Pacific University Health Professions Students Graduate

Pacific University College of Health Professions students of dental hygiene, healthcare administration, physician assistant studies and professional psychology celebrated graduation on Aug. 10 during the university's August Commencement exercises.

Sunny skies prevailed over the east lawn of Marsh Hall on the Forest Grove Campus, site of the Saturday morning summer ceremony in which 162 degree candidates marched to receive their diplomas.

"Let me extend my sincere congratulations to our students for what you have achieved," president Lesley Hallick told the graduates in front of several hundred supporters in attendance.

"A Pacific University degree is a very special achievement," she added. "What you have learned here will change the course of the rest of your life.  The important variable going forward is what you do with this recognition and the responsibility that it signifies."

Among the candidates were 26 from within the School of Professional Psychology pursuing a doctor of clinical psychology degree, and an additional 37 who worked toward a master of arts in counseling psychology. Fourteen other students marched for completion of a master's degree in clinical psychology.

"Be mindful of our feelings of accomplishment in this moment," counseling psychology graduate Laura Manley said from the podium. "Accept them as they are and carry them with you through what I have no doubt will be successful and fulfilling careers."

The School of Physician Assistant Studies presented 43 candidates for a master of science degree. Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. They perform complete physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, develop treatment plans, counsel patients and their families, perform minor procedures and assist during surgeries.

In addressing the audience on behalf of his cohort, Redmond resident Aaron Lee presented a top ten list of songs that symbolized the students' 27-month journey through the PA program. Among them were Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love," Queen's "Under Pressure," Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," Europe's "The Final Countdown," and "I Will Survive," by Gloria Gaynor.

The School of Healthcare Administration and Leadership presented 14 candidates for a master of healthcare administration degree. Brian Eichman of Roseburg gave the school's address on behalf of his cohort.

He thanked all of the graduates' family members for their support and sacrifices, including his wife and three children.

"We owe you a big 'thank you,'" he said, humorously adding that when he asked others what he should talk about, he was told that no one remembers graduation speeches, and that he need not be controversial nor a comedian. The crowd delighted in his candor.

The first group of graduates came from the School of Dental Health Science, which presented 28 candidates for a bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene.

Dental hygienists perform oral health assessments, prepare and interpret dental radiographs (x-rays), remove plaque, calculus, and stain from the teeth, apply preventive materials and teach and counsel patients on proper oral hygiene and health.

Ann Archer, a resident of Boise, Idaho, gave the student address.  She told her fellow graduates to know the power of their own voices, to not be afraid of not fitting in, be humble, never stop learning, care enough about themselves to exercise self care and to spark a "revolution."

"Find something you're passionate about, devote yourself to it," Archer said. "You can live in a box, hoping nothing bad ever happens, or you can set the box on fire and accept that things will happen. Our future is what you make of it. This is our time. Esta bien? (okay?)."

Student Awards

School of Dental Health Science

Director’s Award - Amber Benson
Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals STAR Award - Sierra Brandon
American Association of Public Health Dentistry Recognition Award for Achievement in Community Dentistry & Dental Public Health - Amanda Johnson
Hu-Friedy Golden Scaler Award - Aubrey Peters
Dr. Gaither Johnson Preventive Oral Health Care Award - Brianna Winter
Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association Future Leader Award - Ann Archer
Restorative Dentistry Award - Kari Hunt
Sigma Phi Alpha National Honor Society Membership Award - Ann Archer, Kristin Kintz, Megan Lindquist.

School of Healthcare Administration and Leadership

Capstone Achievement Award - Lynnae Doumani, Stephanie Gibson, Kammy Martindale, Roseanne Ramos Russell
Contribution to the MHA Program Award - Courtney Maksimowicz
Contribution to the Professional Community - Matthew Miller, Roseanne Ramos Russell.

School of Physician Assistant Studies

Academic Excellence - Jean Luansing
Clinical Excellence - Robin Tyner

School of Professional Psychology

Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology

Outstanding Practitioner-Scholar Award - Robert Cosby, Eleshia Ledridge
Community Service Award - Alyssa Moore
Director’s Award - Aaron Bergman

Doctor of Psychology

Outstanding Practitioner-Scholar Award - Nichole Sage
Community Service Award - Jarrett Takayama

Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013