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WLU physician assistants’ commencement now virtual

WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty University’s College of Sciences has announced that its regularly scheduled commencement ceremony for graduates in its physician assistant program will now be presented virtually.

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies ceremony will be streamed live on Topper Station (topperstation.com) at 6 p.m., Friday.

President Stephen Greiner and a representative of the Board of Governors will give remarks.

“We are especially proud of our students in the Class of 2020 for their persistence and effort during this unprecedented time. Finishing their clinicals was challenging but each student stepped up to the plate and we congratulate them,” said Program Director William Childers, EdD, MS, PA-C.

WLU Provost Brian Crawford will confer the degrees and delivery remarks from the university. Physician Assistant in Cardiology Lynette DeChristopher will be the commencement guest speaker.

DeChristopher has 15 years of experience as a practicing PA in the specialty of cardiology and is currently with the Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center in Morgantown, which is designated a HeartCARE Center of National Distinction of Excellence by the American College of Cardiology.

In addition to professional practice, she serves as an educator in cardiology and a clinical preceptor for PA students from WLU and Alderson Broaddus University. She also serves as a board member for the newly accredited West Virginia University PA Program. DeChristopher earned both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, with a certification in geriatrics from WVU.

The PA Class of 2020 and their hometowns include: Noah Bernal, Honolulu; Kristi Dalton, Bangor, Pa.; Joshua Ellis, Hurricane, W.Va.; Erica Fitzsimmons, Wheeling; Alex Franke, Wheeling; Johnny Giles, Fruit Heights, Utah; Kaitlyn Higginbotham, Red House, W.Va.; Dylan Kruger, East Islip, N.Y.; Rachel Lake, Puyallup, Wash.; Jessica Limbacher, Pittsburgh; Jamie Pacilio, Mahwah, N.J.; Emily Puskarich, Wheeling; Ryan Rafa, Wheeling; Sabrina Salupo, Parma Heights, Ohio; Marisa Shook, Maumee, Ohio; Kami Sisson, Hinton, W.Va.; Kaitlyn Smith, Moundsville and Amanda Thoburn, Grafton, W.Va.

Graduates also receive Pi Alpha Honors during the ceremony, which is the national honor society for physician assistants and indicates academic achievement, community service and leadership. Ryan Rafa and Rachel Lake will receive these special honors from Professor Kristie Meintel.

Commencement can be viewed on WLU’s streaming platform Topper Station (topperstation.com) and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube LIVE.

The virtual ceremony also will air live on WLU-TV14 (Comcast Channel 14) and will be replayed throughout the day in Ohio, Brooke, Marshall and Hancock counties.

WLU’s Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies Master’s Degree program is a 24-month, year-round degree that begins each year in July.

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