Diana T. Noller, assistant professor and associate director of the Physician Assistant program at Arcadia’s Christiana campus in Delaware, will serve as the new chair of the Department of Medical Science and Community Health. Noller’s appointment is effective July 1. She succeeds Dr. Michael Dryer, who leaves after 19 years of leading the department.
Noller joined Arcadia in 2009, serving as clinical coordinator and academic coordinator of the Physician Assistant program. Prior to entering higher education, Noller joined the field of health care as a physical therapist and worked at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Noller worked as a physician assistant at Reconstructive Orthopedics in southern New Jersey for nine years. In 2013, she served as a content expert in the field of orthopedic surgery for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants Certificates of Added Qualifications Standard Setting Committee.
In 2014, after completing a two-year research project on how revisions to surgery curriculum impact student perception of preparedness for surgical rotations, Noller presented her findings at the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Physician Assistant Education Association national conferences. She also presented on the evaluation and management of low back pain at the 2014 and 2015 national conferences of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. In addition, she has presented on new methods of pedagogy at the Physician Assistant Education Association conference. Noller’s article on disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, a childhood condition characterized by frequent and severe outbursts of anger, was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. She also has coauthored articles for the same journal on knee pain and childhood obesity.
Noller graduated summa cum laude from Thomas Jefferson University with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy after earning a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from The College of New Jersey. She went on to graduate from Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant program with distinction in 2005. Noller is pursuing a Doctor of Health Science at A.T. Still University.
Dr. Dryer led Arcadia’s Department of Medical Science and Community Health for 19 years. Under his leadership, 100 percent of program graduates have passed the Physician Assistant National Boards over the past eight years with scores that have been in the top three to four percentile (of nearly 200 programs in the United States), more than 80 percent of PA students have had an international experience during their studies, and the program received a five-year Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant in partnership with the University of Pretoria in South Africa to develop a Clinical Associate program there.
Named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Dr. Dryer has years of experience as a physician assistant, specializing in emergency medicine. Dr. Dryer has been heavily involved with the International Academy of Physician Associate Educators (IAPAE) since its inception and served on the IAPAE’s Executive Board as treasurer. In 2014, he was instrumental in Arcadia’s hosting of IAPAE’s 7th Annual Conference. Dr. Dryer coauthored Clinician's Guide to Surgical Care, a book released in 2008 that takes a team approach to surgical patient care. He has served as an external examiner for the School of Medicine at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. Dr. Dryer will assume a new role in the College of Science, Health, and the Liberal Arts at Philadelphia University.