MEET THE PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM CLASS OF 2022

Natalie A.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Class of 2022

Natalie grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended Waynesburg University in Pennsylvania where she played soccer and graduated summa cum laude in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduating, Natalie moved to Cleveland to work as a clinical research coordinator in the Neurological Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, working primarily on industry and NIH- funded stroke and neurosurgery clinical trials. During this time, she also attended Cleveland State University and graduated with a master’s degree in psychology in 2018. Natalie focused on neuropsychology and completed an internship at Neurology & Neuroscience Associates, Inc. in Akron. This internship, along with her experience at UH, allowed her to realize her passion to work on multidisciplinary teams and to have a direct impact on patient care, especially in emergency and critical care settings. She then decided to change paths and thus began her journey towards becoming a physician assistant. Outside of school, Natalie plays and coaches soccer and loves to cook and spend time outdoors with her fiancé and two dogs.


Marina B.
Mentor, Ohio
Class of 2022

Marina grew up in Mentor, Ohio. She graduated from the Ohio State University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While at OSU, she was involved in a neuroscience research lab, worked as a clinical research assistant at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in the Rehabilitation Hospital, and volunteered at the Bing Cancer Center. After OSU, she attended Cleveland State University and graduated in 2018 with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. While at CSU, Marina volunteered as a clinical research assistant at University Hospitals in the Department of Psychiatry where she worked on a number of projects and publications that focused on improving medication adherence. Also during this time, Marina completed an internship in the Physiatry and Psychology Departments at Akron Children’s Hospital where she worked closely with patients, their families, and the medical staff to provide comprehensive care. Since then, Marina has been a volunteer at Lake Health West Medical Center in both the emergency department and same day surgery. It was through her experience at Akron Children’s Hospital, shadowing at UH Geauga Medical Center, and volunteering at Lake West that Marina decided to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.


Karly B.
Brigham City, Utah 
Class of 2022

Karly grew up in Brigham City, Utah and graduated from Box Elder High School in 2010 as senior class president, cheer captain, and senior salutatorian. While earning her associate’s degree at Weber State University, Karly worked as a caregiver and a baker at a local bakery where she met her husband, Clay. In 2013, Karly and Clay married and moved to Los Angeles to continue their education. For the first three years in L.A., Karly simultaneously worked as an operations manager for an autobody shop and nannied until she returned to school in 2016. When Karly wasn’t studying, she served her community by starting a large non-profit fitness group, planned activities as president of her church’s youth program, and created workouts for classes at LA Fitness where she worked part-time as an instructor. In 2019, Karly earned a B.A. in Biology with honors from California State University-Northridge and soon after, relocated to Ohio. Karly has thoroughly enjoyed working as an ophthalmology technician at Retina Associates of Cleveland and looks forward to her training as a physician assistant at Lake Erie College!


Elaina B.
Mentor, Ohio
Class of 2022

Elaina was born and raised in Mentor, Ohio. After graduating from Mentor High School in 2014, she pursued her bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology at John Carroll University. While attending John Carroll, Elaina volunteered weekly as an EMT with the student-run campus emergency medical service. She was also an active member of both Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Pre-Health Society. After graduating magna cum laude from John Carroll in 2018, Elaina began working as a nursing assistant at a skilled nursing and memory care facility. She hopes to one day be able to incorporate what she has learned working at a nursing home into her practice as a PA-C. In her spare time, Elaina loves to read, shop, and spend time with her family, including her dog, Toby.


William B.
Hartville, Ohio
Class of 2022

William grew up in Hartville, Ohio with his two parents and sister. After graduating from Lake High School in 2016, he attended Kent State University. In December of 2019, he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in exercise physiology. During his time at Kent State, he was involved in helping with research through the exercise science department and eventually became a certified exercise physiologist through the ACSM organization. He also worked as a home health provider during his undergrad.


Carley B.
Somerset, Michigan
Class of 2022

Carley was born and raised in Somerset, Michigan where she graduated from Addison High School in 2014. After High School she continued her education at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. In 2018 she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Health Services. During her time at the University she was involved with the Pre-PA Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, and American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan. Additionally, she spent time volunteering at Bronson Methodist Hospital in the Emergency Department, and also obtained her phlebotomist license. Following graduation, she spent her time working as a clinical technician in the cardiac & surgical ICU at Henry Ford Allegiance Health, as well as obtaining shadowing hours with PAs in various specialties. All of the above factors have furthered her interest in becoming a PA.


Deenah B.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Class of 2022

Deenah is from Cleveland Heights, Ohio and attended Hathaway Brown School. She graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Philosophy from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, where she also served as President of the student body. Following her under graduate degree, Deenah worked in investment banking as a Credit Risk Analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City.  After completing the analyst program she received her MBA from Columbia University. Career paths she explored following her masters degree included distressed asset and real estate consulting, as well as private equity brokerage.  Deenah most recently worked as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department at MetroHealth Hospital and as a NASM certified coach for Orange Theory Fitness in Hudson. Additionally, she volunteers for Seeds of Literacy, a non profit organization in East Cleveland dedicated to improving literacy rates among adults in the area.


Caitlin C.
Cleveland, Ohio
Class of 2022 

Caitlin has always called Ohio home. She graduated with honors from West Geauga High School in 2014, where she was captain of the soccer team and a member of the National Honor Society. She continued her education at The Ohio State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2018 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience with a Systems and Behavioral specialization. Throughout college, she earned her certification in phlebotomy while also volunteering for the American Red Cross, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, and OSU’s Office of Disability Services as a student note taker. Caitlin was passionate about her involvement on campus with Future Buckeye Physician Assistants, OSU’s Love Your Melon Campus Crew and Buckeyethon. After graduation, she returned to Northeast Ohio to serve the Cleveland Clinic’s extended care clients in nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities as an outreach phlebotomist. In her free time, Caitlin loves coaching her hometown youth soccer team, playing with her cat, Rajah, volunteering as a NICU cuddler at Fairview Hospital, and spending her weekends cheering on the Browns and Buckeyes. 


Samantha D.
Concord, Ohio
Class of 2022

Samantha grew up in Concord, Ohio and graduated from Mentor High School in 2017. She graduated from Lake Erie College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As an undergraduate student she was involved in the Pre-Medical Professions club, student government, and Mortar Board. Samantha also obtained patient care experience working as an STNA at a local nursing home. She also shadowed multiple Physician Assistants in various hospital systems in the Cleveland area, which confirmed her desired career path as a PA. In her free time, Samantha can be found volunteering as a coach for a youth travel fastpitch team and spending time with her family.


Xhuliana F.
Albania
Class of 2022 

Xhuliana was born and raised in Albania and moved to the United States in June 2014. She attended Cleveland State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science and minor in Biology, in December 2019. During her time at Cleveland State, Xhuliana was an undergraduate researcher in biomedical lab, a tutor and supplemental instructor leader for biology and chemistry. She volunteered at the respiratory floor at Cleveland Clinic where she was first introduced to the PA profession. Xhuliana shadowed PAs in various specialties and worked as a Certified Nurse’s Aide which helped solidify her interest and love for this profession.


Ashley F.
Cortland, Ohio
Class of 2022

Ashley was born and raised in Cortland, Ohio where she graduated as valedictorian with honors from Lakeview High School in 2016. After graduating, she attended Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. She graduated summa cum laude in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology with a minor in chemistry.During her time at LEC, she participated in the Mortar Board National Honor Society, the Tiberius Order of college ambassadors, the Pre-Med club, and was a tutor at the academic learning center for biology and chemistry. During her time at Lake Erie College, she worked as a STNA at a local nursing home working closely on an Alzheimer’s and Dementia unit. When Ashley isn’t studying, she enjoys being outside, hanging with friends, and enjoying life.


Andreea G.
Parma Heights, Ohio
Class of 2022

Andreea was born in the Transylvanian region of Romania. The Visa Lottery system allowed Andreea and her family to move to the United States when she was eight years old. Andreea has lived in Parma Heights for the last 14 years with her parents and younger sister. She graduated from Valley Forge High School in 2016 and went on to get her bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2019. At Cleveland State, Andreea majored in Health Science and minored in Biology. While completing her undergraduate degree, Andreea was afforded the opportunity to travel to Honduras on a medical brigade with other pre-PA students through Global Medical Brigades. Before coming to Lake Erie College for the PA program, Andreea worked as a pharmacy technician for three years and as a caregiver for one. Andreea has also spent time volunteering at MetroHealth Hospital and shadowing PA’s in Neurology, Rheumatology, and the Emergency Department at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.


Sarah J.
Chillicothe, Ohio
Class of 2022

Sarah is a 24-year-old female who grew up in a small, Appalachian town, named Chillicothe, Ohio. She had the pleasure of moving to Columbus, Ohio to pursue a degree from The Ohio State University in Health Promotion, Nutrition, and Exercise Science. After graduating, she worked as a Patient Service Assistant at Riverside Methodist Hospital in the Emergency Department. She was a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House where she worked with underserved families while their children were being cared for. A few months down the road, she started working one on one with a Physician Assistant as a medical assistant in a preventative care practice, called Grandview Primary Care. They focused on treating patients holistically by using exercise and nutrition as a guide for health and wellness. She values her preventative care background and empathetic abilities and believes that this will guide her through her career as a PA. Sarah loves spending time outdoors, lifting weights, cooking, everything Ohio State, her dog, Cudi, and her cat, Braxton. She spends most of her time with her family and her boyfriend Clay. She is so excited to start her journey as a PA student and to call Lake Erie College her home. 


Sarah K.
Kirtland, Ohio
Class of 2022

Sarah grew up in Kirtland, Ohio, where she graduated from Kirtland High School in 2016. She went on to graduate from John Carroll University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. At JCU, Sarah served as the Financial Officer of the Pre-Physician Assistant Club, was a member of the Pre-Health Society, and served as the Academics and Scholarship Chairwoman for Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Throughout her undergraduate career, Sarah gained valuable healthcare experience by volunteering and shadowing several Physician Assistants in various specialties. In addition, she worked a dual-role as both a Patient Care Nurse Assistant and a Health Unit Coordinator in Hillcrest Hospital’s Emergency Department. One of Sarah’s proudest experiences was being able to serve on JCU’s Medical Immersion where she helped implement medical brigades and provide patient care to underserved villages in Honduras. These opportunities to connect with patients and fellow caregivers strengthened her passion for serving others through healthcare and motivated her desire to become a PA.


Zachary L.
Ashtabula, Ohio
Class of 2022

Zachary was raised in Ashtabula, Ohio with his older brothers and parents Lynn and James Villella. He graduated from Edgewood high school in 2016 and went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University in 2020. Zachary graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in biology with a concentration in physician assistant studies and a minor in psychology. Zachary was a board member of the Highland Ambassadors and a member of the Tri-Beta honors society during his time at Edinboro university. Zachary volunteered both on and off campus as a university tour guide alongside his fellow ambassadors. During his time in school Zachary worked as a residential assistant during the semester and as a certified nursing assistant at Rolling Fields Nursing home during the summer. Zachary also acquired a lot of shadowing hours alongside both physicians and physicians assistants in multiple fields of medicine.  Zachary aspires to work in either internal medicine or Family Practice.


Bich Tram N.
Ohio
Class of 2022 

Bich Tram was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam until moving to the United States with her family in the first grade. After graduating from Brooklyn High School in 2015, she went on to study biology with a chemistry minor at the University of Toledo. During that time, Tram served as President of the Vietnamese Student Association and volunteered through numerous organizations including Alpha Phi Omega, International Samaritan, and Bridge Club. She also worked at the Cleveland Clinic as a visiting researcher for two years and was able to obtain one publication to finalize her research work. As a medical scribe for a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, and a doctor at the Toledo Clinic, Tram concluded that she loved a PA’s flexibility in specialties and their abundance of patient-provider interactions. In her free time, Tram loves to cook, travel, and spend time with her husband, friends, and family. 

Hannah P.
Millersburg, Ohio
Class of 2022

Hannah was born and raised in Millersburg, Ohio, where she graduated from West Holmes High School in 2016. She was in the top 10% of her class, was a member of the National Honor Society, student council, the HPAC club, and attended college credit plus classes. After graduation, Hannah attended Lake Erie College where she obtained her bachelor of science in biology with both math and chemistry minors. She worked in the on-campus bookstore and as the Lake Erie College Physician Assistant student worker for two years. She also dedicated two years to working as a STNA at a nursing home in her hometown. She was involved on campus, including being an ambassador of the Tiberius Order, treasurer of the Pre-Med Club, treasurer of Mortar Board Honor Society, was in the Honors Program, and in her senior year was on the dance team. In her free time, Hannah enjoys dancing, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.

Rajan R.
Macedonia, Ohio
Class of 2022

Rajan grew up in Macedonia, Ohio. Rajan graduated from Nordonia High School in 2011 and received his Associate of Health Science from Cuyahoga Community College and a Bachelor’s of Health Science from Cleveland State University. His hobbies include playing basketball and football, and exploring museums. While obtaining his undergraduate degree, Rajan volunteered with the local community and worked at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in the emergency room as a medical scribe. He furthered his knowledge of patient care by also becoming a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Working in these various of positions allowed Rajan to experience the direct impact of patient care which solidified his decision in becoming a PA.


Kacey R.
Newton Falls, Ohio
Class of 2022

Kacey was born and raised in the small town of Newton Falls, Ohio located near Youngstown. She graduated from Newton Falls Jr/Sr High School in 2016 where she was a member of the National Honors Society and Key Club. She then went on to Cleveland State University where she graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s in Health Science Pre-Physician Assistant and two minors in Biology and Psychology. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Urban Health Fellowship, and the Pre-Physician Assistant Association. During her time at Cleveland State, she worked as a pharmacy technician, volunteered at the Cleveland Clinic Emergency Department, and earned her Patient Care Nursing Assistant (PCNA) license.


Sarah S.
Cleveland, Ohio
Class of 2022

Sarah was raised on the West Side of Cleveland and graduated from Magnificat High School in 2014. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University in 2018. During her time as an undergraduate, Sarah was a behavioral tech therapist working with children with autism in the greater Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. After graduation, she decided to further her knowledge and skills in the healthcare field by working as an EMT and medical scribe. During this time she received her EMT certification from Cuyahoga Community College. Sarah is grateful for her diverse roles in healthcare. She gained crucial skills and qualities which are imperative for her future as a healthcare professional. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time traveling and spending time with friends and family.


Mallory S.
Ashtabula, Ohio
Class of 2022

Mallory grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio. She graduated from Saint John School as her class valedictorian in 2016. While in high school she played basketball and volleyball and was a member of the cheer team. She was also a member of the philanthropy club, National Honor’s Society, Key Club and Yearbook Club. Then she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology, with a minor in Psychology from the University of Mount Union in 2020. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, Tri-Beta, Student Alumni Association, and the Association of Pre-Physician Assistant. While in high school, she participated in the Ashtabula County Medical Center Academy as an intern. Then as an undergraduate student, she served as a Health Coach for Alliance Community Hospital.


Carly S.
Solon, Ohio
Class of 2022

Carly grew up in Solon, Ohio with her parents and older sister. After graduating from Solon High School in 2013, she continued her education at John Carroll University (JCU) where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration in 2017. She played softball all four years at JCU while being a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and working as a Student Athletic Trainer. Carly knew she wanted to continue her education but wanted to gain valuable patient care experience first. She worked at Cleveland Clinic- Hillcrest Hospital as a patient care nurse assistant (PCNA) on a Medical/Surgical Unit for two and a half years. She loved working with geriatric patients and found a lot of interest in wound care. Because of this, she participated in Skin Care Day once a month to learn more about wound care management. She was also a part of Shared Governance and Solutions for Value Enhancement to help improve teamwork, innovation, and communication on her unit. While working at the hospital, Carly had the opportunity to shadow a Trauma/Surgery PA as well as a Pulmonary PA which gave her insight on the different roles a PA can have. Her experience at Hillcrest Hospital helped her solidify her passion towards becoming a PA!


Alexandria S.
Powell, Ohio
Class of 2022

Alex was raised in Powell, Ohio. After graduating from Dublin Scioto High School in 2016, she attended the Ohio State University. She graduated from OSU in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. She has worked at Riverside Methodist Hospital throughout college as a Patient Support Assistant (PSA) on the stroke unit. She is passionate about her volunteering work with Remote Area Medical (RAM), Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s, the Brain and Spine Institute at the James Cancer Hospital and 4 Paws for Ability. She also has enjoyed being a psychology teaching assistant. Throughout college, she shadowed various PAs and physicians, her favorite being a neurosurgery PA.


Natalie S.
Kent, Ohio
Class of 2022

Natalie was born and raised in Kent, Ohio and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 2014. There, she participated in several extracurricular activities including Key Club, National Honors Society, tennis, and orchestra. After high school, Natalie attended Kent State University where she graduated magna cum laude, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Integrated Life Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a minor in Healthcare Ethics. During her undergraduate career, Natalie was the secretary of Circle K International and part of a bhangra dance team—Kent Dhamaka. She also assisted in a Neuroscience research lab focusing on the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease by investigating the estrous cycle in mice, and comparing the contribution of various brain proteins and hormones to AD. Natalie has volunteered at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center since 2018 and has shadowed several PAs in a variety of specialties, solidifying her decision to join the healthcare field as a Physician Assistant.


Cassaundra S.
Strongsville, Ohio
Class of 2022

Cassaundra grew up in Strongsville, Ohio, where she graduated from Strongsville High School in 2009. She took a few years off of school, but eventually went on to attend Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University. She received her Bachelor's degree in health sciences with a minor in psychology and biology from Cleveland State University in 2019. She gained much of her patient career experience by working as a state tested nursing assistant at Mount Alverna Village, an assisted living home in Parma, Ohio. She also volunteered at East Tech High School, tutoring high school students and participated in charity events such as the walk to end Alzheimer's and the Buddy walk for down syndrome. Cassaundra also shadowed PAs at the Cleveland Clinic in the heart failure unit.


Haylie Z.
Solon, Ohio
Class of 2022

Haylie grew up in Solon, Ohio, where she graduated from Solon High School in 2015 and moved on to Ohio State University. Haylie graduated cum laude with a Bachelor degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Biology.During her undergraduate career, Haylie worked as an STNA as well as a phlebotomist. She also participated in two research studies working with the homeless youth. In her free time, Haylie likes to spend time outdoors, exercising, and hanging with friends. Haylie also has a passion for astrology and teaches others through an Instagram account.