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PA Department Faculty and Staff

Name Title Credentials
Renee Levy-LeBeau Program Director MMS, PA-C
Dr. Manuel Porth Medical Director MD
Annette Sophin Clinical Director MSMM, PA-C
Rebecca McLaughlin Clinical Coordinator MMS, PA-C
Dr. Christine Kessler Full Time Faculty D.Ed., MMS, PA-C
Dr. Karen Scotti Full Time Faculty DC, MBA
Carolina Dickson Full Time Faculty MPAP, PA-C
Dr. Thomas Panavelil Adjunct Faculty PhD
Dr. Charles Powell Adjunct Faculty PhD
Dr. Boris Djokic Adjunct Faculty PhD
Nieves Garcia Administrative Assistant to the Program Director BA
Nikki Sawyer Admissions Manager MAHR

Renee Levy-LeBeau, MMS, PA-C

Professor Levy-LeBeau is the Interim Program Director. She has previously held the position as Assistant Program Director and Academic Director. Professor Levy-LeBeau joined Keiser University Physician Assistant Program in December 2014 as Principle faculty. In September 2015 she was appointed to Academic Director. In October 2017 she was appointed to Assistant Program Director. Raised in Davie, FL she attended Nova Southeastern University for her undergraduate work as well as Physician Assistant training. She has a Master’s Degree in Medical Science. Currently, she is pursuing her Doctorate of Health Science. She is a National Health Service Corp Scholar. She has practiced primarily in Correctional Medicine for six years with the Michigan Department of Correction. In addition, she has experience working in a Ryan White title III program at which time she held certification as a HIV Specialist with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. She has experience in Infectious Disease, Pediatrics and Pain Management.

Dr. Manuel Porth, MD

Dr. Porth graduated from Cass Tech in Michigan and received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Wayne State University. Dr. Porth’s post graduate training was in Microbiology and Virology at the University of Illinois. After receiving a Medical Degree from Wayne Medical School in Detroit, Michigan Porth trained three years in General Surgery at the University of Chicago until he joined the US Army. Dr. Porth did his Orthopedic Residency at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC and served as the Chief of Orthopedics at Martin Army Hospital Fort Benning, Georgia. While serving in the United States Army, Dr. Porth received vast experience treating traumatic orthopedic injuries as well as extensive surgical experience in total joint reconstruction. After eight years in the Military Porth retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and moved to Broward County where he began practicing orthopedics in Tamarac, Florida. While focusing his orthopedic practice in the area of hip, knee, shoulder, and elbow replacement as well as orthopedic trauma he was a Clinical Associate Professor at Nova University School of Medicine and preceptor for Physician Assistant students from several different PA Programs. Dr. Porth is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and a long-standing member of the American Academy of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Dr. Porth joined Keiser University in September 2019 as the Medical Director for the PA Program. He is married with three sons.

Annette Sophin, MSMM, PA-C

Professor Sophin joined the Keiser Physician Assistant Program as Clinical Director in September 2013. She previously served as Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator at Nova Southeastern University PA Program from 1995-2000. She completed a Surgical Fellowship from Montefiore PA Surgical Training Program. Professor Sophin has several years of clinical experience in New York and in Florida. Through her work as a Clinical Specialist, she developed important relationships in the local medical community. She is deeply committed to clinical site development and the education of PA students.

Rebecca Mclaughlin, MMS, PA-C

Ms. Rebecca McLaughlin received her Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the Nova Southeastern University Physician Assistant Program. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from Florida State University. Prior to becoming a Physician Assistant, she spent five years in higher education, serving as faculty at the University of Florida and Valdosta State University in each school’s respective English Language Program. As a licensed Physician Assistant, she has worked mainly in Critical Care medicine and in Primary Care, where she strives to provide compassionate, evidenced-based medicine to deliver optimal patient outcomes. Professor McLaughlin was honored to join the Keiser University Physician Assistant Program as a Principal Faculty member. She has since transitioned into the role Clinical Coordinator, where her primary responsibilities consist of arranging and placing Clinical Year students in their Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences, evaluating Objective Structured Clinical Examinations and maintaining productive relationships between the Keiser University Physician Assistant Program and our local physicians and healthcare systems. One of her professional goals is to provide students high-quality Clinical Sites with Preceptors who are deeply invested in the education of future Physician Assistants. She is also deeply committed to meeting and exceeding standards enacted by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

Dr. Christine Kessler, D.Ed., MMS, PA-C

Dr. Christine Kessler is a proud member of the Physician Assistant Program Faculty. She has a Doctorate in Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University, a Masters in Medical Science (a Physician Assistant Master’s degree), a Bachelor in Physician Assistant from St. Francis University. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and licensed by the State of Florida. Her duties include a variety of tasks, including the assurance of program assessment for the purposes of program improvement. She is experienced in teaching a variety of topics pertinent to physician assistant education using case-based and student-centered learning and teaching methods, as well as a traditional lecture format. As a recipient of a master teacher distinguished teaching award, she has promoted a safe learning environment which promotes student engagement. Her clinical experience includes working in a variety of primary care and internal medicine settings.

Dr. Karen Scotti, DC, MBA

Dr. Karen Scotti is a Chiropractor for more than 30 years and a graduate of New York Chiropractic College. In 1993 she earned her Diplomate degree in Chiropractic Orthopedics and Sports Injuries while maintaining a private practice in New York for 18 years. In 1997, with her extensive experience in clinical services was appointed the position of Clinical Director at the University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic. In 2000, Dr. Scotti obtained her MBA with honors in the area of Operations and Management, with a sub-specialty in Healthcare Finance, from the University of Bridgeport. She has taught and lectured for over 25 years in the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels, both online and in the classroom. For the past 2 years Dr. Scotti lectures as a didactic faculty in the PA Department at Keiser University. An extremely passionate woman who has dedicated her career to the continued improvement in herself, her career and the numerous students that she has interfaced with over the years.

Carolina Dickson, MPAP, PA-C

Professor Dickson joined the Keiser PA Program in 2019 as Principal Faculty. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in North Carolina and has a Masters of Physician Assistant Practice from USC’s Keck School of Medicine PA Program in Los Angeles, California. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and licensed by the State of Florida. She worked a year in Emergency Medicine at a Level II Trauma Center in California prior to relocating to South Florida. She worked 2 years in Gastroenterology with a focus on patient education, IBS, and nutrition. Using her clinical experience, Professor Dickson applies case-based learning to all of her lesson plans. She puts her students first which aligned with Keiser University’s philosophy. Professor Dickson is dedicated to the PA profession and education and is a member of AAPA, FAPA, and PAEA.

Nieves Garcia

Ms. Garcia attended Florida International University. Before coming to Keiser University, PA Program, Ms. Garcia worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration at the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela for 24 years. She brings to the Keiser family an extensive administrative and fiscal experience received in over sixteen countries where she traveled as part of the Caracas Country Office, Eight International Drug Enforcement Conferences (IDEC) throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and Four Traveling White House Presidential trips. Ms. Garcia is an avid reader and contributes to her community with volunteer service.

Nikki Sawyer, MAHR

Ms. Sawyer holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University and a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Dramatic Arts from South Carolina State University. She has been a part of the Keiser University family since 2008. She began with the university as an Admissions Counselor for the graduate division assisting prospective students interested in applying for various programs. In 2009, she also began working with the Physician Assistant (PA) program and helped develop the initial admissions process and procedures. Ms. Sawyer later moved into the role of working exclusively with the PA program as a Senior Admissions Counselor in 2014 before assuming her current position as the PA program’s Admissions and Administration Manager in 2015.

My instructors believed in me. They were more than instructors, they tried to get to know you as a person and tried to understand your goals so they could push you towards them. Student services helped me find a job before I even graduated. Everyone was dedicated to my overall success.

Jessica Kircher

Going to Keiser University was one of the greatest experiences in my life. All of my deans, professors, and staff made me feel that I was a part of something very special, and I am. I would recommend for anyone to get their education at Keiser University.

Belinda Haney

The instructors at Keiser University impacted my life. They believed in my ability to become a great graphic designer, regardless of how I felt about my skills. KU helped to prepare me for the real world and got me to where I am today.

Justin Pugh

Beyond the curriculum of the courses, the lessons the instructors have taught me have paid dividends in my real work experiences. How to respond to criticisms, project and time management, interview skills, the list goes on and on. At the end of the day, they not only showed me how to design, but they taught me how to be a professional.

Ryan Bushey

If not for my education at Keiser I probably would not be where I am today, in both life and career. It is because of going to Keiser and the instructors I had that I joined a club started by Mr. Williams, The Lakeland Shooters Photography Group, which allowed me to venture into an amazing and very creative field that I use to enhance all aspects of my life.

Anthony Sassano

The Design program at Keiser University was filled with real world learning and hands on instruction… Based on the portfolio I created while a student at Keiser University, I landed a job in Graphic Design for a major online retailer immediately after graduation.

Ty Fitzgerald

The year and a half I spent in the program better prepared me for attaining a job in the field…As a hands-on learner, the project-centered teaching was perfect for me.

Jackson Tejada

Keiser University has given me the opportunity to embrace a career change… It has opened the door for a timely graduation and quick return to the work force…

Dale Caverly

Without the education I received at Keiser University, I would not be where I am today!

Meisha Ebanks, R.N.

I not only received an excellent education but also encouragement and training that built my self-confidence every day.

Nidia Barrios

I realize the amount of knowledge I gained and feel that the educational experiences have developed me in to a person who can move higher up the career ladder.

Carlos Ramirez Flores

Keiser University’s MBA program has renewed my mind, changed the way I think, and given me a new sense of purpose.  The professors transformed my attitude and behavior, gave me the self-confidence I was lacking, and restored my energy.

Connie Sue Centrella

It has been great attending and graduating from Keiser University.  Because of the small class sizes, I was able to build good relationships with classmates and professors.  The PA professors care very much about the progress and success of the students and have been great advisors every step of the way through the program.

Annelise Merriner, PA-C

Attending Keiser University and getting my degree was the best decision I have ever made.  The small class sizes and personalized attention helped me get my degree quickly.  The hands-on experience and the education landed me a job at a neighboring law firm.

Dedrick Saxon

I chose Keiser because it had everything—small classes, caring professors, hands-on learning, and counselors that are really there for you.  I feel like I’m part of a family here, not just a number.

Natalie Dou

After being denied for several promotions at my current employer, I decided that I needed to further my education.  Since graduating from Keiser with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I have been promoted and I am able to obtain positions that weren’t available to me before.

Laurie Williams

Keiser helped change my life by getting my education at the right school! I had been going to another school before, I dropped out because I felt that I was not getting enough information. When I found out about Keiser, I was pleased because the instructors were great.

Nadege Dor

My decision to attend Keiser University has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I chose to enroll in the Information Technology program… The one-class-a-month pace helped incredibly with my self-discipline.

Marla Hadley

The BA for Business Administration at Keiser has to be one of the best in the nation. Keiser takes the basics that are taught at the Associates level and uses them to strengthen your skills and knowledge.

Vivian R. Howard, BA in Business Administration Graduate

I found that Keiser University’s Nuclear Medicine program of advanced studies and small class size was a perfect fit. I never came across a faculty member who wasn’t truly interested.

Gustavo Gonzalez, Nuclear Medicine Technology Graduate