Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society

Welcome to the Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society webpage.

Class of 2020 Officers

Nikki McKenna, President
Jordan Oddis and Zach Gibbemeyer, Vice President
Erica Stein, Treasurer
Nirali Vachhani, Secretary
Lia Westhafer, Green Chair
Mara Skordynski, Historian
Alexis Shockey , Health and Wellness Chair
Kayla Montgomery, Diversity Chair
Ashley Head, Recruitment Chair



 Physician Assistant Logo

Class of 2021 Officers

Austin Minnick, President
Shyanna Neu, Vice President
Gabriella Ebers, Secretary
Brittany Samberg, Treasurer
Genevieve Underwood and Nicholas Klein, Green Co-Chair
Alicia Tooker, Historian
Katherine Fox and Sydney McGiffin, Health and Wellness Co-Chair
Ruth Nyagitari and Giana Malvasi, Diversity Co-Chair
Andrius Biliunas, Recruitment Chair
Courtney Hill, Medical Missions

The mission of the Joseph G. Weber PA Student Society of Lake Erie College is to augment community health through the implementation of health literacy projects and educational opportunities while encouraging professional growth from all current and future Physician Assistant students.

Fall 2019

The members of the student society have had a great and busy semester so far! The week of October 6th was the week long celebration of the Physician Assistant profession where we had members of the class spent a couple days on campus educating those in the undergraduate program with a table of information, an ear exam dummy, and a working set of pig lungs that showed the result of a lifetime of smoking. In addition, the class got to bond with a “Family Favorite” themed potluck with a trivia game where the questions and information were created based on fun fact submissions from the class and faculty. 

The class of 2021 has already had a couple of successful fundraisers! There is an ongoing fundraiser in which the class has partnered with Yankee Candle to help raise funds for future events and to help send students to the National Physician Assistant conference in Nashville. More recently the class had a successful fundraiser at Chip’s Clubhouse in Chardon where funds were raised for the local organization, Project Hope. The class favorite event was the plant pot painting event that was put on by the Co-green chairs where the class decorated plant pots before putting plants in and then using them to decorate the classroom.

Fall 2018

Student Society members have had a busy fall semester. e semester started with PA week, a week designated to recognize the PA profession. e celebration began with an event at Lake Health with a table full of information about the PA profession and all the bene ts of seeing a PA. e Student Society also hosted a blood drive through the American Red Cross where Lake Erie College students and staff joined together to donate blood. A total of 42 pints of blood were collected which will help save 14 lives.

The class of 2020 not only celebrated PA week but also had a long week of exams. PA week ended with a fundraiser at Harry Buffalo where friends, family, and professors gathered for a night of food, music, and a 50/50 raffle. With the help of everyone who attended the student society was able to raise $1,000. Half of this money is going to help pay for convention expenses and the other half went towards “Coats for Kids.” Student Society was able to purchase 20 coats to keep local children warm this winter. 

After PA week the semester did not slow down. Student Society hosted the Lake Erie College Pre-Med club for a night of learning new skills. e Pre-Med students were able to learn how to suture, intubate, and perform ultrasounds and EKGs. Additionally, eight PA students volunteered at an event at Heritage Middle School organized by the Student Society. is event is called the Oral Health Challenge, and it was started in 2015 by LEC PA graduate, Ashlee Grow. It is a series of events that focuses on teaching children from local schools the importance of oral health, balanced diet, and not smoking through interactive stations. 

Other fundraising efforts this semester have included a Chipotle fundraiser and a Yankee Candle fundraiser. e pro ts were split between “Adopt-a-Family” for Christmas and savings for the annual AAPA Convention in May. Student Society’s last big event of this semester was a food drive competition between lab groups. A total of 653 dry goods were collected just in time for Thanksgiving. The goods were donated to Forbes House, a local women’s shelter. Professor Turley’s lab group won the food drive competition, bringing in a total of 385 cans. They will receive a pizza party for their generosity.

Student Society Elects New Officers – August 4, 2017

The Class of 2018 proudly passed on the torch of the Student Society to the Class of 2019 on August 4th. New officers were elected and will begin their term in the Fall Semester. Congratulations are in order for President and AOR Representative: Abbey Skorupski, Vice President and AOR Alternate: Gina Banh, Secretary/Outreach Chair: Kara Meyer, Treasurer and SCSR: Scott Danner, Diversity Chair: Lauren Walker, Health and Wellness Chair: Breann Allen, Historian: Carmen Moreno, Recruitment Chair: Becca Korando, and Green Chair: Tyler Tsangaris-Braatz

The Class of 2018 Student Society completed over 500 community service hours and was able to donate more than $1,000 to charities in their didactic year.

Heather Hill- July 17, 2017

Student Society officers went to Heather Hill Care Communites for a night full of fun and games with the residents! They look forward to returning in the near future.

PA Olympics – July 8, 2017

Lake Erie students from the Class of 2018 and Class of 2019 along with Professor Kramer and Professor Turley brought their A game to the University of Findlay to compete in the 2nd annual PA Olympics. In addition to Lake Erie, nine other Ohio PA schools met to battle against each other in “Olympic events” and come together for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Students and faculty competed in various games such as “capture the kidney,” “c-diff runs,” and “dodge the flu.” Additionally, there was a team made up of OAPA PA-Cs, who participated in the games, contributed to fundraising, and interacted with students throughout the day.

Prior to the event, Student Society Secretary/Outreach Chair Dan Pritchard and Historian Allison Cassetta traveled to Columbus in January to meet with representatives from all Ohio PA schools who would be participating in order to make the event possible. They were responsible for leading LEC’s fundraising efforts in addition to preparing the game Lake Erie was responsible for: Biohazard Corn Hole.

The schools collectively fundraised for 6th months and raised a grand total of $9, 311, which was presented to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at the conclusion of the event. Lake Erie was the 3rd top fundraising school! At the end of the day, the University of Dayton was named 2017 Ohio PA Olympic Champions and will have the honor of choosing the charity for next year’s event.

National AAPA Conference – May 2017

The National AAPA Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from May 11-19th. Over 40 students from the class of 2017 and class of 2018 were in attendance in addition to faculty and many alumni from the PA program’s inaugural cohort. The week was full of conference sessions, student/alumni/faculty group dinners and all things LEC!

The most anticipated event of the week: the challenge bowl competition, took place on Wednesday evening. The challenge bowl team, comprised of Caesar Tria, Eric Krolik, and Mark Nellenbach made it into quarterfinal round, meaning that they were in the top 36 out of 82 teams. This landed them a spot up on the stage for the third year in a row! LEC is extremely proud of their efforts and accomplishments.

Student Society President and AOR Julianne Knezovich was elected to serve on the Student Academy Board of Directors as the North Central Regional Director. In this position, she will serve as the liaison between the Student Academy leadership and the 45 respective regional programs in the North Central. She will also serve as the chair for the Leadership Volunteer group, heading the efforts for one of the Resolutions passed by the AOR at the 2017 conference.

April 8, 2017 -President's Inaugural Tailgate 
Following his official inauguration ceremony on Friday, students of LEC continued their celebration for President Posler with a tailgate in his honor on Saturday. The PA students enjoyed an afternoon of music, food, games and funny pictures with the college's 12 president. On behalf of the entire PA program, congratulations Dr. Posler!

February and March – Brushing Up on Oral Health

An initiative PA students have been working on is titled “Brushing Up on Oral Health.” Student Ashlee Grow received an oral health grant from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants Health Foundation after submitting her project which is designed to bring health education to local elementary schools. Ashlee paired Lake Erie College with the Big Brothers Big Sisters after school program. At each visit, various stations are set up with diagrams, models, and experiments where PA students teach elementary students about the importance of oral health. Thus far, LEC has visited Garfield Elementary and will be visiting Perry, Brentmoor and Jefferson Elementary Schools in March. Ashlee said, “I thought it was a great opportunity for our program to have the chance to get involved within the community, especially with our youth. Having this platform to educate elementary students on oral health is very exciting and fun for us as PA students!”


February 16, 2016- Geauga Faith Rescue Mission

PA students partnered again with Geauga Faith Rescue Mission (GRFM), an organization who is aiming toward providing a homeless shelter in Geauga County. As the organization gets closer to providing a physical shelter, the Student Society is happy to offer a helping hand along the way with each of their projects. Long-term, GRFM has hopes of their shelter containing a health clinic which the PA program would play a significant role. In the future, the goal is to have Lake Erie PA Program graduates aid in staffing the clinic, as well as have the clinic serve as an early-clinical experience for students going through the didactic phase. “The people we have gotten to meet through working with GRFM are so inspirational,” said Julianne Knezovich, president of the Student Society. “We are looking forward to being a part of their progress, and helping them reach their goals. The possibility of a health clinic at their facility in the future is something we are very excited about and it will be so special for us as we will have seen the organization flourish from the ground up.” 


January- Campus Wide Health Challenge

The Campus-Wide Health Challenge (CWHC) began on January 17th and is in full swing at Lake Erie College! All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the series of physical, mental and social challenges that are designed as an incentivized, all-inclusive and comprehensive approach to wellness. By completing challenges, points are earned, and can be exchanged in return for prizes from the bookstore. Behind the challenge, is PA student and vice president Mark Nellenbach who said, “The Campus-Wide Health Challenge is an avenue for students, faculty and staff to adopt or maintain a healthy lifestyle in an interactive way. I am so encouraged by the support CWHC has received since coming to Lake Erie College. Seeing the level of participation from the students here is motivational. The most satisfying part of the challenge for me is when I hear how this initiative has helped people conquer the various obstacles in their way and achieve their personal health goals. I’m proud of what CWHC has done up to this point and I am eager to make improvements as the challenge grows at LEC in the future.”


December 8- Forbes House Christmas Joy

Lake Erie PA students got into the Christmas spirit by adopting a family at Forbes House. Students received a wish list and happily went shopping for presents in hopes of bringing big smiles to a family this holiday season.

November 18- Friendsgiving and Project Hope

Leading up to Thanksgiving, PA students held a class potluck to celebrate with each other for “friendsgiving.” The students also partnered with Project Hope, a Painesville-based organization, and made a hot meal for residents to enjoy for the holiday.


October 31, 2016- Halloween Bingo at Heather Hill

Student Society members arrived at Heather Hill Care Communities on Halloween for a night of bingo with the residents. A fun time was had by all!

October 14 and 15- Geauga Faith Rescue Mission

Five of the class officers dedicated their time on Friday and Saturday evening to help the Geauga Faith Rescue Mission. Students felt that the event was a great opportunity to be involved with an organization that has big plans for giving back to the community.


October 15- Car wash with Classmates!

On Saturday Lake Erie PA students spent the afternoon washing cars at a local business. The purpose of the money raised was two-fold, as half was donated to Geauga Faith Rescue Mission and half was saved to fund our trip to the National Conference and Challenge Bowl in Las Vegas, NV.

October 10-14 – PA Week!

The PA Students celebrated National PA Week by holding an event each day on campus. The events encompassed the mission statement of the society which includes core goals of service and education to our community as well as the undergraduate population at Lake Erie.

The week started off with a fundraiser at a local establishment where money was raised to aid students in attending the AAPA National Conference and Challenge Bowl held in May in Las Vegas, Nevada. Some of the funds raised were also donated to the Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, who is currently in the process of providing a facility for the homeless. Tuesday’s event included a blood drive held on campus and on Wednesday students set up medical demonstrations displaying various models and instruments used in their studies and provided blood pressure exams for interested faculty, staff, and students who passed by. On Thursday we celebrated the 50th birthday of the PA Profession with a “create-your-own-sundae” ice cream bar! Friday was known as “College Colors Day” where faculty and staff were able to dress down for the day and students were encourage to wear their Lake Erie attire in support of the Storm.


September 24, 2016- Annual Alumni Tailgate

Officers from the Student Society participated in Lake Erie College’s Homecoming by setting up an information table at the Annual Alumni Tailgate prior to the football game. The day provided a great opportunity to speak with alumni as well as educate those in attendance on the PA Program at Lake Erie. Following the tailgate, members participated in a presentation and tour of the PA suite led by Professor Kramer.


September 10, 2016 –Victory Gallop’s Hoe Down

LEC PA students volunteered at a Hoe Down fundraiser event for Victory Gallop, a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic and recreation horseback riding for children with behavioral and/or emotional challenges and life-threatening illnesses.


December 20, 2015

Lake Erie College PA students donate to Forbes House

The LEC PA program participated in the Forbes House Christmas Program, helping out a family affected by domestic violence during the holiday season.


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December 17, 2015

Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society conducts community outreach  

The members of the Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society at Lake Erie College have gotten into the spirit of the season this month with several projects of community outreach.

Quin Repp, a PA student at LEC, volunteers regularly with Project Hope for the Homeless, Lake County’s only homeless shelter. In her work with the Painesville-based organization, Repp noted the need for clear bins for the occupants to use to store their belongings and brought this need to the attention of her classmates. Together, the students organized a car wash earlier in the fall semester and raised enough money to purchase 12 clear 66 quart bins, which they delivered to Project Hope on Dec. 9.

In addition to their work with Project Hope, the LEC PA students wanted to do an outreach project that went along with the theme of December holidays. They chose to partner with Forbes House, Lake County’s only domestic abuse shelter, where student Lauren Miller volunteers. The students “adopted” a single mother and her son, for whom they purchased Christmas gifts.

“One of the pillars of our society is to give back to the community that has given us so much,” said Tara Marthe, secretary of the Joseph G. Weber PA Student Society. “To be able to help families in need is why we want to be physician assistants. Being able to help others while in school brings us all great joy and purpose!”

Pictured are students Joannah Hutchinson, Eric Krolik, Tara Marthe, Maddy Ghimbasan and Kathryn Rodgers (left to right). For more information on the community outreach efforts of the Joseph G. Weber PA Student Society, contact Marthe at

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September 26, 2015

Lake Erie College physician assistant students host car wash to raise money for Project Hope

LEC PA students spent their Saturday afternoon holding a carwash at a local establishment. Half of the money raised was donated to Project Hope in Painesville, OH, and half was saved to help fund our trip in May 2016 to the AAPA National Conference and Challenge Bowl in San Antonio, TX.

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June 20, 2015

Lake Erie College physician assistant students volunteer with Relay for Life

Five LEC PA students volunteered at the Hillcrest Relay for Life in Mayfield by staffing a health information table, passing out information regarding cancer treatment and prevention to Relay participants. They also helped organize and run carnival games at the event and sold tickets for a basket raffle to benefit Relay for Life.


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June 10, 2015

Lake Erie College physician assistant students continue to impress   

While summer is often regarded as a time away from school, the inaugural class of the Lake Erie College Physician Assistant Program remains hard at work and continues to impress.

On Friday, June 5, the students took the PACKRAT exam, a 225-question exam built on an extensive blueprint and topic list developed by experienced PA educators and national exam experts. PACKRAT is modeled after the National Certifying Examination for physician assistants and evaluates students’ knowledge of subject areas within the national board examination.

“Our students did extremely well on this examination,” said Dr. Joe Weber, director of the PA program and associate professor of health sciences. “On average, our students scored more than 4 raw points higher than the first year national average, and 17 of our PA students scored higher than the first year national average!”

The PA program is extremely proud of these results. For more information on the PACKRAT exam or its administration at LEC, visit or contact Sean Kramer, clinical assistant professor and academic coordinator to the PA program, at

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June 4, 2015

Lake Erie College Physician Assistant Program makes it to National Challenge Bowl Quarterfinals

At the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Conference each spring, physician assistant students from around the country gather to compete in the National Medical Challenge Bowl, a friendly competition coordinated by the Student Academy of AAPA.

In the competition, teams of three students from various schools compete in a battle of knowledge as they answer medically-related questions. Each stage of the competition comprises several rounds of questions with automated response system clickers as well as verbal rounds for each team.

On May 25, representatives from the Lake Erie College Physician Assistant Program advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 25th Annual Challenge Bowl in San Francisco. The LEC program, only in its first year of existence, competed with over 80 schools and was one of 32 schools to make the quarterfinals.

“This is a huge accomplishment considering our students had only one year of education while facing teams with two years of training,” said Sean Kramer, clinical assistant professor and academic coordinator to the PA program. “Our team was the only in the state of Ohio to place in the quarterfinal round.”

Team members included physician assistant students Jackie McCloskey, Julie Stupi and Morgan Conwell with alternates John Anderson and Carrie Lockard. To earn their spots on the team, the students spent eight months competing with one another, culminating with the internal Lake Erie College Challenge Bowl on May 18, wherein McCloskey was crowned the winner.

Kramer and Assistant Professor Jennifer Sample served as faculty advisors to the team, and over half of the program’s faculty and students traveled to San Francisco to participate or cheer on LEC in the event.  The team is looking forward to its next competition at the regional 3rd Annual Cleveland Clinic Challenge Bowl on June 18. For more information, contact Kramer at

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March 9, 2015

Lake Erie College physician assistant students present Community Health and Wellness Fair

The Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society of Lake Erie College is collaborating with the Painesville Recreation Department and the Lake Health Wellness Institute to present a Community Health and Wellness Fair on Sunday, March 15. The fair will run from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Harvey High School, located at 200 West Walnut Ave. in Painesville, and is free to the public. 

Participants will have the opportunity to visit a wide range of health-focused booths and can take part in free health screenings and educational events. Screenings will be available for BMI, blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol. Educational booths will center on cardiovascular, respiratory and physical fitness education, and representatives from the Lake Health Wellness Institute will offer nutrition education as well.

Several special events will also be offered. At noon, James Cotton, former OSU, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills and Canadian Football League lineman will give a motivational presentation and will perform football drills with participants. At 1:15 p.m., there will be a karate demonstration with group participation. Finally, the Children’s Mini Olympics will take place at 2:15 p.m., and children will earn ribbons or medals for their participation.

For more information about the Community Health and Wellness Fair, contact Carrie Lockard, head of the Health Fair Committee, at or 614.440.5451.

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February 4, 2015

Lake Erie College physician assistant students to promote hygiene at Maple Elementary School

As part of their efforts to give back to the community, members of Lake Erie College’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program will visit Maple Elementary School on Friday, Feb. 6. In collaboration with Janice Troha, a second grade teacher at the school, the students will present a 30 minute program teaching children in all of the second grade classes what germs are, how they spread and the importance of diligent hand washing.

In addition to this presentation, Dr. Lori Zuptich from Dental Group of Mentor will be there to talk about the importance of dental hygiene. Her practice is donating 90 dental goodie bags to the students who participate. 

This event was made possible by PA student Julie Stupi, the community outreach chair of the Joseph G. Weber Physician Assistant Student Society, alongside Assistant Professor Jennifer Sample, overseer of the community outreach program. Other PA students in attendance will be Morgan Conwell, Marcella DiPlacito, Jamie Hoppe, Carrie Lockard, Corey McClellan, Ally Miller, Meghan Opperman, Justin Weddle and Morgan Williams.

For more information about this event, contact Julie Stupi at or Jennifer Sample at

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October 17, 2014

Lake Erie College’s physician assistant students to host trick-or-treat event 

The first class of Lake Erie College’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is making its presence known throughout the Painesville community. 

In an effort to promote the mindset that children are our future, the PA class is reaching out to the community by hosting its first annual Halloween event, “An Eerie Trick-or-Treat.” The class has invited elementary age children from local schools to campus on Saturday, October 18 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. for an afternoon of ice cream making, reptile shows, crafts and games. Children are encouraged to wear costumes and bring their own trick-or-treat bags.   

This event is intended to be a stepping-stone for the program to make the students prominent figures in the community and to introduce hygiene to local children.  The PA class hopes to promote positive health habits to elementary age children and has future plans to host health screening fairs that could possibly save lives through early detection of hypertension and other preventable disorders.

“An Eerie Trick-or-Treat” will take place in the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center on Saturday, October 18 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. To RSVP for this free event, contact and indicate how many individuals will be attending. For more information, contact Carolyn Lockard, diversity chair of the Joseph G Weber PA Student Society, at

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July 17, 2014

Lake Erie College physician assistant students give back to the community

Lake Erie College physician assistant students give generously of their time to brighten the lives of others.  

Eight of these students volunteered at the Special Girls Pageant held June 21 at the Metzenbaum Center in Chester Township. Along with other volunteers and staff members at the Center, these students helped to create a special night for 25 girls and women with special needs.

The special needs girls dressed up in gowns and evening wear, had their hair professionally styled, and were escorted by special needs boys and men. Every participant was crowned a king or queen of the pageant, and each was given the opportunity to showcase his or her inner beauty.

Along with the other volunteers, the Lake Erie College physician assistant students shopped for second-hand dresses for the girls to choose, decorated the Center gym to be the perfect setting for a prom, helped the girls with last-minute touches to their hair and makeup, served refreshments and, in general, helped make the evening a night to remember.   

Julie Stupi and Morgan Williams were two of the Lake Erie physician assistant students who volunteered that evening. Both enjoyed the experience and received a great deal of satisfaction from helping others.

“It’s a win-win situation when you volunteer because you end up taking away so much,” Stupi said. “Additionally, service projects help us develop empathy as future caregivers.”

“We need to think about health care from all angles,” Williams said. “The way classes are set up helps us to be empathy-based.” 

Jennifer Sample, assistant professor and admissions coordinator for the physician assistant program, said that during the interview process they selected students who really wanted to serve, those who were committed beyond the medicine aspect of the profession.  

“The heart of medicine is the theme for our entire program,” Joe Weber, program director, said. “Technical skills are teachable, but our students must also demonstrate the core values and morals that come from helping others.” 

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