dwight and Lorna Davis
Dr. Sol De Jesus
Dr. Raymond DeMaio
Dr. Stephanie J. Estes
Dr. James C. Fairfield
Seth R. Fuhrman, PA-C
Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth A. Glick
Dr. Mark Glick and Dr. Margaret Grotzinger Dr. Stuart L. Goldberg
Dr. Edward M. Gotkiewicz
Dr. and Ms. Brent A. Grishkin
Dr. and Mrs. James A. Groff
Dr. and Ms. Alan W. Halliday
Dr. Sean Haugh
Dr. and Mrs. David S. Hulbert
Dr. and Mrs. James R. Kerrigan
Dr. and Mr. Michael P. Lafferty
Dr. Edward W. Liu
Dr. Loretta Maffei
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond C. Marsh Dr. Hannah L. Miller
Dr. Charles Muchnok
Dr. Clifford R. Nolt
Mr. and Mrs. Corey Oltyan
Dr. Parag P. Patel
Mr. and Mrs. Melvin E. Parker Dr. Ninad Pendharkar and Dr. Asavari Thatte
Dr. John J. Plosay III
Dr. Matthew L. Silvis
Mr. and Ms. Paul Simms
Dr. and Mrs. Max W. Steiner Dr. Anthony R. Tascone
Dr. and Mrs. Gary A. Thomas Dr. Steven J. Triantafyllou
Dr. Larry N. Trubilla, Jr.
Dr. Alyssa A. Vigliotti
Dr. Donald J. Vigliotti
Dr. Vu and Ambrose Liu
Mr. J. Alan Waeltz
Dr. Vonn Walter
Dr. and Mrs. Paul W. Weibel, Jr. Dr. Amy B. Willis
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wimmer Dr. Raymond P. Zarlengo