Physician Assistant Studies Faculty and Staff

Program Director, Associate Professor

Program Director

Professor, Medical Director

Dr. Bentz has been involved with the School of Physician Assistant Studies at Pacific University from the very beginning in the mid 1990’s and currently serves as its Medical Director. He served as chair of the internal medicine section at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and continues to serve as a supervisor and medical reviewer for Advance Practice Providers at Legacy Go-Heath Urgent Care in the Portland Metropolitan Area. He currently has a private practice in internal medicine at the Fanno Creek Clinic. 

Director of Academic Education, Associate Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-7308

Prof. McLellan is the Director of Academic Education and Didactic Faculty for the School of PA Studies.  She has served as principal didactic faculty at two other PA programs before joining the Pacific University School of PA Studies in 2017. Prof. McLellan has been a PA since graduating from the Midwestern University – Arizona PA Program in 2006. She practiced several years in obstetrics/gynecology in various practice settings including an urban underserved clinic as the sole on-site provider. She also practiced in breast surgical oncology, and she now practices at a local free clinic providing gynecologic care.  Her areas of research interest include assessment and professional development. Prof. McLellan is passionate about giving back to the PA profession; she has spent many years serving on national PA education committees as well as state level committees. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and animals. Pets bring her great joy, and she loves to meet and spend time with other's pets as much as possible.

Photo of Austyn Allie
Coordinator of Didactic Education, Interim Coordinator of Clinical Education
503-352-3628

Austyn is currently the Coordinator of both Didactic and Clinical Education, and serves on Pacific’s Staff Senate and as Chair for the Center for Gender Equity Advisory Board. Austyn graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pacific University in 2009, and joined the School of PA Studies in 2017. Prior to joining the School she worked as a standardized patient for PA students. She has extensive experience in customer service, including retail management and international adoptions. Her areas of interest include equity, diversity, and inclusion in education, grant writing, and LGBTQIA+ affirming healthcare. Austyn enjoys hanging out with her cats and spouse, reading, playing board games, and attempting to make crafts. 

Ms. Melanie Belles
Clinical Recruiter
503-352-2684

Melanie joined Pacific University in 2017 and has been with the PA program since 2021. She is responsible for recruitment and retention of preceptors for Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (PA Student Clinical Rotations) and also provides instructional and marketing support for the program. She graduated from the University of Oregon with bachelor’s degrees in history and romance languages, and has a master’s degree in adult education from Indiana University. She has over 15 years of experience working in adult and higher education, including nearly a decade spent teaching and building skills in curriculum and lesson materials design in Tokyo, Japan. Her professional interests include User Experience design (UX), instructional design and adult learning theory. Outside of work, she also enjoys learning about new things (current topics: macramé, history of medicine, and growing houseplants), volunteering for her local community library, watching murder mysteries, and spending time with her dogs.

Ms. Kerryann Bouska
Grant Program Coordinator

Kerryann joined the Pacific University Physician Assistant Studies program in 2021 and is now part of the College of Health Professions Administration Team. She provides operational and administrative oversight of CHP grants. She has 24 years of government service in both frontier rural/urban counties and the Oregon Health Authority. Her expertise is writing, implementing and directing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) grants. Her passion is health promotion and prevention with a focus on alcohol and drug use, suicide and coalition building. Kerryann graduated from University of Oregon with a BA in School and Public Health.

Prof. Kevin Brooks
Assistant Professor | Clinical Faculty
503-352-7315

Professor Brooks joined the clinical faculty in the School of PA Studies in 2021. In his current role, Professor Brooks oversees the clinical phase curriculum and provides support to students, preceptors, and clinical sites throughout the clinical year. Professor Brooks has over 10 years of experience as a practicing PA in Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care, and he continues to practice clinically. Prior to becoming a Physician Assistant, Professor Brooks had careers in Child Development, Mental Health, and Research Psychology. His areas of interest include Development Through the Lifespan, Emotional Determinants of Health, and Mindfulness. In his free time, Professor Brooks enjoys travel, gardening, making music, and most outdoor activities.

Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-7318

I grew up in England and have practiced as a pharmacist in both the USA and UK. Prior to my pharmacy career I worked in business management for an International finance company based in the UK. After graduating pharmacy school and residency training I worked as a Critical Care/Trauma Pharmacist in Tennessee and Utah before landing in Oregon.

I have a rescued Great Dane named Cooper (because I drive a Mini-Cooper and he loves to ride around in it!). He loves to have medical literature read to him and is known to post pharmacy questions to help with student learning.

Prof. Shawna Cozens
Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-7309

Professor Cozens is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physician Assistant Studies. She joined Pacific University in 2021 and teaches in cardiology, clinical skills, reproductive medicine, nephrology, and neurology. Professor Cozens has been a family practice PA since 2014, and maintains a part time clinical practice. Within the broad scope of family medicine she especially enjoys preventative medicine, infectious disease, and gender affirming care. Outside of work, Professor Cozens spends most of her free time running, gardening, traveling, fixing up her old house, and spending time with the people she loves.

Co-Faculty, Associate Professor

Professor Jackson joined Pacific University's PA Program in 2013 as the program's first co-faculty.  She works at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center serving an underserved population and is a primary preceptor.  Professor Jackson has a strong interest in interdisciplinary medical education and works with other PA co-faculty and Pharmacy faculty to offer a 12-week interdisciplinary curriculum in primary care that takes place during the clinical year.  She also lectures in the didactic and clinical years, with most of her focus on a series of lectures in the Rural Health Care Track. Originally from Massachusetts, she is inspired by her two young daughters and loves to play soccer, go cross country skiing, sailing and hiking. 

Prof. Jess Kee, PA-C
Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-7314

Prof Kee currently leads the Pathophysiology and Neurology modules during the didactic phase of the PA program. Her clinical experience is in Urologic Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Stanford Health Care. Her areas of clinical interest include urothelial carcinoma and cystoscopic procedures. She has enjoyed the change of pace moving from clinical practice to academics, and the opportunity to regularly find a flow state in her faculty role at Pacific University. Outside of her professional pursuits, Prof Kee is generally chasing a busy toddler. In her former life, she enjoyed yoga, running, horseback riding and traveling with her husband.

Krystal Kneeland
Manager of Administrative Services
503-352-7298

Krystal is the Manager of Administrative Services and has served in this role since 2012. She provides operational and administrative management for the program including budget manager responsibilities. She is the Chair of the Admissions Committee and is heavily involved in all aspects of the admissions process. She also plans and executes all major events for the School including Orientation, White Coat, and Graduation. She is a certified DISC behavioral consultant, a BLS instructor, and is interested in grant writing. Her previous experience includes working as a paralegal and as an emergency room coordinator for a level 1 trauma center.  Krystal graduated from Oregon State University, magna cum laude in 2005 with two Bachelor of Arts degrees: Political Science and Sociology. She enjoys traveling, bowling, hosting dinner parties and spending time with her labradoodle and niece and nephew.

Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty

Kim brings her love of family medicine to Pacific University after practicing 12 years in rural Oregon. She leads the Rural Health Care Track(RHCT) to explore the challenges and rewards of rural and underserved medicine. She has found growing needs for behavioral medicine and geriatric medicine in rural and underserved populations. She is assisting with building more opportunities for Physician Assistants in behavioral medicine.

Co-Faculty, Assistant Professor

Professor McGown works at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center which is a federally qualified health center. This opportunity allows him to reach a diverse population of patients with barriers to care and allows him to work at a high scope of practice. He began precepting for Pacific students in 2014 and became a faculty member in 2019.

Originally from Massachusetts, he has spent time in Hawaii and North Carolina before coming to Oregon to attend Pacific’s PA program. Professor McGown enjoys spending time with family and friends, surfing, camping, hiking and playing soccer.

Co-Faculty, Assistant Professor

Co-Faculty member at Santiam Hospital, Stayton, OR

Prof. Ora Olsommer
Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-2651

Professor Olsommer is the Director of Skills and Simulation for the School of Physician Assistant Studies and leads the Physical Exam Skills, EKG, Simulation, Ultrasound, Nephrology, and emergency Medicine curricula. She also lectures broadly in other modules, including Pulmonology, Musculoskeletal, Gerontology, GU/Reproductive Health, and Surgery/Hospital Care. She has 15 years of experience as an Emergency Medicine PA, practicing in community hospitals, critical access hospitals and trauma centers and holds an Emergency Medicine CAQ. Prior to becoming a PA, she was an Occupational Therapist for over 15 years, specializing in adult neuro-rehabilitation. Professor Olsommer practices as an emergency medicine PA at a Level I trauma center in Portland. Her areas of interest are emergency medicine, curriculum development focusing on vulnerable populations and DEI in PA practice and education, POCUS, EKG and case-based learning. Outside of the classroom, Professor Olsommer enjoys gardening, travel, biking, her cats, and true crime documentaries. She is a volunteer medical provider at the Borland Free Clinic and volunteers for the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants.

Jeremy Palmer head shot
Simulation and Standardized Patient Coordinator
503-352-2652

Jeremy joined Pacific University in 2015. As the Simulation and Standardized Patient Coordinator, Jeremy supports the development and operation of life-like scenarios which provide a safe environment for PA students to practice their clinical and diagnostic reasoning skills. Jeremy graduated from Portland State in 2016 with a bachelor of science degree, and from Pacific University in 2020 with a master's in healthcare administration.

His interest areas are simulation and clinical skills practice, and his responsibilities include equipment and supply management, BLS training, and Standardized Patient correspondence.

Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty

Prof. Pestka has worked for Pacific University’s School of PA studies since 2016. She is currently Didactic Faculty in the School of PA Studies, and previously held positions as Clinical Faculty and Academic Coordinator. She teaches in Derm/EENT, GI, Genitourinary/Sexual Health, and the Graduate Project. Prof. Pestka has over 10 years of experience as a PA across different areas in clinical medicine including travel medicine, urgent care, occupational health and internal medicine. Her areas of research include student professionalism, Global Health, justice, diversity, equity and inclusion in PA Education and Practice. Professionally, Prof. Pestka is passionate about education, and she has worked with the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants for several years on their Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee, both as a Co-Chair and member of the committee. In her free time, she can often be found hanging out with her family and two doodle-dogs, as well as traveling both domestically and internationally.

Professor | Didactic Faculty
503-352-7255

Sheryl Sanders is an anatomist who teaches for the Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Programs.  She also manages the Human Anatomy Lab.

Diane Van Dyke
Assistant Director of Clinical Education
503-352-7313

Diane joined the PA program in 2006. Diane negotiates and maintains affiliation agreements with clinical rotation sites and develops the rotation schedule for the entire clinical year. Alongside the Clinical Faculty, she analyzes student patient encounters to ensure that the school continues to provide a viable rotation experience at each clinical site.

Assistant Professor | Didactic Faculty

Dr. Vo is a physician practicing in Arizona.  He is double board-certified by both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Internal Medicine.   He has been practicing medicine for 20+ years in these specialties.  He currently practices medicine with Tribal and Native American Health, serving as the Interim Medical Director of the Primary Care Department at Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Vo has been an advocate of the PA profession since 2003.  He was recognized for his services with AT Still University in 2010 and named Preceptor of the year at Midwestern University in 2011.  He has served on the NCCPA exam writing and review committees.  Dr. Vo currently works as Assistant Professor at Pacific University, providing interactive lectures during the didactic year and overseeing students during their clinical year at his practicing facility. 

Periodically you may find Dr. Vo volunteering at his children’s public schools or promoting minorities and underserved populations into the healthcare field.  Rarely, you may see a glimpse of him on the tennis court or hiking with his family at the various state parks.