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Cumberlands PA Program Graduates First Class


Members of the inaugural University of the Cumberlands Physician Assistant program earned their degrees and celebrated their success at their hooding ceremony on December 15, 2011.

Williamsburg, Ky. – On Thursday, December 15, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Physician Assistant (PA) program graduated its first cohort class during the inaugural hooding ceremony in the Gatliff Chapel on the campus of UC.

The Master of Physician Assistant Program is offered under a cohort system with course work to be completed over twenty-four months. The program requires a total of 101 credit hours to be completed for graduation. 61 hours are earned through didactics coursework in a traditional classroom and laboratory setting. The remaining forty hours are earned during the second year in the program through eight supervised clinical rotations in the field.

“The graduates of the first class of the University of the Cumberlands Physician Assistant Program have worked diligently over the last two years to achieve this honor,” said Dr. Sonia Young, Associate Director and Academic Coordinator of the PA program. “Through this hard work and dedication, they have accomplished personal goals and earned the right to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam. We are proud that all students who entered the program were able to finish and obtain their degree.”

The inaugural graduates of the PA class included: Adam Adkins (Williamsburg, KY), Amanda Baker (London, KY), Bethany Begley (Paris, KY), Joshua Bray (Mount Vernon, KY), Carl Dewayne Brinkman (Knoxville, TN), Laura Burchette (Corbin, KY), Kevin Caddell (Williamsburg, KY), April Carman (Corbin, KY), Troy Clark (Williamsburg, KY), Melissa Day (Williamsburg, KY), Jennifer Duckett (Revelo, KY), Wesley Faulkner (Williamsburg, KY), William Gilbert (London, KY), Andrea Hale (Springfield, KY), Alicia Hall (Richmond, KY), Gloria Kim (Garret, IN), Robin King (London, KY), Whitney Burton (Elkhorn City, KY), Crystal McKiddy (Winfield, TN), Kari McKnight (London, KY), Kristen Mercier (Oxnard, CA), Jared Nix (Tyner, KY), Brittany Saylor (Brodhead, KY), Joseph Prewitt (London, KY), Christina Sutton (Woodbine, KY), Lesley Tipton (Williamsburg, KY), Laura Walters (London, KY), and Matthew Webb (London, KY).

Students that were recognized for academic excellence for completing their coursework while maintaining a 3.85 or above GPA included: Adam Adkins, Bethany Begley, Kevin Caddell, April Carmen, Kendall Gilbert, Nae Hall, Nikki King, Whitney Burton, Crystal McKiddy, Jared Nix, Brittany Saylor, and Lesley Tipton. Tipton was named Valedictorian and had the highest overall GPA.

In the second year of the program, students participated in 10 four week clinical rotations along with capstone academic courses. The students that received honors for preceptor evaluation scores of 4.9 or better out of 5.0 in all clinical rotations were: Kevin Caddell, Whitney Burton, Lesley Tipton and Brittany Saylor with Saylor capturing the highest preceptor scores.

Also in the second year of the program students take 8 end of rotation exams, three summative exams, and an Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Being recognized for their clinical year excellence in the area of overall average of assessment scores, prediction of 600 or better on the PANCE licensure exam, were: Kevin Caddell, April Carmen, Lesley Tipton, Matthew Webb, and Crystal McKiddy. McKiddy earned the overall highest assessment scores.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the first graduating Physician Assistant class at the University of the Cumberlands,” said Dr. Eddie Perkins, PA Program Director. “The challenges of accreditation were made easy because of the quality of students and the cooperation that they exhibited. The facilities in the Forcht Medical Wing, which are second to none, enhanced the teaching and learning opportunities for our students. The program is blessed with a caring and cooperative faculty, staff and upper level administration who have always put the students’ needs first. It is our goal to continue the progress that we have made and continue to contribute to the needs of the people of Appalachia.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.