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Faculty and Staff


James Zedaker, MPAS, PA-C, EM-CAQ, PHR

Founding Director, Clinical Assistant Professor

James C. Zedaker, MPAS, PA-C, EM-CAQ, is the Founding Director of the Ohio University Physician Assistant Program. He currently practices emergency medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He is a retired firefighter/paramedic and also retired from the United States Air Force Reserves where he spent the majority of his career working in medical education as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee at the USAF Medical Center, WPAFB, Ohio.

He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska post-graduate physician assistant program with an emphasis in Neurophysiology, and the Kettering College with a professional certificate in Physician Assistant Studies. He obtained his BS in Management / Human Resources from Park University and his AAS in Allied Health from the Community College of the Air Force.

Clyde Watson, MD

Medical Director, Clinical Assistant Professor.

Dr. Watson is the Medical Director for the Ohio University Physician Assistant Program and has been practicing Emergency Medicine for nearly 40 years. He has mentored numerous medical and physician assistant students during his career, and is looking forward to continuing this mentorship with OU PA students.

Laura L. Harris, PhD, AT

Director of Clinical Education, Clinical Associate Professor

Dr. Harris oversees the clinical education portion of the Ohio University Physician Assistant Program. While the bulk of Dr. Harris’ responsibilities involve directing and managing the clinical education of physician assistant students, she also teaches the Evidence Based Practice series within the curriculum.

Dr. Harris earned her BS at Wilmington College in Athletic Training, her MS in Kinesiology at Indiana University, and her PhD from The Ohio State University. She has two active lines of research. The first line is in collaboration with Dr. Tamerah Hunt from The Ohio State University (OSU) to investigate the psychological impact of concussion in adolescent patients. Dr. Harris also works interprofessionally with other Directors of Clinical Education to investigate the affective growth of students enrolled in the Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Respiratory Therapy programs.

Dr. Harris was awarded the 2004 Clint Thompson Award for the Outstanding Manuscript in the Journal of Athletic Training, the 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award from the OSU College of Medicine, the 2007 Teaching Award from the OSU School of Allied Medicine. In 2011 and 2014, she was awarded Service Awards from the OSU School of Allied Medicine and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Melissa G. Bowlby, MS, PA-C, AT

Clinical Assistant Professor

Melissa Bowlby earned her BS at Wilmington College in Athletic Training. After practicing as a high school Athletic Trainer, she completed her Physician Assistant studies earning a MS in Biomedical Sciences at University of Toledo (formerly the Medical College of Ohio).

Prior to joining the faculty at Ohio University, Melissa practiced in Orthopedics for over 10 years and Emergency Medicine for over three years. She has served as a preceptor for physician assistant and athletic training students along with mentoring medical students and undergraduate students.

She is an active member of the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants (OAPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), serving the profession in various roles including OAPA Governmental Affairs Committee, AAPA State Advocate for Reimbursement and most recently the chairperson of the Physician Assistant Policy Committee within the Ohio State Medical Board.

Cheryl Geng, MPAS, PA-C

Clinical Assistant Professor

Cheryl Geng is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Ohio University Physician Assistant Program. Cheryl has been a physician assistant for 12 years. She graduated with a BS in Pre-Professional Health Sciences from Otterbein University in 1999. In 2002, she graduated from Kettering College of Medical Artswith a post-baccalaureate certificate in Physician Assistant Studies. Kettering College awarded her the "Honor Award" amongst her classmates for "special and outstanding achievement.” Cherylreceived her MPAS in Physician Assistant Studies from The University of Nebraska in 2007.

Cherylhas practiced Family Medicine in Groveport, Ohio for 12 years. Her special interests include women's health, gynecologic oncology and high altitude medicine. In 2013, she spoke on HPV and Atypical Paps at the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants Annual Conference.  

Faculty Professional Involvement

The Ohio University Division of Physician Assistant Practice faculty are not only committed educators, but they are actively involved in both professional and community service. Their involvement will be threaded throughout the OU PA program as students will not only be prepared to be excellent clinicians, but they will also be prepared to be involved in their professional organizations.

  • Two faculty members from the OU PA program serve on the State of Ohio Medical Board, Physician Assistant Policy Committee.

    • James Zedaker, MPAS, PA-C, EM-CAQ, PHR

    • Melissa Bowlby, MS, PA-C, AT

  • One faculty member founded a US based charity working to send food, medical equipment, supplies and medications to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Project Congo.

    • Sylvia Esser-Gleason, DO

  • One faculty member serves as the elected Secretary for District IV of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal of Athletic Training and the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation.

    • Laura L. Harris, PhD, AT

Faculty Publications

Textbook Chapters

  1. Harris LL, Clutter JE. What matters in a student-centered approach? In: What matters in learning and teaching? 1st ed. Edited by Barr J, Sylvia LM. Alexandria, VA: American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; 2010.

Journal Manuscripts

  1. Cox L, Harris LL, Sergakis G, Clutter JE. Learning style of undergraduate allied health students: Clinical versus classroom. J Allied Health. 2013;42(4):223-228.

  2. Clapper DC, Harris LL. Reliability and validity of an instrument to describe burnout among intercollegiate athletic trainers. J Athl Train. 2008;43(1):62-69.

3. Harris LL, Demb AB, Pastore DL. Determining changes in athletic training students’ perceptions of the injured collegiate student-athlete. J Allied Health. 2005;34(2): 97-105.

4. Harris LL. Integrating and analyzing psychosocial and stage theories to challenge the development of the injured collegiate athlete. J Athl Train. 2003;38(1):75-82.


  1. Zedaker J. X-Rays and imaging. Ohio Association of Physician Assistants Annual Conference. Dublin, OH. October 2013.

  2. Geng C. HPV and atypical PAP Smears. Ohio Association of Physician Assistants Annual Conference. Dublin, OH. October 2013.

  3. Hunt TN, Harris LL. Managing the adolescent concussion physically and psychologically. Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association Annual Meeting and Symposium. Wheeling, IL. March 2013.

  4. Harris LL, Streeter EM. Evidence based practice and its integration into the educational preparation of athletic training students. Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association Winter Meeting and Symposium. Wheeling, IL. March 2012.

  5. Watson C. Disaster Medicine – The Haiti Experience. Ohio Osteopathic Association. Columbus, OH. April 2011.

  6. Harris LL, Gore AE. Management of athletes’ medication. Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association Winter Meeting and Symposium. Minneapolis, MN. March 2011.

  7. Harris LL. Eating disorders and disordered eating: Education and intervention strategies for the Athletic Trainer. Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Symposia, Toledo, OH. March 2005.

Why choose the Ohio University Physician Assistant Program?

The Ohio University Physician Assistant (OU PA) Program is intended for individuals with a commitment to provide healthcare services in underserved urban and rural communities, with a particular emphasis on the underserved populations in Appalachia. The program includes 74 semester hours of didactic coursework and 36 hours of clinical rotations for a total of 110 semester hours.

Educational preparation addresses six areas:

  • Didactic coursework (fundamental science and medical knowledge),

  • Clinical skills (including communication, patient interview, physical exam, critical thinking and clinical procedures),

  • Professionalism,

  • Interprofessional collaborative education and work environments,

  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity, and

  • Clinical rotations in urban/ rural community-based practice settings as well as rotations in university affiliated academic medical centers.

Some quick facts about the program:

Campus location: Dublin, OH

Program length: 27 months

Anticipate class size: 45

Full-time faculty: 5

PANCE Performance: Results will be posted when the OU PA Program is granted (1) Accreditation-Provisional and (2) the Charter Class of 2015 completes the PANCE exam in 2017.

ARC-PA Accreditation

The program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for a proposed Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Ohio University Physician Assistant program anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2015, pending receipt of Accreditation – Provisional by the ARC-PA in March 2015 of ARC-PA commission meeting. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled and/or graduated students, but at the time of its initial accreditation review has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards.

Contact Us

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Division of Physician Assistant Practice

P.O. Box 3158

Dublin, OH 43016

Telephone: 614-793-3071


All questions from prospective students regarding the application process and/or program requirements, may email directly at: