The Franklin College Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program hosted its White Coat Ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The college’s cohort of 22 PA students from the class of 2024 received their white coats and recited a medical oath before family and friends inside Custer Theatre in Old Main on the Franklin College campus.
Jasmina Cheeseman, PA-C, MLS, program director and assistant professor of physician assistant studies, provided the welcome and opening remarks for the ceremony. Franklin College Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean Kristin Flora, Ph.D., and Student Class President Amber Dumstorf, PA-S, also addressed the students and their guests.
The ceremony is the halfway mark of the 25-month, full-time program. Gregory Strock, M.D., program medical director and adjunct assistant professor of physician assistant studies, also addressed the guests, explaining the symbolism of the ceremony as a rite of passage welcoming students into healthcare practice by providing a white coat signifying professionalism and humanistic patient care. At Franklin College, it marks the transition from the didactic year to the clinical year and the beginning of clinical rotations.
During the ceremony, the students and faculty honored Karen L. Summe, M.D., FACS, with the Preceptor of the Year award. Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies Courtney Henderson, PMP, presented the award to Summe for her dedication and commitment of excellence in the clinical education of PA students as both a mentor and an instructor over the last two years.
Summe is a general surgeon at Decatur County Memorial Hospital, specializing in abdominal surgeries. She received her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine New Orleans and completed her residency at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She has completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery, offering a faster recovery for her patients. Franklin College extended its appreciation to both Summe and Decatur County Memorial Hospital as valued educational and clinical partners in the college’s Physician Assistant Studies Program.
The ceremony is the fourth for Franklin College. The program’s fifth cohort of PA students will begin their studies in January 2023.
Students receiving their white coats include:
Lauren Ball of Valparaiso. She completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue University.
Megana Bammidi of Carmel. She completed her undergraduate degree at Purdue University.
Nathanael Boone of Greenwood. He completed his undergraduate degree at Taylor University.
Hayley Borgman of Milan. She completed her undergraduate degree at IUPUI.
Madison Clayborn of Indianapolis (46236). She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University.
Amber Dumstorf of Jeffersonville. She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University Southeast.
Lauren Fowler of Fishers. She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University.
Eric Fults of Brazil. He completed his undergraduate degree at Ball State University.
Alyssa Gerr of Circle Pines, Minn. She completed her undergraduate degree at St. Catherine University in Minnesota.
Cierra Griggs-Bradley of Merrillville. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Indianapolis.
Chelsea Harty of Indianapolis (46239). She completed her undergraduate degree at IUPUI.
Michele Jennings of Beech Grove. She completed her undergraduate degree at DePauw University.
Sydney Logsdon of Franklin. She completed her undergraduate degree at Franklin College.
Jordan Marsman of Ravenna, Mich. She completed her undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame.
Cassandra McDonald of Columbus. She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus (IUPUC).
Alexis Opel of Morton, Ill. She completed her undergraduate degree at Monmouth College in Illinois.
Kelly Orze of Crown Point. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ball State University.
Madissen Pearson of Columbus. She completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University.
Dalton Rowlett of Brookville. He completed his undergraduate degree at IUPUI.
Andrea Schaefer of Pierz, Minn. She completed her undergraduate degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Madison Short of Avon. She completed her undergraduate degree at Franklin College.
Robert Vomacka of Gregory, S.D. He completed his undergraduate degree at Northern State University in South Dakota.
About the Franklin College Physician Assistant Program:
Franklin College received Accreditation-Provisional for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) program in the fall of 2018 and enrolled its first cohort in January 2019. The college’s MSPAS program is a 25-month course of study. Graduates are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and become licensed as a physician assistant in any state.
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is made possible by a nearly $1 million grant awarded to the college in 2014 from the Lilly Endowment, as part of its Initiative to Promote Opportunities Through Educational Collaborations. It is the second master’s program launched by the college.
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Franklin College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Franklin College.
Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-franklin-college/.