78 Earn Doctor of Physical Therapy Degrees

By schwartzsa | January 31, 2012

Seventy-eight students earned the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree during Arcadia University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Commencement on Saturday, Jan 28. Dr. Archie Vomachka, Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professor of Biology, conferred the degrees, and the Physical Therapy faculty performed the hooding of each doctoral candidate. After receiving their degrees, each student was received with congratulatory handshakes from President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III and Dr. Steve O. Michael, Provost, as well as a hallmark hug from Professor and Department Chair Dr. Rebecca Craik. Watch the ceremony on Ustream.tv.

Twenty-nine students graduated with distinction, and 38 students participated in international academic experiences in Dominica, Guatemala, Jamaica, England and Peru.

Fifty-four of the graduates completed the entry-level doctoral program. Twenty-four physical therapists completed the post-professional transitional doctoral program.

Several Arcadia students assisted in the ceremony. Holly Elizabeth Taylor ’12D.P.T. gave the Invocation, Stephanie Lyn Meisel ’12D.P.T. sang the National Anthem and Jeffrey Scott Reimer ’12D.P.T. gave the Student Address.

The following graduates received awards:

  • Meghan E. Serino ’12D.P.T. received the E. Jane Carlin Award in recognition of academic excellence and outstanding clinical promise.
  • Holly Elizabeth Taylor ’12D.P.T. received the Eugene Michels Award in recognition of outstanding critical reasoning processes used throughout the physical therapy curriculum.
  • Jennifer A. Gulla ’12D.P.T., received the Jill Sisenwine Berger Award in recognition of excellence, integrity, compassion, altruism, professionalism, and social responsibility. Also, Gulla was the recipient of the the Marty Palme Award in recognition of extraordinary efforts on behalf of classmates and the PT program.
  • Toniesha Nykima Utuk ’12D.P.T. received the Eric Scott McKee Student Travel Award in recognition of a future scholar who is presenting research at a national meeting. She also received the John Robinson Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to maintaining the general morale of the students.
  • Herbert Randall Rodriquez ’12D.P.T. received the Hines Wright Humanitarian Award in recognition of gaining an expanded view of clinical practice and being a global citizen.
  • Robert Graham Wise ’12D.P.T received the John Robinson Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to maintaining the general morale of the students.

“This is my first Physical Therapy Commencement at Arcadia—and I’m expecting great things from all of you,” said President Oxholm, addressing the DPT class of 2012. “I’m expecting that you will continue to learn in your evolving profession. You will continue to serve the ever-increasing health-care needs of our society—from the young to the elderly. And you will continue to keep Arcadia, your faculty and your fellow students close to your heart.”

This commencement ceremony held not one, but many ‘firsts’ in Arcadia’s history. The Class of 2012 is the first to graduate from the revised department curriculum, which now requires first and second years to attend classes through the summer as well as a six-month final internship. This is also the first commencement held in the Commons, Arcadia’s new student center in the heart of campus, which was ceremonially dedicated on Jan. 23.

Dr. Gammon Earhart ’94, ’96 M.S.P.T. accepted the first Alumni Achievement Award given by the College of Health Sciences. While on campus for the weekend she also delivered an engaging lecture (watch the lecture on YouTube) and attended the Doctor of Physical Therapy Capstone Presentations. Read more about Earhart’s return to campus.

The guest speaker was Dr. Gerard Brennan, Director of Clinical Quality and Outcomes Research for Intermountain Healthcare Physical Therapy in Utah and Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah and Pittsburgh. He has treated patients as a physical therapist for 36 years, working in a variety of clinical settings. He owned his own practice for 14 years, specializing in low back pain. Read excerpts from Brennan’s remarks.