UND Department of Physician Assistant Studies to present white coats to Class of 2022 on Feb. 5

Thirty-three University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) students begin the clinical portion of their studies next week in an effort to earn their Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree.

The Physician Assistant Class of 2022 will receive their white coats on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in the Charles H. Fee, M.D., Auditorium at the SMHS. This is the second group to benefit from the School’s Adopt-a-PA-Program. Based on the School’s Adopt-a-Med-Student Program, where donors to the SMHS provide engraved stethoscopes for first-year medical students, the School launched an Adopt-a-PA-Student Program in 2020. In this case, nearly 20 generous donors to the School provided professional white coats for second-year Physician Assistant Studies students who are about to begin their clinical experiences.

“The presentation of the white coat is symbolic of the new profession the students are entering,” said Department of Physician Assistant Studies Chair Jeanie McHugo, Ph.D., PA-C. “The coats will be worn by students through the clinical phase of their training and denote their involvement with the PA program at UND.”

Students have already completed their first two semesters of basic science instruction, and now transition into the clinical aspect of their curriculum in the didactic setting before beginning their primary care clinical experiences under the supervision of physician and PA preceptors. Over the next 18 months, they will return to UND for several weeks at different junctures for continued education and training.

Eighty-one percent of the Class of 2022 is from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Students range in age from 22 to 38 years, with an average age of 29. The class includes thirteen males and twenty females.

UND Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2022 (photographs available upon request):

  • Dhana Acharya, Fargo, N.D.
  • Jenae Arnold, Jamestown, N.D.
  • Heather Bates, Elbow Lake, Minn.
  • Anthony Beaty, Rapid City, S.D.
  • Rachel Bruening, Humboldt, S.D.
  • Hugh Cline, Richmond, Va.
  • Travis Cook, Pflugerville, Texas
  • Sean Core, Hankinson, N.D.
  • Angie Emerson, North Pole, Alaska
  • Kylie Engebretson, Velva, N.D.
  • Jessica Gifford, Virginia, Minn.
  • Paul Gillispie, Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Ben Graf, Fergus Falls, Minn.
  • Brandon Harthan, Lubbock, Texas
  • McKenzie Kemmet, Fargo, N.D.
  • Karen Kenny, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Kelsey Krueger, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Stephen Leard, Brandon, Minn.
  • Bennett Leitch, Willmar, Minn.
  • Rachel Levy, Sturgis, S.D.
  • David Majewski, Rochester, Minn.
  • Katie Matzke, Neche, N.D.
  • Chase McGlinchey, Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • Miranda Nygaard, Watertown, S.D.
  • Kylie Pastian, Hillsboro, N.D.
  • Lizzie Perkins, Fargo, N.D.
  • Shacara Pratt, Mandan, N.D.
  • John Seifert, Fargo, N.D.
  • Kelsie Silvernagel, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Jessica Sonn, Spearfish, S.D.
  • Rachel Sperl, Elktown, S.D.
  • Krista Thielges, Enderlin, N.D.
  • Danielle Tretbar, Park Rapids, Minn.