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Five Otterbein Allied Health graduates attend same Physician Assistant program together

Five Otterbein Allied Health graduates attend same Physician Assistant program together

Otterbein University students are known for their dedication and compassion for the world and their classmates. Five recent graduates are taking that into graduate school and beyond.

Kaylee Cialella, Seth Lloyd, Adam Rubenstein and KyLee Tuchfarber all graduated from the Allied Health program in 2015, and Jerrin Hill followed in 2016. These five Cardinal grads are all enrolled in Ohio Dominican University’s (ODU) Master of Science Physician Assistant (PA) program together.

Cialella says it was not specifically planned that way but the news was a pleasant surprise for everyone.

“I was walking from class with Seth and his phone dinged from an email saying he was accepted to ODU. Knowing we had both applied there I rushed back to my room to check my email to find an acceptance email waiting for me as well,” she said. “We then began to ask our other friends and sure enough we were all accepted. We’d been studying and hanging out since entering the Allied Health program (at Otterbein) so we decided to stay together another few years.”

Friendship aside, the four students saw the advantages of going to PA school with a built-in support system already in place, as they already knew how intensive their graduate program would be.

“We had a support group and roommates all set before we ever set foot on campus,” said Tuchfarber. “It helped to calm our nerves and provide a way were we could all talk about our concerns, share expertise and generally know what someone else was going through with one another. It is a really unique and awesome thing to have.”

These five Otterbein graduates exemplify what it mean to be a Cardinal, says Director of Allied Health Shelley Payne. They did not try to compete against each other, but instead wanted to work together to find the best schools for everyone.

“Kaylee and KyLee had color-coordinated spreadsheets of every PA school prerequisites and admission application requirements that they were interested in. They worked with our staff to find out how to meet those needs then shared that info with all their classmates. I didn’t anticipate that level of camaraderie; it was fantastic to see and it speaks volumes about our students.”

The Allied Health major at Otterbein has been designed to expose students to the wide variety of options for study and career opportunities in the health care arena. Payne and all the Department of Health and Sport Sciences faculty and staff worked hard to tailor the courses, internships, clinical hours and volunteering the best they could to meet all the requirements for PA school.

“We wanted to be flexible to meet those needs so our students can fully pursue their passions. For example, many PA schools need students to take Organic Chemistry instead of our Allied Health Physics requirement, so we swapped those to classes so the students wouldn’t be stuck with an unreasonable course load. Because we are such a personable and individualized education focused university, we were able to do that. I don’t many other places that would do that,” said Payne.

Cialella, Lloyd, Rubenstein and Tuchfarber will all graduate from ODU this upcoming December, and Hill in 2018. After graduation they may end up in different places but their shared time at ODU after an Otterbein education has been instrumental in their success.

“When we came to PA school, we already had a strong background and foundation to lean on that we built at Otterbein,” said Tuchfarber. “We were already moving in the right direction and having all of us there at the same time gave us one more foothold towards our future.”


Learn more about Otterbein’s Department of Health and Sport Sciences and the Allied Health program.