Alderson Broaddus University Celebrates Historic Commencement Ceremony with Physician Assistant and Teacher Leader Graduates

Twenty-eight members of the Class of 2019 Physician Assistant Studies Program received their Master of Science degrees, and four members of the first Teacher Leader program graduating class received their Master of Education degrees during AB’s Graduate Commencement Ceremony in Wilcox Chapel on August 16.

The Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2019 include: Charlene Marie Arena from Aliquippa, Pa.; Rachel Christine Ashley from Teays Valley, W.Va.; Megan Dawn Bartlett from Fairmont, W.Va.; Keri Bedillion from Washington, Pa.; Shawn T. Beltz from Mt. Gilead, Ohio; Vivian Angelica Bracero from Manassas, Va.; Jordan Ann Brewer from Uniontown, Pa.; Nida Rasool Chaudhry from Manassas, Va.; Marie Christenson from Buffalo, Mn.; Amanda Mary Fitzgerald from Mokena, Ill.; Tonya Marie Gayman from Washington, Pa.; Avery Gookin from Morgantown, W.Va.; Jory C. Gotham from Gouverneur, N.Y.; Elizabeth Katheryn Holsclaw from Trenton, Mich.; Alexa Danielle Kuenzel from Ste. Genevieve, Mo.; Elizabeth Marie Luttner from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Melanie Marie Lyon from Mesa, Ariz.; Michelle Nicolette Mandus from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Elizabeth Sinclair McLean from Charlotte, N.C.; Robert Oshnock, II from Macomb, Mich.; Amelia Katelyn Paine from Daniels, W.Va.; Joe Jaxon Panelli from Mesa, Ariz.; Nicolai Armand Pineda from Atlanta, Ga.; Ethan Ramsey from New Milton, W.Va.; Nicholas Ronald Schubring from New Glarus, Wis.; Sahara Joelle Stanley from Princeton, W.Va.; Aleksandra Tomczyk from Whippany, N.J.; and Rawan Zeidan from Swartz Creek, Mich.

These professionals join a long line of physician assistants graduating from the nation’s first physician assistant program, founded in 1968 by AB’s own Dr. Hu C. Myers.

The Teacher Leadership Class of 2019 includes Marian Katherine Cummings from Lumberport, W.Va.; Jennifer M. Fleshman from Parkersburg, W.Va.; Erin Catherine Gallagher from Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Jerri Lynn Hinebaugh from Bridgeport, W.Va. AB’s Teacher Leader program is designed to assist teachers in becoming leaders in their schools, provide a strong understanding of research-based practices, and guide authentic, hands-on research within their classroom and school.

The commencement speaker, Jeff Lamphere has the privilege of being a 1986 and 2009 graduate of AB University, a current member of the AB Board of Trustees, and adjunct professor of health professional services at Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Science in Buies Creek, N.C. 

Lamphere’s address to the class, titled “Remembering the Man in the Mirror,” left students with a message of faith, hope, and love in all things. He urged graduates to use what they have learned to find their passion and do what they love, to take words of wisdom as they come, and remember to learn from life’s greatest lessons.

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Joan Propst presented the class with degrees. Four students were inducted into Pi Alpha, the national Physician Assistant honor society that honors significant academic achievement, leadership, research, community, and professional service. Those awarded were: Charlene Marie Arena, Megan Dawn Bartlett, Amanda Mary Fitzgerald, and Tonya Marie Gayman.

Graduate students of the Physician Assistant Studies Program were presented hoods by College of Medical Science Dean and Physician Assistant Studies Program Director Thomas Moore. Graduates of the Teacher Leader program were presented hoods by College of Education and Music Dean Erin Brumbaugh and Education Adjunct Senior Lecturer Joseph Super.

AB University President Dr. Tim Barry conferred the degrees and left the graduates with his last remarks, “Your labor has not been in vain as you have prepared yourself for a career of service to humankind.”

About Alderson Broaddus University 

Alderson Broaddus (AB) University is a private, four-year institution of higher education located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences.

AB stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate Physician Assistant program of its kind in 1968, the first post-baccalaureate Physician Assistant Master’s degree program in 1990, and West Virginia’s first four-year Nursing program in 1945. For more information, visit


Photo Captions:

Top: Class of 2019 Physician Assistant Studies Program Graduates – First row, from left to right: Keri Bedillion, Nida Chaudhry, Jordan Brewer, Vivian Bracero, Rachel Ashley, Sahara Stanley, Rawan Zeidan. Second row: Megan Bartlett, Tonya Gayman, Maria Christenson, Amanda Fitzgerald, Avery Gookin, Jory Gotham, Elizabeth Holsclaw, Alexa Kuenzel, Elizabeth Luttner, Melanie Lyon, Michelle Mandus. Third row: Charlene Arena, Nicholas Schubring, Elizabeth Sinclair McLean, Shawn Beltz, Amelia Paine, Alexsandra Tomczyk, Joe Panelli, Nicolai Armand Pineda, Ethan Ramsey, and Robert Oshnock, II.

Bottom: Class of 2019 Teacher Leader Program Graduates – From left to right: Jerri Hinebaugh, Erin Gallagher, and Marian Cummings.

For a full recording of AB’s 2019 Graduate Commencement Ceremony, click here:

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Public Notice: Upcoming Accreditation Review Visit by ACEN


Alderson Broaddus University wishes to announce that it will host a site visit for continuing accreditation of its baccalaureate nursing program by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). You are invited to meet with the site visit team and share your comments about the program in person at a meeting scheduled at 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 19, in the Auditorium of Myers Hall of Health Sciences located at 101 College Hill Drive, Philippi, WV. Written comments are also welcome and should be submitted directly to: Dr. Marsal Stoll, Chief Executive Officer Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 3343 Peachtree Road Northeast, Suite 850 Atlanta, GA 30326 Or email: All written comments should be received by the ACEN by September 5, 2019.


Alderson Broaddus University brings degree programs to Charleston, Beckley, and Fairmont

Alderson Broaddus University, in conjunction with area community and technical colleges, will be offering new bachelor’s degree programs in the Charleston, Beckley, and Fairmont areas.

Beginning with the fall semester, Alderson Broaddus’ Criminal Justice, Health Care Management, and Interdisciplinary Studies degree completion programs will be taught at the campuses of BridgeValley Community and Technical College in South Charleston, New River Community and Technical College in Beaver, and Pierpont Community and Technical College’s Advanced Technology Center.

In addition to the three new degrees, registration will continue with the existing Bachelor of Science in Professional Leadership program, which began this June at Pierpont CTC. Additional programs will be offered at all three locations in 2020.

“AB is pleased to have our community and technical college partners in this important initiative,” said Dr. Jim Owston, assistant provost for extended learning. “Our degree completion programs provide associate program graduates, and other working adults with some college credits the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree close to home.”

Evening classes begin on August 26 at all three locations. To find out more, Alderson Broaddus invites you to a reception at one of the following locations:

In Fairmont: Muriale’s Italian Kitchen on Thursday, August 8 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.

In Charleston: Black Sheep Burritos and Brews on Tuesday, August 13 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM

In Beckley: Pasquale’s Italian Restaurant on Thursday, August 15 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

Come anytime during these evenings, enjoy a meal and talk to representatives about this and other degree programs to be offered at BridgeValley, New River, and Pierpont Community and Technical Colleges.

To RSVP, call 304.457.6222 or email Alderson Broaddus University at


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Physician Assistant Students Honored at Annual Convocation for Clinical Clerkship at Alderson Broaddus University

Thirty-four members of the physician assistant (PA) studies Class of 2020 were honored during the official white coat and pinning convocation at Alderson Broaddus University on Friday, July 26.

“This ceremony is so important to the families and students because it symbolizes professionalism and commitment to patient care while transitioning from one phase to another,” said Thomas Moore, director of the physician assistant studies program and dean of the College of Medical Science.

This final year will be spent in clinical rotations at local hospitals and medical centers, focusing on and delivering high-quality, patient-centered care.

The Class of 2020 includes: Azin Akar from Gibsonia, Pa.; Josiah Baker from Douglassville, Pa.; Allyson Branham from Prestonburg, Ky.; Jessica Chance from Louisville, Ky.; Taylor Chevalier from Belington, W.Va.; Peter Cioloca from Philippi, W.Va.; Brandon Coburn from Bridgeport, W.Va.; Keeley Diggs from Hurlock, Md.; Rachel Graziano from Dewitt, Mich.; Noel Guido from Spanish Fork, Utah; Jacquelin Harper from Grovetown, Ga.; Regan Houston from Leesburg, Va.; Brady Huttinger from Pasadena, Md.; Kyle Lehosit from Clarksburg, W.Va.; Aneeq Malik from Philippi, W.Va.; Kelsea Martin from Stevens Point, Wis.; Zane McGuire from Pittsburgh, Pa.; Sarah McMillan from Morgantown, W.Va.; Cassandra Mueller from Fond Du Lac, Wis.; Scott Nesland from Philippi, W.Va.; Ashley Norman from New Philadelphia, Ohio; Lauren Peyton from Chapmanville, W.Va.; Yuenan Pitrolo from Bridgeport, W.Va.; Christian Porter from North Liberty, Ind.; Hannah Prontiker from Elizabeth, Pa.; Nathaniel Rainey from Philippi, W.Va.; Douglas Sievers from Mt. Carmel, Ill.; Amy Stewart from Philippi, W.Va.; Briana Stine from Columbia, Md.; Julia Tucker from Romeo, Mich.; Sania Ullah from Federalsburg, Md.; Reid Van Bussum from Lexington, Ky.; Anna Warfield from Gaithersburg, Md.; and Shayne Zaplitny from Coatesville, Pa.

Shawn Beltz, Class of 2019 and recipient of the Clinical Excellence Award—an award based on compassion, leadership, working relations, clinical adequacy, academic performance, and support of the goals and objectives of the physician assistant program—addressed the Class and encouraged them always to keep learning.

Beltz quoted from Dr. Lisa Sander’s book “Every Patient Tells a Story,” by saying: “in medicine, uncertainty is the water we swim in.” Beltz explained that while this may be true, he is certain that the professors at AB have provided the Class of 2020 with a solid foundation to build upon throughout their yearlong clerkships. He then challenged the Class to be uncomfortable.

“Put yourself out there,” said Beltz. “Show up each day with the intentions to learn something new. Come with an infectiously positive attitude and look for ways to be helpful and make the people around you love working with you. Come early, stay late, ask questions, and study hard, because your patients will depend on you.”

Moore concluded the ceremony by saying, “you’ve learned about the science of medicine. Today is the significant transition between the science and art of medicine. Remember, it’s all about what the patient needs. Always look at the patient and not the disease. Grow, develop, be a leader, but most of all—care for your patients. That’s why we do what we do in this profession. We are proud of you and look forward to your future endeavors as a physician assistant.”

As the Class of 2020 transitions into their clinical phase, Beltz and the physician assistant studies Class of 2019 prepare for graduation on August 16 at Alderson Broaddus University.

The mission of the Alderson Broaddus University School of  Physician Assistant Studies is to academically and clinically prepare physician assistants who deliver high-quality, patient-centered, primary, and specialty care with physician collaboration, to diverse populations.

Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968 and the first post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1990. For more information, call AB Admissions at 1-800-263-1549 or visit

Physician Assistant Twentieth Annual Convocation Photo Album:

Physician Assistant Twentieth Annual Convocation Video:


Alderson Broaddus University students sweep public relations awards

Alderson Broaddus University students and faculty received 23 awards at the Public Relations Society of America—West Virginia Chapter’s Crystal Awards Gala in Morgantown on June 19. Dr. Jim Owston, AB mass communication professor, and his daughter Lora, a 2019 AB graduate, took the top prize, “Best in West Virginia,” and 15 additional awards. The accolades were in response to their WV Remembers campaign for the 2018 Beckley Annual Holocaust Remembrance Day sponsored by Temple Beth El.

As a pro bono campaign, Owston & Owston competed with advertising agencies in the state, as well as those in the PRSA’s East Central District, which covers West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. Three regional Diamond Awards of Merit were given in the campaign category of events (7 days or less) and for the tactics of public service announcements and feature story. Only one other West Virginia entry received a regional award.

In addition to the “Best in West Virginia” award, Owston & Owston received 12 awards from the PRSA-WV Chapter. These included Crystal Awards for three campaign categories: community relations, events (7 days or less), and public service. Crystal Awards were earned for the tactics of blogs, collateral, logo, media relations, social media, video, website, and writing. An honorable mention was also awarded for the campaign category of integrated communications.

“We were inspired by other campaigns to offer our services to promote the Beckley Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Jim Owston. “I had a never-before-seen interview of Holocaust victim Max Lewin, who started the yearly commemoration; Lewin requested that the 1996 video not be published until after his death. This interview became the centerpiece of the 2018 event, and we believe that the publicity surrounding its unveiling was responsible for more than doubling the commemoration’s largest attendance to date.”

In addition to the WV Remembers campaign, seven honors were awarded to AB students. Lora Owston won Crystal Awards for the tactics of collateral (for an AB wrestling team flyer), single issue publication (for the AB mission team calendar), and website (for “A Covered Bridge Christmas”). She also received an Honorable Mention for her articles relating to AB student Morgan Winterbottom’s scientific research through WV-INBRE.

The Digital Edge, AB’s mass communication organization, took home two Crystal Awards for the tactics of media relations for “A Covered Bridge Christmas” and video for “AB’s 2018 Giving Day.” Jeremy Linaburg, a 2019 graduate, received a Crystal Award in writing for the article “Go Out and Play in Old Town Winchester.”

Since 2016, Alderson Broaddus’s mass communication department has won 34 awards from various organizations.


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