Maggie A

Maggie A


Hometown: Newport, OH
B.S.: Health Science
Marietta College


Many different opportunities in my life have pointed me towards a lifelong career in the medical profession. As a young child I would beg my parents to stay up late and watch the popular medical drama, E.R. I started my college career at the Ohio State University, where I majored in Animal Science. However, I never felt fully committed until I started looking at Marietta College and a completely different career path. Once transferring to Marietta, I heard about the PA program and started to attend open houses and informational sessions. After serving on a medical team responsible for the end of life care for an advanced stage cancer patient, I was sure that the PA profession was the direction for me and Marietta College offered an excellent atmosphere for me to continue my education. Currently, I'm planning on practicing in family medicine with an interest in rural or medically under-served areas.

Kristen B

Kristen B


Hometown: Morgantown, WV
B.S.: Chemistry
The Ohio State University


I recently received my bachelor’s degree in chemistry from The Ohio State University. Early in my undergraduate education, I was indecisive with regards to my career path. I explored the possibility of research while serving as an undergraduate research assistant in a plant-based genetics lab at OSU. In addition, I explored my interest in the medical field by shadowing physicians both at OSU and in my hometown. When I set out to decide between research and medical school, neither felt quite right, despite the good experiences I had with both fields. It was around that time that my sister-in-law, a physician assistant, joined our family. I spent countless hours discussing the profession with her, and it became clear that a career as a physician assistant was the right path for me. I appreciate the profession’s focus on primary care, especially in rural areas, and on improving overall patient well-being via effective patient counseling. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a student in the Marietta College Physician Assistant Program and am looking forward to beginning a fulfilling career as a physician assistant in the near future.

Jennifer Dean

Jessica B


Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
B.S.: Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise
Virginia Tech


As a student athlete growing up, I was involved in several injuries and subsequently plenty of doctor visits. I was intrigued at how intricate and detailed an injury or illness could be and was impressed by the knowledge possessed by the healthcare provider by whom my problems were treated. This stemmed my love for the human body and ultimately ensured my future with a career in the medical field. It was not until I began volunteering and shadowing in various hospitals that I was introduced to the Physician Assistant profession. While shadowing in oncology I interacted with several healthcare professionals, but it was the passion and role of the physician assistant that really caught my attention. After further research of the profession I am certain that becoming a physician assistant would be the best fit for me. Currently, I am interested in dermatology, but I am very excited for all the opportunities while at Marietta’s Physician Assistant program!

Andrea Dolenc

Lauren B


Hometown: Waterford, OH
B.S.: Biochemistry
The University of Akron


My desire to make a difference in the lives of others led me to seek a position in the medical field, although I was unsure of what direction I wanted to take. My first exposure to the physician assistant profession was through my cousin and role model, Ashley Lockhart, a graduate of the Marietta College PA program. After discussing my desire to be in healthcare and the recent national healthcare reform acts with her, she encouraged me to look into becoming a PA. Doing clinical research in the Regional Burn Center at Akron Children’s Hospital and shadowing the PA’s there helped me to realize where my personality and skills would best fit into the healthcare system. The patient interaction and the follow-up and counseling that PA’s provide for their patients was exactly what I wanted for my future career. Becoming a member of the Marietta College PA Class of 2016 was a dream come true for me, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to be a critical part of the healthcare team and becoming an advocate for public health education and preventative medicine.

Marci Estock

Chris B


Hometown: Grove City, OH
M.A.: Exercise Science
University of Connecticut


I earned a B.S. in Athletic Training at The Ohio State University in 2004. Following graduation, I worked as a Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer and performed research in assessing core body temperature in the heat to recognize hyperthermia with exercise, while completing my M.A. in Exercise Science at the University of Connecticut in 2006. Since graduating with my Master’s I have worked in multiple scenarios as an Athletic Trainer with the San Diego Chargers, Frankfurt Galaxy, The Ohio State University, Villanova University, and University of Illinois. When deciding to pursue a second career as a Physician Assistant, I began working in an Emergency Department as a Health Care Technician gaining a wide array of experiences. I am very excited to be a part of the Marietta College Class of 2016 and look forward to caring for others as a Physician Assistant.

Marci Estock

Lance B


Hometown: Uniontown, PA
B.S.: Exercise Physiology
West Virginia University


While attending West Virginia University, I wrestled with the difficult decision of what I wanted to do once I completed my bachelor’s degree. A medical profession was always the answer but I had no idea which particular filed would be most suitable until I stumbled across the role of a physician assistant. The daily duties, patient interaction and the dynamic support to aid physicians caught my attention and evoked a high interest for the profession. I quickly setup a shadowing visit in the local hospital and realized the PA role was the answer I was searching for all along. After graduation, I applied and accepted a job at Ruby Memorial (WVU) Hospital working as a Clinical Associate in the Medical and Surgical Intensive Care Units. This opportunity only solidified my decision that medicine and the PA position is exactly what I wanted to do after interacting with the PAs and obtaining/gathering information from them frequently.

Thus far, as a MCPAS, I am ecstatic and proud that I chose this program to help guide and mold me into developing the essential skills needed to be a great PA. The curriculum has a remarkable setup that I know will prepare me for my future.

Vera Filatova

Breea B


Hometown: Reedsville, OH
B.S.: Biology
Marietta College


I have been interested in science and medicine as long as I can remember. In high school I loved biology courses, especially when we studied human anatomy and infectious diseases. During my junior year of high school I began researching careers in the medical field, and after shadowing a few different professions I realized that a career as a Physician Assistant was for me. In college, I shadowed physician assistants and I worked several health care related jobs through a local health department and at a hospital. I worked as a Patient Care Technician (PCT) for almost 2 years and this job probably prepared me for PA school the most. During my time as a PCT I was able to gain a lot of clinical experience and see many interesting procedures, this reassured me that I had chosen the right career path. Throughout college I was also involved in several extracurricular activities including, Chi Omega, Colleges Against Cancer, and the Marietta College Cheerleading team. Currently I am interested in general internal medicine and hematology/oncology. However, I have an open mind about different fields of medicine and I am excited to see how my interests change/grow over the course of the next 2 years.

Stephanie Freed

Brenna B


Hometown: Wheeling, WV
B.S.: Biology
Wittenberg University


During my undergraduate education at Wittenberg University, I was interested in becoming a physician. I completed the necessary pre-requisites, the MCAT, shadowed with doctors of various specialties and a radiology-technician, and volunteered at local hospitals. In my senior year I completed a clinical internship with an obstetrician gynecologist, where I encountered a physician assistant student on rotation. Unsure of all that the position entailed, I began researching the physician assistant role. After learning about the clinical responsibility, patient interaction, physician and physician assistant relationship, and the freedom to work in more than one area of medicine upon certification, I found the medical role of a physician assistant appealing. In 2013 I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and then shadowed with multiple surgical and cardiothoracic physician assistants to prepare myself further and to confirm my interest. I also became West Virginia EMT Certified through a course at the Wheeling Fire Department. Additionally I worked as a scribe in the Wheeling Hospital Emergency Department with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. I am thankful for the opportunity to pursue my passion for medicine and excited to be a member of the Class of 2016.

Theodore Gover

Paige C


Hometown: Cambridge, Ohio
B.S.: Chemistry/Biology
Wheeling Jesuit University


My desire to pursue a career in medicine began in high school when I participated in a program at my local hospital that allowed hands-on interaction with various medical professionals. Though I knew I wanted to go into the medical field, I was unsure about the exact course I wanted to pursue. The physician assistant path was first introduced to me during my senior year of high school, and after some exploration and shadowing, I knew it was the perfect option for me. I attended undergrad at Wheeling Jesuit University where I majored in Chemistry, minored in Biology, participated in various clubs, and was a member of the swim team. During my junior and senior years of college, I worked as a Patient Care Technician in a local hospital and shadowed various PA’s in my area, and in the summer of 2013, I was a member of a medical mission team in Las Delicias, Honduras. These experiences truly strengthened my passion for medicine, and I hope to be able to use the opportunities I have been blessed with to care for those in need. I am honored to be a member of the Class of 2016 and look forward to this exciting new chapter in my life.

Michael Bennet

Emily D


Hometown: Brookville, Ohio
B.S.: Allied Health
Cedarville University


I knew going into college that I wanted to work in the medical field. After my freshman year, I became an EMT and a nurse assistant then worked in a skilled nursing home and in home health care over the next three years. After my sophomore year, I went to Swaziland, Africa and assisted a team conducting medical clinics to the rural, unreached parts of the country. My desire to help the underserved came alive in Africa, and I realized I wanted to serve others medically both in America and overseas once I became a PA. During the next two years, I volunteered as an EMT on several local emergency squads and gained further experience working in stressful situations. After my junior year, I went to Bolivia, South America, to work in a hospital and assist at medical clinics in areas that had poor medical care. I have seen how medical care can be used to give hope to the hopeless, and I wish to provide it as a way to give people value and worth. My interactions with PAs, working in the medical field, and experiences overseas have given me a passion for medicine and serving others. I am ready for the responsibility that comes with being a PA, and am excited for the opportunity to impact lives.

John Harcha

Ashley D


Hometown: Logan, OH
B.S.: Health Sciences
The Ohio State University


Growing up, I always had a passion and interest for the medical field. I had the opportunity to shadow a physician assistant in high school and immediately knew that was the profession I wanted to pursue. The PA I observed demonstrated thorough patient education and built a strong patient-provider relationship, which is critical to providing quality care. During my undergraduate career I volunteered at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus and shadowed many physician assistants in various settings around the area. I also worked at Wexner Medical Center in the revenue cycle department and had great experience learning the insurance aspect of medicine. I then started working as an emergency department scribe and this position solidified my decision to become a physician assistant. I worked alongside physicians and physician assistants and gained a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge in the ED setting. I am so excited and honored to be part of the Class of 2016!

Michael Bennet

Katie F


Hometown: North Canton, OH
B.S.: Biology
Capital University


I first knew I wanted to work in the medical field when I witnessed a horrible motorcycle accident while I was in high school. It was the first time I had ever seen someone die and I knew immediately the next time I was in that situation, I wanted to have the knowledge and training to do everything in my power to help. I started my undergraduate career at Capital University with the intentions of becoming a physician. However, after some encouragement from a family friend I decided to shadow a physician assistant who specialized in orthopedics. After the first day I spent with him, I knew that was what I was meant to do. During my time at Capital, I did research through Nationwide Children’s Hospital, volunteered at Grant Medical Center, and worked in nutrition services at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I also was a member of the Capital University Women’s Soccer team for all four years. My hours shadowing and various different experiences in the hospitals solidified my passion for working in the health care field. I am so honored to have been chosen as a student of the Marietta PA program, class of 2016 and look forward to starting my journey of becoming a PA.

Kendra Hentkowski

Melissa G


Hometown: Holland, OH
B.S.: Biology
Capital University


I am a recent graduate from Capital University. While there, I received me Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a focus in pre-professional studies. I have always had a strong interest in the medical field, but was uncertain which path I wanted to take. Personal interactions with physician assistants in my hometown first peaked my interest in this profession, and after some research and shadowing experiences it was clear that this was what I wanted to do. During my time at Capital University, I was certified as an EMT and volunteered at both The Ohio State Medical Center and Sunrise Senior Living Center in Bexley, Ohio. Although I am uncertain which specialty I want to pursue in the future, I look forward to my clinical rotations and the experiences that they will give me. I am both grateful and excited to be part of Marietta College PA Program’s Class of 2016.

Amanda Hodnett

Pavithra G


Hometown: Macomb, IL
B.S.: Health Medicine
Bangalore University, India


My interest in the medical field began at a very young age and has continually grown throughout my life. As a child, I would often travel to my father’s village in rural India and help paint school buildings and teach school children the English alphabet. It was during my master’s education abroad that my passion further intensified upon witnessing the distress rural, impoverished patients in India undergo on a daily basis to meet conventional needs. I participated in polio eradication programs, administered vaccinations, helped treat tropical diseases, and assisted in minor surgical procedures. Upon returning to the U.S, I worked as a clinical research assistant in the field of Endocrinology. Although this experience was rewarding, I quickly realized that I desired more direct patient contact in my life. After much soul searching, I knew a career as a physician assistant was the right fit for me. I had the pleasure of shadowing several different medical professionals in various specialties such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Cardiology, and Gastroenterology.

My goal is to one day incorporate a blend of Eastern and Western medicine into my practice in order to provide patients with informed choices about how to handle their health needs. Currently my interest is in Primary care, but I also look forward to the experiences provided during the clinical year. As a PA, I hope to have a positive impact on the health of individuals in either low-income or underserved communities. I am excited & honored to begin this new journey in my life with the Marietta College PA Program’s class of 2016.

Garrett Kerr

Amanda H


Hometown: Berea, OH
B.S.: Athletic Training
Ohio University


I received my Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Ohio University in 2014. I have always had an interest and desire to practice medicine, but struggled to find which profession interested me most. It was during my junior year that I had the opportunity to shadow several physician assistants at O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, Ohio. At that time I had a realization that a career as a physician assistant was the perfect fit for me. Once I had realized my passion for the PA profession, everything fell into place. Currently, my interests are in orthopedics, but I look forward to experiencing all of the opportunities that the clinical year has to offer. Lastly, I am so honored to be a part of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Program Class of 2016. I look forward to my future career as a physician assistant and taking part in the lifelong study of medicine.

Savannah Klingshirn

Darcie I


Hometown: Beaver Falls, PA
B.S.: Exercise Science
College of Charleston


I did not always plan to become a PA, let alone attend PA school with my twin sister. Initially, I intended to pursue an entirely different career than my sister. In time however, I became interested in my sister’s classes and stopped denying our common interest in medicine. I then began considering a career as a PA. While working to complete my Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science at the College of Charleston, I spent time volunteering in the emergency room at MUSC. Here I discovered my passion for medicine. Interning with Chucktown Squash, a sport-based youth development program, allowed me to realize my love of teaching about health. So what brought me from the beaches and beauty of Charleston, South Carolina to Marietta, Ohio? My love of learning led me to pursue a career as a PA, and the welcoming and knowledgeable staff of Marietta College brought me to Marietta. So here I sit, next to my twin sister, a zealous first year student in Marietta College PA program, and I could not be happier with my decision.

Danielle Lang

Jessie I


Hometown: Beaver Falls, PA
B.S.: Exercise Science
College of Charleston


I graduated from College of Charleston in South Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2014. While in Charleston, I volunteered in the emergency room at a local hospital and with Chucktown Squash, an urban sports program that works with underprivileged kids. I have always been interested in the medical field, and with my father and two older sisters being physical therapists, my twin sister and I decided to add some new skills to the family and become physician assistants. I am very excited to be attending Marietta’s PA Program, and I am looking forward to starting my career as a Physician Assistant!

Alyse McNeill

Eric K


Hometown: Wheeling, WV
B.S.: Respiratory Therapy
Wheeling Jesuit University


I earned my Bachelor's degree in Respiratory Therapy at Wheeling Jesuit University where I was an Arrupe scholar for my four years of undergrad. My fellow scholars and I were in a program designed to challenge us to become leaders in solidarity on and off campus and essentially be men and women for others in the Ignatian tradition. It was during this time, I discovered that the career path of a physician assistant was the right decision for me. Working as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh also provided for me a wealth of knowledge in pediatric medicine and the skills to assess and treat pediatric patients. Upon completing my Master's degree, I plan to enter Pediatrics but look forward to the experiences of other fields during clinical rotations. I am honored and very thankful to be a part of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Program Class of 2016 and am very excited for my future career as a physician assistant.

Laila Najjar

Casey A. K


Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
B.S.: Biology
Oakland University


My passion for a career in the medical field began as a child but was solidified when a close family friend introduced me to the physician assistant profession. I had always known that I would pursue a medical career, but just couldn’t decide what role in the field was for me. After a few hours of shadowing a hematology/oncology PA, I knew undoubtedly that the PA profession was where I fit it. I graduated from Oakland University with a bachelor’s in biology and then went on to work for Biotech Clinical Laboratories as a phlebotomist during my application process. I was fortunate enough to be placed at Lewerenz Medical Center, a functional medicine practice with two amazing mentors who still continue to support and encourage my every endeavor. I am both honored and enthused to be a member of the Class of 2016 and look forward to each challenge and reward that a career as a physician assistant will offer me throughout my lifetime.

Sarah O’Connor

Derek K


Hometown: Loveland, OH
B.S.: Exercise Science Education
The Ohio State University


I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science Education. I have always wanted to work in the healthcare industry in some capacity. However, throughout much of my time in college, I was unsure about which career path to choose. I gained valuable health care experience working with Physical Therapists at the Wexner Medical Center’s NeuroRecovery Network Center and interning at a cardiac rehabilitation facility. It was during this time that I learned about Physician Assistants and the role they play in the healthcare system. I decided that a career as a PA would fit well with my skill set. My desire to become a physician assistant increased after I shadowed a few PAs in the emergency room and witnessed their competence and compassion. I look forward to a fulfilling career as a PA and am very excited to be a part of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Class of 2016.

Sara Oczypok

Chelsea L


Hometown: Parkersburg, WV
B.S.: Public Health
West Virginia University


My interest in medicine began with my fascination of the human body and how it works. As I continued my education, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Marshall University. I worked as a personal trainer at the Marshall Recreation Center where I trained clients from all walks of life including participants of a state-wide weight management program. I continued to work in community and employee wellness while completing my Master of Public Health from West Virginia University in 2014. I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to learn all that I can in the next two years, and to continue serving my community.

Michael Bennet

Laura L


Hometown: San Antonio, TX
B.S.: Kinesiology
Texas Lutheran University


My grandfather is one of the main reasons I decided to pursue a career in the medical field. He was an MD and practiced for over 30 years as a general practitioner before completing his Psychiatric Residency and practicing for another 34 years. He would hold nightly “grand rounds” at my house where I would be quizzed on medical terminology, parts of the brain, and signs and symptoms of various diseases and syndromes he had seen in his career. During my time at Texas Lutheran University an opportunity to shadow a local Physician Assistant became available. Through his advice and my own research I decided that becoming a PA would be more fulfilling for me personally and professionally. I graduated from undergrad in three years and began the application process to schools all over the country. The Marietta College PA program was one of the many schools that I evaluated and found its’ curriculum, faculty, and mission statement to be so closely aligned with my own beliefs and goals that when I was accepted I was equally honored and excited to be a part of the Class of 2016!

Dana Preston

Kate L


Hometown: Bay Village, OH
B.S.: Psychology/Biology
Denison University


I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Denison University in 2013. As a high school and college athlete, I was always so grateful for the medical healthcare team that enabled me to get back onto the playing field with strength and confidence after multiple knee injuries. Being exposed to such dedicated and passionate medical professionals, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, though I was unsure which path to take. During the summer of 2011, I worked with children diagnosed with ADHD as an undergraduate counselor for the Cleveland Clinic’s Summer Treatment program. The experience and emotions felt during that summer helped to guide my journey in discovering my true passion for health care. It opened my eyes to the importance of each step in the medical process including evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Most importantly, it confirmed my love for working with others to achieve a positive change in their lives. In addition to working with children diagnosed with ADHD, as a research assistant at Denison I conducted a review of the research on the cognitive and neuropsychological functioning of community college students with learning disabilities. Although I enjoyed the research aspect of the medical field, the experiences I had with the Summer Treatment Program, along with opportunities to shadow physician assistants and volunteer in the emergency department, solidified that a career as a physician assistant would allow me to best serve patients and families with their personal medical journeys. My current interest is working with those who suffer from PTSD or other traumatic brain injuries specifically within the military, but I am keeping my options open during clinical rotations. I am excited and extremely honored to be a part of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Class of 2016!

Chelsea Remster

Adrian M


Hometown: Zanesville, OH
B.S.: Biology
Muskingum University


The physician assistant profession is a career I did not discover until relatively recently, but after exploring, is the career I believe is ideal for me. Since childhood, I have always been interested in medical professions and helping people. During my first two years of undergraduate study I shadowed dentists and a chiropractor who informed me of the physician assistant profession. Upon researching the career further and experiencing the career firsthand through shadowing experiences, I made it my career goal to become a physician assistant. Currently, I am interested in working in the field of orthopedics, but I am eager to see the different areas of medicine covered during our year of clinical rotations and open to working in any field. While researching different physician assistant programs, I personally visited the program at Marietta College and was impressed with both the state of the art facility and the friendliness of the program’s staff. Upon leaving this visit, I knew Marietta College was where I wanted to acquire my physician assistant education. I am honored to have been selected and beyond proud to be a member of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Program’s class of 2016.

Dana Preston

Marie M


Hometown: Frazeysburg, OH
B.S.: Allied Health
Otterbein University


When I first started undergrad I wasn’t entirely sure what career path I wanted to follow, but I knew I wanted to eventually be part of the medical community. During the spring semester of my junior year I decided to change my major to Allied Health, a major offered at Otterbein University designed for students to go onto Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or Physician Assistant School. Shortly after changing my major, I shadowed a local orthopedic surgeon whom my family had become well acquainted with over the years thanks to my younger sister’s shoulder surgery and a common love of golf. After the first day of shadowing I knew the physician assistant profession was perfect for me. It truly is a wonderful profession and I am grateful to have this opportunity to pursue my dream career and someday make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Chelsea Remster

Joe M


Hometown: Springfield, Ohio
B.S.: Exercise Science
Youngstown State University


Entering my freshmen year of college, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. Initially, I had aspirations of becoming a physical therapist. I began having doubts about becoming a physical therapist and began exploring other medical career options. I first became aware of the physician assistant profession during a trip to the emergency room where a PA provided the majority of my care. I immediately became interested in the PA profession and began shadowing PAs in orthopedics and cardiology. I enjoyed every second of my shadowing and knew that the PA profession was for me. To gain clinical experience I worked as a nurse aide and physical therapy technician. Currently, I am interested in critical care and emergency medicine but am excited to explore other areas during my clinical rotations!

Krissy Rowe

Erick N


Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
M.S.: Professional Counseling
Mercer University


While in my master’s program, I received my first taste of medical care giving experience. I worked at a substance abuse and mental health hospital practicing counseling. I worked closely with doctors investigating health concerns and formulating treatment plans. Although my passion at the time was counseling, I found myself enjoying the medical aspect more and more.

While speaking with one of the doctors, they encouraged me to pursue a career in the medical field and steered me towards becoming a physician assistant. From there I shadowed PA’s and started working as a medical assistant in an urgent wound care facility. From that point on, I knew that a career as a physician assistant was what I wanted. I'm currently interested in surgery but I’m keeping an open mind. I’m excited about my future here at the Marietta College Physician Assistant Program.

Bethany Smith

Ketan P


Hometown: West Chester, OH
B.S.: Biochemistry
University of Cincinnati


My interest in clinical medicine started when I was growing up. Over time I grew to admire the craft of the medical professionals who took care of me along with their poise, diligence, and compassion.

After initially working in lab research, I longed for more purpose and interpersonal interactions in my career. Thus, I began to volunteer at a local hospital and subsequently worked as a caregiver and an emergency medicine scribe. From this I realized my passion was to help other people. These experiences combined with shadowing of several physician assistants helped shape my interest in wanting to become a physician assistant.

I chose Marietta College because of the faculty, the reputation of the program, and because I wanted to be close to home. I’m very grateful to Marietta College for extending the opportunity to pursue my dream and to offer the tools that will allow me to become a sound clinician. As a PA, I hope to help serve low-income or medically underserved communities and I’m eager to learn from the different specialties during my clinical rotations!

Casey Smith

Amanda P


Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia
M.S.: Public Health
West Virginia University


After completing my Bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology at West Virginia University, I decided that I wanted to work in an area that helped to improve the general health of the population. This realization led me to the decision to enter the Master of Public Health Program at WVU. While completing my coursework, I had the opportunity to work with many people within public health intervention settings and quickly realized that my skill set and passion would be best suited for a clinical setting. After research and shadowing opportunities with various healthcare providers, I decided that a career as a physician assistant was the perfect option for me. I hope to work in family medicine within a rural community following graduation.

Nicole Smolleck

Melissa P


Hometown: West Fargo, ND
B.S.: Interdisciplinary Studies/Health Science; BA in Psychology
University of North Dakota


From the time I was young, I often heard that I should be a doctor. Like many of the people I grew up with, it became my goal to practice medicine. As I progressed through my undergraduate career, however, I started to feel like being a doctor just wasn’t for me. At first I was devastated—I loved medicine and health science; it was the field that would allow me to combine my passion for science and learning with my compassion and desire to serve people. Distraught, I sought guidance from my academic counselor who suggested I look into a career as a physician assistant instead. The more research I did the more excited I became. Once I started interviewing and shadowing practicing PA’s, I knew I had found my path. As I finished working on my degrees at the University of North Dakota, I continued to shadow with a primary care PA and worked for a short time at a psychiatric hospital. These experiences fueled my desire to become a PA myself. Based on personal experiences and the research I have done in the practice of healthcare, I would ultimately like to practice in primary care. Although I feel drawn to primary care, I am excited to experience many different fields during clinical rotations. I am honored to be a member of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Class of 2016 and I am thrilled to see where this program will take me!

Amanda Swickard

Edwin R


Hometown: Chicago IL
B.S.: Biology/Chemistry
Elmhurst College


Ever since I can remember, I had a fascination with the human body. I was curious as to why my stomach would hurt, nose would bleed, develop a cold, etc. As I grew older, the questions became tougher to answer, but I knew they would come from within the medical field. I was introduced to the Physician Assistant profession my senior year of high school and the PA's I shadowed taught me that they were far from being just an assistant. Being a PA will allow me to work logically and independently in order to successfully establish and carry out an effective treatment plan for a patient. I am very grateful for my family, previous employers, professors, co-workers, and people I shadowed because they all played role in helping me become a PA student. I have many blessings in my life and being part of the Marietta College PA program is one of them. I look forward to learning so many things that will help me become an efficient PA.

Arica Taylor

Chelsea R


Hometown: Vienna, WV
B.S.: Medical Technology
Marshall University


I have always had an interest in the medical field, but was unaware of the physician assistant profession until completing my Bachelors degree from Marshall University. Upon returning home, I had been seeking a new health care provider, at which time I shared multiple conversations with the PA within the physician’s office. After questioning and discussing her role as a medical professional, I was very interested in the idea of becoming a mid-level provider. I then continued to research the profession, worked in my field as a Medical Technologist for two years, and shadowed PA’s in a few different specialties. At that point, I felt I had gained ample experience to begin my journey as a physician assistant. I cannot wait to help people change their lives by providing them with the tools they need to better their health and well-being! Currently, I am interested in Emergency Medicine and Primary Care, but am looking forward to experiencing all rotations before making a decision. I am so thrilled and honored to be a part of the Marietta College Physician Assistant Class of 2016!

Cora Wayman

Rosmary S


Hometown: Vonore, TN
B.S.: Biochemistry/Cellular and Molecular Biology
University of Tennessee


I have always known my interests were grounded in the sciences and human body. Helping others is a privilege I truly enjoy. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Tennessee. During my time there, I worked as an undergraduate researcher on antibiotic resistance which further cemented my interests in the practice of medicine. After graduation in 2011, I moved to Ohio and received my EMT certification. Later, I worked as a HUC and Patient Care Technician on the critical care units at Marietta Memorial Hospital. It was through these experiences I was introduced to the Marietta College PA Program, and I was very impressed with all of the things the program had to offer. I feel blessed to be a part of this program and will be looking forward to the clinical rotations and my career as a physician assistant.

Grant  Wilson

Kara T


Hometown: Peterstown, WV
B.S.: Psychology
Bluefield State College


I have always been interested in the field of medicine, but it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I knew I wanted to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant. My mother and my sister are both practicing PAs, and observing their hard work and satisfaction in caring for patients greatly influenced my decision. While in undergrad, I volunteered at a local nursing home during my summer breaks. I enjoyed helping residents with ADLs, and this patient interaction made me realize that my true passion was helping others. I briefly worked as a pharmacy technician which helped me to understand the importance of medications, their uses, and interactions with other drugs. I also completed an EMT course which increased my hands-on experience, as well as my practical medical knowledge. Lastly, I shadowed several PAs and Physicians in internal medicine, family medicine, ER, and dermatology which confirmed my desire to become a PA. I look forward to gaining even more knowledge that will help me in my career as a PA, and I am grateful to be a part of the PA Program at Marietta College.

Elishah S. Wilthew

Eric T


Hometown: Minster, OH
B.S.: Exercise Science
University of Toledo


My interest in health and the human body has allowed me to pursue a career in the medical field. I have many relatives practicing in different areas in the medical field. After talking to them about their careers, especially my brother-in-law, I decided to pursue the physician assistant path. After shadowing physician assistants at the University of Toledo Medical Center, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the next 40 years of my life and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity Marietta College’s Physician Assistant Program has given me and I am really looking for to the next two years with my classmates!

Derek Wynn

Coulton W


Hometown: Zanesville, OH
B.S.: Biology
Muskingum University


I graduated from Muskingum University with a degree in Biology and a Psychology minor. As an athlete, I have been interested in health and the human body for quite some time. When I entered college, however, I was not entirely sure of the career path I wanted to pursue. I researched a few different career paths in the field of healthcare, but did not find out about the physician assistant profession until I was near graduation. Once I graduated I took a job serving with AmeriCorps, and I was placed in my high school to help students with college access, particularly underserved students. During this time, I also shadowed several physicians and physician assistants and I was very intrigued by the PA’s role in healthcare. I really enjoyed my work helping people with AmeriCorps, and still wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. After my experiences observing, the PA profession seemed to me to be the perfect combination of the two. I am excited for the knowledge and experiences I will gain through the PA program at Marietta College and to be able to give back to my community as a physician assistant.