Physician Assistant

Master of Medical Science


Jared Pennington 

Jared R. Pennington, ABD, MHS,

Associate Professor and Chair

Jared R. Pennington is the founding director and chair of the physician assistant program. He is a graduate of the Hahnemann Physician Assistant Program at Drexel University and has extensive experience as a practicing physician assistant in abdominal organ transplantation, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at Drexel University and The University of Akron. He is a doctoral candidate in public health at Kent State University under a specialization in health policy and management with research interests in the patient-centered medical home, child Medicaid policy, and health economics.  He maintains his membership status with the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Academy Health, and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).  Jared is currently serving his first term on the Leadership Development and Recruitment Council for the PAEA.

Mark Gersten 

Mark Gersten, M.D., FACEP

Professor and Medical Director

Dr. Gersten completed his residency in emergency medicine at Akron General Medical Center and has been a practicing emergency physician since 1991 at Mercy Medical Center in Canton, OH.  Since 1991, he has also been Director of Medical Education for the Emergency Department.  He has worked with physician assistants for the past fifteen years and has been a clinical preceptor for medical students and residents.  Dr. Gersten received an undergraduate degree in pharmacy studies from Albany College of Pharmacy, a Master’s degree in Health Systems Management from Union College, and an M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine. For the past several years he has been a clinical preceptor for physician assistant students from several programs.  His special interests include toxicology and medical mission work.


Chandra Lynch, MSHS, PA-C

Assistant Professor and Director of Didactic Education

Chandra Lynch has a B.S. in biology with a background in laboratory medicine, particularly HLA typing for organ and bone marrow transplant.  She is a graduate of the Cuyahoga Community College  physician assistant program and has over 10 years of clinical experience in various fields including neurology, bone marrow transplantation, and family practice. For the past three years, she has served as the academic coordinator for the Cuyahoga Community College/Cleveland State University Physician Assistant Program but has maintained some degree of clinical practice throughout. In addition, she served as the admissions chair, coordinating and overseeing the admissions process.  In 2012, she completed a Master’s of Science degree in Health Sciences at Cleveland State University.  Her main interest in clinical medicine is primary care.

Bonnie Ritson

Bonnie J. Ritson, PA-C, MPAS

Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education

Bonnie Ritson has over 18 years of clinical experience in various surgical specialties including Spine, Plastic/Reconstructive, Colorectal, and General surgery.  Her extensive surgical experience includes both intraoperative and perioperative management of patients. In addition, she has served as clinical preceptor for Physician Assistant students throughout her career and is clinically active at St. John Medical Center functioning as a Hospitalist PA, providing care to newly admitted patients as well as evaluating and managing acute changes of patient condition. Bonnie earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Pre-medicine from Cleveland State University, successfully completed the Physician Assistant program at Cuyahoga Community College, and subsequently obtained a Master's degree in Physician Assistant Studies from The University of Nebraska in 2003. She maintains her membership status with both the American and Ohio Associations of Physician Assistants and is BLS, ACLS, ATLS certified.


Donald Zabriskie, BPharm, MBA, RPh

Lecturer in Pharmacology

Mr. Zabriskie received his professional degree in pharmacy from The Ohio State University and his Masters in Business Administration from Baldwin Wallace University. Mr. Zabriskie has practiced pharmacy in the Cleveland area having practiced at Lakewood Hospital, Hillcrest Hospital, MetroHealth Medical Center, Parma Community General Hospital and Fairview Hospital. His professional career at those hospitals has given him experience as a staff pharmacist to director of pharmacy services. Currently, Mr. Zabriskie guides a team of pharmacists delivering bedside pharmaceutical care to over 300 patients daily. Mr. Zabriskie has served as a faculty member for a number of undergraduate and graduate programs lecturing in pharmacology. He has made numerous presentations to professional groups locally and on a national level bringing to the groups a unique perspective from more than 40 years of professional practice. Mr. Zabriskie is the recipient of the Evlyn Gray Scott Hospital Pharmacist of the Year award and the recipient of the Jerry A. Greco, PA-C Memorial PA Educator of the Year Award.



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