Faculty and staff

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Richard Dehn
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 publication.
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, and walking. 


Emily Babcock
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.

John Faculty Photo 

Jonathan Cartsonis
Medical Director


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.


Marly Lou BrubakerMary 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 Coordinators

Juan Prieto

Juan Prieto, PA-C, ATC





  • Northern Arizona University, Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies
  • University of North Florida, Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training
  • United States Naval School of Health Sciences, Hospital Corpsman and Surgical Technologist School
  • NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants)
  • BOC- (Board of Certification, Athletic Training)
  • Fellow – AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants)
  • Fellow – ASAPA (Arizona State Association of Physicians Assistants)
  • Fellow – PAOS (Physicians Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery)
Juan Prieto, PA-C, ATC

Adjunct Faculty

Bettie Coplan

Bettie Coplan
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.

Rod HookerRoderick S. Hooker, PhD, PA-C
Ridgefield, WA


Roderick S. Hooker is a health policy consultant with an interest in organizational efficiency and health workforce supply and demand.  He spent two decades with Kaiser Permanente as a physician assistant and a health services researcher in Portland, Oregon.  Afterwards he joined the faculty at the University of Texas where he developed a health services research division.  From there he moved to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Dallas, Texas as the founding Director of Rheumatology Research.  During this period he developed three chronic disease registry databases and supervised the data collection.  The rheumatology databases are the foundation for over 20 studies on how characteristics of autoimmune diseases and comorbidities affecting males.  During this period Hooker coauthored 8 studies on the rheumatology workforce and inaugurated a postgraduate PA program in rheumatology.  He served as a member of the American College of Rheumatology for 20 years and coauthored a study on supply and demand of rheumatologists. 
Following the VA appointment he accepted a Senior Directorship with The Lewin Group in Washington, DC, a health policy-consulting firm.  At Lewin much of his work focused on modeling the supply and demand of various health professionals; PAs, advance practice nurses, physicians and others. 
He is a cofounder of the International Health Workforce Collaborative that meets biennially to discuss medical organizational economics.  Over the past decade Dr. Hooker served as a consultant to the Ministry of Health in Ontario and New Brunswick for development of the PA profession in those provinces.  A similar consultancy was in Queensland and Scotland developing their PA corps.  He was a visiting professor at the University of Queensland, Monash University, and the University of Manitoba.  His career includes being a US Navy corpsman, a tropical biologist, a Peace Corps volunteer, and a Coast Guard Reserve medical officer. 
Dr. Hooker has written four books on PAs.  He has authored over 200 published papers on some aspect of health services research with a focus on the economics of PAs and NP employment.  He has been a faculty member of three universities as a professor in health policy.  Roderick Hooker lives in Ridgefield, Washington where he continues his consulting work and at the same time joining citizen groups restoring hiking trails and salmon streams in the area. 

Luppo KuilmanLuppo Kuilman
Adjunct Professor/Program Manager of the Master Physician Assistant program
Hanze University of Applied Science
School of Health Care Science
Groningen, The Netherlands 

Luppo Kuilman was appointed as Professor thru an adjunct position at the Department of Physician Assistant Studies in March 2016. He received a Bachelor of Nursing in 2001 from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, The Netherlands. After being graduated as a nurse he has been working for five years in refugee care at several asylum seeker centers for the Medical Office Asylumseekers thruout the province Groningen. From 2005 until 2008 he studied at the Master Physician Assistant program of the Inholland Graduate School in Amsterdam. During his training Kuilman specialized in andrological urology at the VU Free University Medical Center. After being in clinical practice for one year he joined the Master Physician Assistant program as a PA faculty member in 2009 at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen. Since 2014 he got appointed as the Program Manager (US equiv: director) of the same program.
Since his entrance to PA education in 2009 he has been very active on the international level of PA education and research, and got invited to several international conferences to give key-note speeches about the global PA movement besides addressing the Dutch model of training PAs. Also did he serve as the Feature Editor “Global Perspectives” for the Journal of Physician Assistant Education for two years. With an interest for research Professor Kuilman has contributed to several scholarly papers regarding the international PA profession and education. Next to that he is peer-reviewer for a couple of journals, including JAAPA. In 2015 he was invited to become a taskforce member of the National Institute of Allied Health Sciences, initiated by the India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to advise about establishing a national Model Curriculum Handbook Physician Associate, and was also awarded as the very first Honorary Member of the Indian Association of Physician Assistants.
From 2013 until to date he is conducting a PhD research which centers around the ethical decision making process of physician assistants and nurse practitioners. His research focuses on validation and assessing psychometric properties of numerous questionnaires that could serve as indicators of the several constructs involved in ethical decision making.
With Professor Kuilman joining the Physician Assistant program at NAU the aim is to further expand collaboration and establish the Global Physician Assistant Research Consortium (G-PARC), and promote the awareness of a global PA movement thru research and valorization of knowledge that could benefit PA workforces around the world.



Stephanie Fox
Clinical Placement Coordinator

Kay Look

Katherine Look
Program Coordinator, Sr.

Rachele Golliher
Administrative Associate
Joaquin Santa Cruz
Administrative Associate
Mary Upell
Mary Upell, MEd
Administrative Assistant