Faculty and staff
advantage of our community of knowledgeable faculty to provide expert advice,
career and course guidance, and support.
Founding Chair, Professor
Richard Dehn was appointed Professor and
Founding Chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in November
2010. He received a BA in history from the University of Iowa in Iowa City in
1973, a BS in medicine in 1976 from the University of Iowa College of Medicine
PA Program, and a MPA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA, in
1991. His medical teaching career began in 1979 as a faculty member for the
UC-Davis FNP/PA Program Merced satellite, and for many years he worked as a PA
in the UC-Davis Merced Family Practice Residency. In 1993 he became the
Assistant Director of the University of Iowa PA Program. In 2003 he was named a
Teaching Scholar by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. From
2008-2010 he was the program director of the UC-Davis FNP/PA Program. He holds
the rank of emeritus professor at the University of Iowa.
He has been very active in state
and national professional organizations over most of his career. He also has
served as President of the PA History Society, and the Chair of the Physician
Assistant Education Association Research Institute. He currently serves on the
editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
where he is the feature editor of Research Corner and Brief Reports, and he is
a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association subcommittee on Data
and Research. He has served on numerous grant review committees, as well as
currently serving as a site visitor for the Accreditation Review Committee for
Physician Assistants. He was awarded the American Academy of Physician
Assistants PAragon Publishing Award in 2001, the Association of PA Programs
Research Achievement Award in 2003, and the Iowa PA Society PA of the Year
award in 2006.
He has published extensively,
authoring dozens of book chapters, editing two books, and authoring over 100
journal articles. He has presented national workshops on performing research
and scholarly work, designing of PA program curriculum, and writing for
He has over thirty years of clinical experience as a
PA in family medicine, where he has long advocated for the provision of primary
care services in underserved populations. Additionally he has been a foster
parent, advocating for the rights of children to grow up in a nurturing
environment. His favorite pastimes are reading, playing musical instruments,
Associate Clinical Professor
After growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, Dr. Babcock earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and her degree in physician assistant studies at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois in 1997. In 2004, she earned an MPAS degree from the University of Nebraska. Dr. Babcock has practiced clinically in the fields of internal medicine, dermatology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R), and became a full-time PA educator in 2007. She is actively involved on the Executive Board of Directors of the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA) and serves on the Faculty Development Institute (FDI) of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). She finished her Doctor of Health Science degree through Nova Southeastern University in September of 2012.
Dr. Babcock has authored a book chapter, and has presented many lectures at both the ASAPA state conferences and the AAPA national conferences. She has served as a student society faculty advisor and won a Faculty Appreciation Award in 2010. As a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), she has committed her attention and career to being a PA educator, providing quality education to PA students at Northern Arizona University.
Jonathan Cartsonis, MD
Dr. Cartsonis, besides being the NAU PA Program Medical Director, serves as the Director of the Rural Health Professions Program and is course co-director for Biomedical Career Exposure I and II Pathway Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. He is also a staff physician at Maricopa County Correctional Health, and previously served as the medical director of Health Care for the Homeless in the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.
He received a BA from Oberlin College in Ohio, his MD from University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, completed a residency in Family Medicine at the UC-Davis Modesto (Stanislaus County - Scenic) Residency Program, and completed a faculty development fellowship at the UA College of Medicine-Tucson. He is Boarded in Family Medicine.
Associate Clinical Professor
Bettie Coplan, MPAS, PA-C
Bettie Coplan earned her Bachelor of Medical Science degree from Midwestern University in 1999 and her Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2005. She has been an educator since 2006. Before joining Northern Arizona University, she served as Midwestern’s Assistant Director of Didactic Education, coordinated the program’s clinical master’s curriculum and taught evidence-based medicine. In her role at NAU, she coordinates the program’s History and Physical Examination and Clinical Decision-Making courses.
Bettie has published in a number of journals and presented on a national level on various topics including the use of technology in education. In 2008 she received the Physician Assistant Education Association’s (PAEA) New Faculty Award for Professional Excellence and in 2011, the PAEA award for article of the year. Bettie has practiced clinically since 1999; her experience includes correctional health, family medicine, and gastroenterology.
Associate Clinical Professor
DiBaise grew up in Sacramento, CA and graduated with a strong science
background. She was a professional
ballet dancer and moved to New York City to pursue a dance career. After a couple of years performing, she moved
to Seattle to attend college at the University of Washington majoring in
psychology. Michelle attended the
University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) PA Program and graduated in
1990. She has practiced in pulmonology,
orthopedic surgery and for ten years, dermatology in Nebraska. She also practiced in psychiatry and urology
at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Michelle has served as adjunct faculty and a
preceptor at UNMC and adjunct faculty at AT Still University in Mesa, AZ. She was the Co-Course Director for
Dermatology and an Instructor in Behavioral Medicine at the School of
Osteopathic Medicine at AT Still University.
Michelle is currently a full-time Associate Clinical Professor for the
NAU PA Program.
served on various American Academy of Physician Assistant (AAPA) committees (Public
Education, Awards, among others); the Student Academy of the AAPA as both a student
and as Graduate Advisor; Vice President of the PA Foundation; the House of
Delegates for nearly 22 years; the Journal of the AAPA Editorial Board; and the
AAPA Board of Directors (three years as Director at Large: External Affairs
Chair, Finance Committee, PAF representative; Student Academy Work Group). In
addition, she has served as President of the Arizona State Association of PAs
(ASAPA) in addition to serving as President for Nebraska, Iowa and the Society
of Dermatology PAs. She currently serves
on the editorial board for the Journal of Dermatology PAs, the Public Relations
Chair for ASAPA, the AAPA Board of Directors and as an abstract reviewer for
Michelle has authored eight book chapters and
over a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles.
She has presented over 100 continuing medical education lectures at the
state and national level. She is a
Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA.
Michelle was awarded the AAPA Educator of the Year Award in 2001. She received the President’s Award in Iowa in
1994. She was named PA of the Year in
Nebraska in 1998 and placed in the Nebraska PA Foundation Hall of Honor in
Associate Clinical Professor
Mr. Enking was a Navy Corpsman with the US
Marines prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison PA program.
After his graduation in 1985, he moved to Maine and concentrated primarily in
internal medicine and psychiatry. In 1999, he accepted a position at the
University of New England as the Clinical Coordinator for the PA Program. In
2010, he became core faculty with The George Washington University Medical
Faculty Associates to implement the first PA Program in the Kingdom of Saudi
In September 2011, he joined the NAU faculty to develop and implement
the program in Phoenix. He is currently on the Physician Assistant
Education Association (PAEA) Clinical Education Committee and the PAEA
Conference Curriculum Subcommittee. He is the lead author of the Clinical
Coordinator Handbook that is expected to be published in the Fall 2012 for all
US-based PAEA member programs. He enjoys hiking, biking, traveling and living
Assistant Clinical Professor
Lisa Tshuma, MPAS, MPA, PA-C
Lisa Tshuma completed her Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree at the University of Utah (UPAP) in 2008. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of International Studies from the School for International Training in Vermont. Her clinical experience includes primary care at Federally Qualified Community Health Centers as well as geriatrics and neurology. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently and has utilized her language and bi-cultural skills throughout her career as a physician assistant and researcher. Prior to joining NAU, she served as a PA educator at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth where she was involved in Mexican American Alzheimer’s disease research. Lisa has served on various state PA committees and currently serves on the national Physician Assistant Education Association Ethics Council. In addition to presenting nationally, she has been an invited speaker at international continuing medical education conferences. Her research interests include health disparities, global health, integrated behavioral healthcare, neurocognitive disorders, health policy and health reform. Lisa has received awards from the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research as well as the American Academy of University Women. In her role at NAU, she coordinates the program’s Medical History and Physical Examination course and two of the Foundations of Clinical Medicine courses.
Mary Lou Brubaker
Assistant Clinical Professor
Mary Lou Brubaker, PharmD, PA-C
- PA School at Midwestern University, Glendale, IL
- Many years of Clinical Practice in family medicine, pediatrics, adolescent care, women’s health, preventive care (routine wellness) and chronic disease care
- PA and Pharmacy educator
Regional Clinical Coordinator, Central Phoenix
Jamie Ostdiek, MS, PA-C
- PA School at University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1992
- Masters in Education and Leadership at A.T. Still University, 2013
- 7 years of Clinical Practice in family medicine, preventive cardiology
- 9 years as part-time PA educator
- JAAPA Publishing Award 1996
Regional Clinical Coordinator, Yuma
Tami Harmon, MPAS, PA-C
- Owner of Pinnacle Healthcare – Occupational Health
- Graduate of University of Nebraska Medical Center
- Marathon runner
Regional Clinical Coordinator, Tucson
Cyndi Reilly, MAPA, PA-C
- PA practice in urgent care
- Past president of ASAPA
- Graduate of A.T. Still PA Program
Regional Clinical Coordinator, Flagstaff
Clinical Placement Coordinator
Program Coordinator, Sr.