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Press Release: DeSales University Wins National Challenge Bowl
Date: 5/30/2002


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DeSales University Wins National Challenge Bowl

Center Valley, Pa., - (May 30, 2002) - The DeSales University Physician Assistant program won the Twelfth Annual National Student Academy Physician Assistant Medical Challenge Bowl held Sunday, May 26 in Boston, Mass., by more than 40 points over its nearest competitor. Three DeSales students comprised the winning team. They are Melissa Goertel of Easton, Pa., Meggen Walsh of Kenvil, N.J., and Vaishali Arjula of Franklin Park, N.J. These are the same three students who won the state and regional competitions earlier in the year, earning them the right to compete at the national competition.

The DeSales team competed against 49 teams from 23 states in the Jeopardy-style contest. Their first round was a bye because DeSales had won the regional competition. Others who moved immediately into the second round were regional winners including George Washington University, the Southeast regional champions; St. Louis University, the Midwest champions; Colorado University, the Mountain champions, and MEDEX Northwest of Washington state, the far West champions.

In the second round, DeSales defeated Arcadia University along with last year's champion, SUNY at Stony Brook and Emory University from Atlanta. Other schools participating in the competition included Duke University, Wake Forest University, Baylor University, Butler University, Marquette University, Philadelphia University, NOVA Southeastern University in Florida, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and St. Francis University. The final score was DeSales, 80; University of New Mexico, 40; and Quinnipiac University and New York Institute of Technology each scoring no points in the final round giving DeSales its first national challenge bowl win.

"Part of the reason that I am so impressed is that our team consisted of two students who came to DeSales from high school which translates into the realization that the medical knowledge that these students possess, they learned here at DeSales," said Christine Bruce, director of the DeSales PA program. "Our team was significantly younger than the other 48 teams proving that students coming from a strong undergraduate program can be outstandingly prepared for a strong PA program. A physician assistant herself who maintains clinical hours to remain current, Bruce, originally from Altoona, Pa., and now an Orwigsburg, Pa., resident, believes that these significant achievements can be traced back to having the right faculty, choosing the right students and having significant administrative support in order to run the program.

"The faculty and staff are truly dedicated to the students and are essential in helping students achieve such high levels of success," said Bruce. "Their loyalty to the program and the field of medicine is without question as is their loyalty to the students who continue to challenge the faculty and are a constant source of inspiration."

In its fifth year of operation, the DeSales University program has achieved national recognition. The program finished first in the nation twice on the standardized examination PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool). In addition, the DeSales University PA program achieved a national board certification examination score that was 22 point higher per student than the 99th percentile nationally.


Press Release: DeSales University Wins National Challenge Bowl | Posted on: 5/30/2002

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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