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UKPA Class of 2023 wins KAPA Challenge Bowl

By Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director

The UKPA Class of 2023 won the KAPA Challenge Bowl earlier this month. 

The Challenge Bowl, a medical knowledge recall competition held at the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants CME symposium each year, incorporates schools from across Kentucky, as well as one team from Tennessee, to compete to bring home the trophy. The teams are comprised of didactic year PA students.                                                          


Isaiah Wiles 
Megan Alexander
Courtney Marshall


Dakota Halbert
Emily Nole
Anna Claire Schaefer

Best Name Team (for “Lord Have MRSA”):  

Tara Hefner
Jacob Bingham
Grace Moses

“The KAPA Challenge Bowl trophy is home!” said Cheryl Vanderford, MPAS, PA-C, and assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences’ Department of Physician Assistant Studies.

Fifteen teams competed in this year’s KAPA Challenge Bowl from across Kentucky (Sullivan, University of the Cumberlands, University of the Cumberlands Northern Kentucky campus, and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee). 

“The two finalist teams were both from UKPA,” Vanderford said. “How proud are we that UKPA was finalist and runner-up?” 

And UKPA Morehead students also won best team name:  Lord Have MRSA!

Several students also had research posters that were peer-reviewed and accepted for presentation at the 2021 KAPA Symposium.

Class of 2022 Student Poster Presentations at KAPA Conference

Curriculum includes a three-course series in biostatistics, research methods and critical appraisal of medical research. Students work in a small research team (with a UK PA Faculty Mentor) to produce an original research article and poster. Research teams are encouraged to present their work at other venues, such as this KAPA conference.

PAS Student Posters:

  • “Digital Screen Team and Pediatric Practices.” Student Research Team: Emily Bertram, Amelia Elling, Lindsey Kraft, Marissa McDowell, Brooke Simmons, MaKayla Wheatley; Mentored by Dr. Leslie Woltenberg. 
  • “Interprofessional Education & Leadership Competencies Among Health Professions Students.” Student Research Team: Josh Benner, Daniela Fawson, Kathryn Hardesty, Ron Karcz, Jenna Stephens, Ndeye Thiaw; Mentored by Dr. Kevin Schuer.
  • “Racial Disparities in the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Student Research Team: Slavi Gantcheva, Shelby Gray, Melanie Mrzljak, Grishma Patel, Adam Roe, Ana Zapata; Mentored by Professor David Fahringer.
  • “Tele-Mental Health Services: Perceptions of Graduate Health Professions Students.” Student Research Team: Berryman, K., Harrison, D., Hollander, L., Laws, E., Reyes, N., Short, M.; Mentored by Dr. Leslie Woltenberg.
  • “Treating Substance Use Disorder: KY PA Perception of Preparedness.” Student Research Team: Courtney Fields, Drew Greenlee, Annaka Hoffman, Micaela Magsig, Jonathan Ross; Mentored by Drs. Scott Black and Leslie Woltenberg.

PAS Faculty Posters:

  • “Are Students PrePAred to Navigate Change by Leveraging Emotional Intelligence?” Authors: Cheryl Vanderford, Lisa Williams, Shelley Irving, Leslie Woltenberg.
  • “COVID-19 Impact on Opioid Prescribing and Pain Management Practices​” Authors:  Cheryl Vanderford, MSPAS, PA-C, Karen Clancy, PHD, MBA, BHS, MT, Whitney Powell LSW, MSW, Stacey Slone, MS, and Sarah Foster​