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30 Graduate from AACC Physician Assistant Program

July 30, 2010

      Anne Arundel Community College on July 29 honored 30 students who graduated from its Physician Assistant (PA) certificate program with a recognition and awards ceremony.

      The faculty selected students for awards presented by Michelle Jiles Hill, M.S.P.A.S.,
P.A.-C., academic coordinator of the program. Richard Martin of Gaithersburg received the Dean’s Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average. The President’s Award went to Brian Burk of Lancaster, Pa., for demonstration of exceptional leadership qualities. The Faculty Award went to Donnell James of Baltimore, who was recognized as the student who best exemplified the code of ethics of the PA profession.

      The students selected Brenda Escobar of Annapolis to receive the Clinician’s Clinician Award for professional integrity and clinical excellence. They also gave the 2010 Clinical Preceptor of the Year award to Surinderpal Sodhi, M.D., internal medicine, Perry Point Veterans Administration Medical Center.

      Giving the keynote address was James F. Cawley, M.P.H., P.A.-C. He is professor and vice chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health, School of Public Health and health Services; director of the PA/MPH Program and professor in the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

      The Maryland graduates are (asterisk indicates student also earned a Master of Medical Science degree):

  • Brenda Escobar*, Jenna Grossman,* Jennifer Grover* and Sarah Hayden, all from Annapolis;
  • Nell Bodani* of Centreville;
  • Brian Burk of Lancaster, Pa.;
  • Catherine Campbell* of Cambridge;
  • Jessica Chong* of Glen Burnie;
  • Margaret Colleton* and Kimberly Rienecke, both of Severna Park;
  • Lisa Deppmeier of Ellicott City;
  • Cassandra Faust* of Lutherville;
  • Kimberly Fern* and Morgan Klein,* both of Arnold;
  • Joy Grantland,* Donnell James Jr.* and Thomas Molloy,* all of Baltimore;
  • Jackie Hartley-Kennedy* of Silver Spring;
  • David Hieber* and James Smrtic,* both of Pasadena;
  • Nchimunya Maambo* of Columbia;
  • Richard Martin of Gaithersburg;
  • Kelli O’Neal* of Frederick;
  • William Spencer III* of Rosedale
  • Kimberly Walker* of Lutherville
  • Maureen Gerard Warren of Bethesda
  • Ili Wathen* of La Plata

Graduates from out of state were David Mee* of Marion, Mass.; Clement Ncho* of Lithonia, Ga.; and Ashley Perkins* of Arlington, Va.

      The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant accredits the PA program, which offers enrollment by competitive selection to students with a bachelor’s degree or higher. Graduates provide medical care under the supervision of a licensed physician and are eligible to sit for the national certification exam. For program information, visit