Earhart Gives Engaging Lecture and Receives Inaugural Alumni Achievement Award

By Purnell T. Cropper | February 10, 2012

The road to Arcadia was not long for Dr. Gammon Earhart ’94, ’96M.S.P.T. Growing up only 70 miles away in Oxford, Pa., Earhart matriculated with the intention of studying physical therapy. As a high school student she had the chance to observe physical therapists work with students in school settings and knew immediately that she wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy.

“My experience at the University had a tremendous impact on my career,” she says. Earhart’s education in Glenside and her passion for research have taken her across the country. After completing a master’s degree in physical therapy at Arcadia, Earhart enrolled in a Ph.D. program for the additional training necessary to pursue more research opportunities in her field. Now she is an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, where she continues to work in the lab.

Earhart returned to Arcadia in January to share her success story and to celebrate with the Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2012. While on campus she delivered an engaging lecture in the new Commons student center and received the first Alumni Achievement Award given by the College of Health Sciences at the 2012 Doctor of Physical Therapy Commencement Ceremony.

During her talk, Earhart reflected on her career—and love of turtles—and presented some of her latest research on the use of dance as a form of rehabilitation for people with Parkinson’s disease. “It was wonderful to see a former student in the process of realizing the potential that we identified when she was here,” notes Dr. Archie Vomachka, Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professor of Biology.

Earhart also attended the Doctor of Physical Therapy Capstone Presentations, encouraging the soon-to-be graduates to excel as healthcare providers and researchers. “I am so pleased that she was able to take the time out of her very busy schedule to be on campus for the graduating student Capstone Presentations,” says Dr. Rebecca Craik, Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. “Her engagement with the students at the sessions helped them understand the value of their efforts.”