August Commencement Brings Graduates One Step Closer to Health Professions Career



A welcome break from scorching temperatures earlier in the week provided ideal conditions as Pacific University held commencement exercises for six schools of its College of Health Professions on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Forest Grove Campus.

Approximately 280 degree candidates from the schools of AudiologyDental Hygiene StudiesGraduate PsychologyHealthcare Administration and LeadershipOccupational Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies realized the culmination of hard work and persistence when they received their diplomas in front of family and friends.

Saturday was the close of one chapter and the beginning of another for the graduates, many of whom will soon embark on careers as audiologists, dental hygienists, clinical psychologists, counselors, occupational therapists, healthcare administrators and physician assistants.

Pacific University President Lesley Hallick praised the graduates and emphasized the importance their accomplishments can potentially have on changing others' lives.

"Your years of hard work have led you to this point, and you will now join your chosen field as a peer," Hallick said. "As graduates of our health professions programs, you now have the opportunity and responsibility to go out to the world you have chosen and make a difference. I know that you will carry forward the spirit and mission of Pacific as you do so."

Prior to the awarding of degrees, Pacific honored three recently retired School of Graduate Psychology faculty members who the university bestowed emeritus status to Dr. Christiane Brems (dean), Dr. Catherine Moonshine (associate professor) and Dr. James Lane (professor).

Additionally, the university bestowed a doctoral degree posthumously to occupational therapy student Yelena Shtelen, who passed away in February. College of Health Professions Executive Dean and Vice Provost Ann Barr-Gillespie and School of Occupational Therapy Director Greg Wintz joined Hallick to present a diploma and hood to Shtelen's mother.


School of Dental Hygiene Studies

  • American Association of Public Health Dentistry Achievement in Community Dentistry & Dental Public Health - Matthew Gonzales
  • Brasseler USA Restorative Dentistry Award - Kayla Kendrick
  • Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals STAR Award - Rachel Robelli
  • Director’s Award - Yvette Ly
  • Hu-Friedy Golden Scaler Award - Crista Zuniga
  • Dr. Gaither Johnson Preventive Oral Health Care Award - Hannah Hunker
  • Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association Future Leader Award - Lizanne Peterson
  • Sigma Phi Alpha National Honor Society Membership Award - Rachel Robelli, Elizabeth Schuberg, Megan Young.
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Richard Harman Jr.

School of Graduate Psychology

Master of Arts or Science in Applied Psychological Science program

  • Local Clinical Scientist Award: Clinical Specialization -  Evan Monse
  • Local Clinical Scientist Award: Research Specialization - Nhan-Ai Nguyen
  • Community Service Award - Jane’t Schab
  • Director’s Award - Alicia Howard
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Kayleigh Rogalski

Doctor of Psychology program

  • Clinical Excellence Award - Laine Atcheson, Molly Persky.
  • Community Service Award - Carl Gauthier
  • Research Excellence Award - Megan Wise
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Allison Foerschner

Doctor of Philosophy program

  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Lauren Justice

School of Healthcare Administration & Leadership

Bachelor of Health Science program

  • Contribution to the Program - Heba Al-Baiaty
  • Professional Development - Ellie Bessarab, Anna Garza, Jonathan Zaleski.
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Teresita Luke

Master of Healthcare Administration program

  • Contribution to the Program - Stephen Monette
  • Professional Development - Aaron Jung
  • Outstanding Grade Point Average - Leslie Nguyen
  • Capstone Achievement - Annekathrin Classen, Stephen Monette, Leslie Nguyen
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Megan Winans

School Of Occupational Therapy

  • Director’s Award - Tiffany Tu
  • Valedictorian - Mackenzie Day
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduates - Mackenzie Day, Katie Smith.

School of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Academic Excellence Award - Whitney Regan
  • Clinical Excellence Award - Danielle DuBois, Adam Stapleton
  • Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Wiley McCreedy

The Pacific University College of Health Professions offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in a wide range of health professions that prepare students for careers in healthcare practice and health-related research. The college emphasizes an interprofessional model of learning in which students work together across programs to better understand the complexities of the changing healthcare system, and learn to collaborate in the best interest of the individuals and the communities they will serve.

Monday, Aug. 13, 2018