Orange City, Iowa — The first group of students in Northwestern College’s physician assistant studies program will graduate next month, and it’s being hailed as a milestone for the institution.

Master’s degrees will be awarded to 24 students during a 7 p.m. ceremony in Christ Chapel on August 11th.

Dr. D. Nathan Phinney, vice president for academic affairs at Northwestern says that this is a significant moment in Northwestern’s history. He says these graduates have been leaders in this new graduate program, and they have “made us proud—setting a standard of excellence for the students who will follow them. We’re confident they will represent Northwestern well as they help meet our nation’s urgent need for health care workers.”

Northwestern’s 2022 physician assistant graduates hail from eight states ranging from Washington to Wisconsin and Texas to Minnesota. During their commencement, they’ll hear a student reflection from Hannah Myers, their class president, and listen to an address given by Marty Guthmiller, the CEO of Orange City Area Health System.

Dr. Phinney and Dr. Alan Laird, medical director for the physician assistant studies program, will confer degrees and present diplomas. Hooding of the master’s degree recipients will be done by program director Jill Van Otterloo and Sandra Muyskens and Lori Anderson, professors of practice in physician assistant studies. Muyskens will also lead the graduates in reciting the Physician Assistant Professional Oath.

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