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News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Department of Physician Assistant Studies to present white coats to Class of 2024

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

To celebrate this milestone, members of the Physician Assistant Class of 2024 will receive their white coats on Friday, Jan. 20, 2022, in the Charles H. Fee, M.D. Auditorium at the SMHS. Steffani Johnston, MPAS, PA-C, an alumna from the School’s PA Class of 2020, will give the ceremony’s keynote address.

This is the fourth group to benefit from the School’s Adopt-a-PA-Program, where donors to the SMHS provide white coats for the future physician assistants students. In this case, more than 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 2024 is from North Dakota and Minnesota. Students range in age from 21 to 37 years, with an average age of 26. The class includes 26 females and six males.

UND Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2024:

  • Kayli Anderson, Missoula, Mont.
  • Steven Bateman, McVille, N.D.
  • Katja Berge, Hillsboro, N.D.
  • Bailee Blickensderfer, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Justis Caldwell, Fargo, N.D.
  • Maren Carlson, Mandan, N.D.
  • Zachary Carlson, Royalton, Minn.
  • Stephany Dimoulas, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Brianna Droessler-Aschliman, Missoula, Mont.
  • Shelby Gawarecki, Rochester, Minn.
  • Jessica Haugen Frenkel, Monte Vista, Colo.
  • Mackenzie Holland, Cloquet, Minn.
  • Matthew Kalonick, Menoken, N.D.
  • Rachel Kisse, Dodge, N.D.
  • Isaac Knutson, Ortonville, Minn.
  • Cayla Mahrer, Forman, N.D.
  • JoAnna McClelland, Clemson, S.C.
  • Madison Nitschke, Oakes, N.D.
  • Andrea Rieder, Dilworth, Minn.
  • Alexis Roth, Mott, N.D.
  • Chelsea Scheil, Faribault, Minn.
  • Tania Schnepf, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Kelsey Sederquest, Williston, N.D.
  • Rachel Skoglund, Forest Lake, Minn.
  • Valerie Snelling, Fullerton, N.D.
  • Lauren Staton, Grace City, N.D.
  • Allison Stoeffler, La Crescent, Minn.
  • Karina Van Slyke, Dillon, Mont.
  • Robert White, Dickinson, N.D.
  • Emily Yenter, Amherst Junction, Wis.
  • Molly Zak, Thompson, N.D.
  • Lacey Zeiszler, Jamestown, N.D.