Commencement - May 3 & 4

Plan for your visit to campus to celebrate your graduate. All event details are located HERE

Written by Sarah Shelley | Content Development Specialist

Graduation celebrations are already underway at University of the Cumberlands – specifically, the hooding ceremony for students who completed their Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) at Cumberlands’ Williamsburg campus.

During the ceremony, 27 physician assistant (PA) program graduates received their hoods as a sign they have completed the requirements of their degree program while maintaining professionalism in their clinical rotations and upholding high standards as representatives of the university.

Graduates who received their hoods included:

  • Madison Almon
  • Ayesha Amin
  • Sally Bang
  • Gabrielle Barela
  • Hannah Bewley
  • Ann Buersmeyer
  • Tiffany (Braymer) Edmonson
  • Mishaela Feltner
  • Katherine Gorjup
  • Erin Hegg
  • Taylor Hoskins
  • Alyssa Howard
  • Kenneth Jackson
  • Shreeya Khanal
  • Rachel Lee
  • Logan Mann
  • Jessica Napier
  • Lesleigh Prewitt
  • Jennifer (Sawyer) Pyles
  • Taylor Reinhardt
  • Emaleigh (Bowling) Sams
  • Hailey Satyna
  • Matthew Shrontz
  • Lucinda Smith
  • John Steen
  • Bailey Thompson
  • Colton Wright

Dr. Dana Campbell, program director and associate professor for the MSPAS program in Williamsburg, said, “I am proud of the accomplishment of this group of graduates. Their hard work and determination have paid off. I am certain that they will positively impact many patients and do great things in their communities as new PAs.”

The hooding ceremony is a special recognition of the rigorous work completed by those who have finished a master’s or doctoral degree. Originally, the long robes and hoods were practical garb that kept scholars warm in Medieval times as they studied, taught, and wrote. Today, the outfit is primarily symbolic, with the color of the graduates’ hoods denoting the degrees they obtained; a gold hood denotes a degree in a scientific field, light blue denotes education or counseling, scarlet denotes theology/divinity, and so forth.

The first cohort from the MSPAS program in Williamsburg graduated in 2017, with 100 percent of graduates passing their Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Since then, passing rates have remained in the 80s and 90s, with Cohort 7 (who graduated in 2023) again enjoying a 100 percent PANCE pass rate. Cumberlands offers a second MSPAS program in Florence, KY. Both are rigorous programs including 113 credit hours in total, but it is possible to earn a degree in as little as 27 months. For more information, visit