Hooding and Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2014
The day could not have been more perfect for the Physician
Assistant Class of 2014 Hooding and Awards Ceremony. The weather on May 18th was
sunny and warm, and the level of student excitement was through the roof. The event
was held in the atrium of Biotech Place in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter
in downtown Winston-Salem.
The graduating class was led in procession by first-year
student marshals Melanie Aydt, Bharath Balu, Eric Bifolck, Nicole Coalson,
Victoria Creech, Laura Fierke, Jeanna Garland, Caileigh Grove, Caroline
Shaffner, and Kelly Wohler. The Reverend Richard Lowder, PA-C, delivered the
invocation, followed by a welcome from PA Studies Department Chair Reamer
Bushardt, PharmD, PA-C, and an institutional welcome by Terry Williams, MBA,
Executive Vice President, Strategy and Network Development, Wake Forest Baptist
Medical Center. The guest speaker, J. Bradley Wilson, MA, JD, President and CEO
of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, was introduced by Frederick K.
Whitt, PhD, Professor and Founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences at
Appalachian State University. PA Studies has partnered with App State to expand
its program to a distance campus in Boone, NC, starting with the incoming class
Following the investiture of the candidates, PA Studies Vice
Chair L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, administered the Physician Assistant Professional
Oath. Program Vice Chair Zachary Hartsell, MPAS, PA-C, recognized Daniel R.
Lau, PA-C, for completing the 2013-2014 PACT VA Residency. Then it was time for
Kelly Wohler received the Katherine Anderson Award, which is
given to a first-year student in recognition of exemplary academic performance
and professional growth toward becoming a physician assistant during the preclinical
year. Graduating student Mary Jean Leonardi won the Kitty Bowman Excellence in
Research Award, given in recognition of an outstanding commitment to research as
a physician assistant student. Joshua Waynick accepted the James Franklin
Wilson Memorial Award as the student in the graduating class showing the
greatest aptitude and devotion to the profession. The Mike Walker Physician
Assistant Excellence Award, new this year, was given in memory of Michael D.
Walker, who graduated from the Wake Forest PA Program in 1973. Kristen Motley
received the Mike Walker Award for outstanding academic performance and
demonstrating compassion and excellence in caring for patients. The graduating
class bestowed the Preclinical Year Teaching Excellence Award on Catherine
Shull, PA-C, MPAS, and Clinical Year Teaching Excellence Awards on Jeffrey
Hinshaw, PA-C, and Jill Grant, PA-C, MMS, MS.
To conclude the day, everyone enjoyed an outside reception and
a beautiful May evening. The faculty and staff of the Department of Physician
Assistant Studies congratulate the Class of 2014 and wish them the best as they
move forward with their careers.