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University of South Florida

Culture Champion recognized in USF Health School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have often brought out the best in people. One of those is Jeremy Turkall, manager of educational and student affairs in the USF Health School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. Mr. Turkall recently received a Culture Coin for stepping up in March 2020 to be the school’s care and point person for Covid-19. His efforts included working long hours to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. This was in addition to his routine duties with the school, which include oversight of our educational and student affairs staff, admissions, marketing, alumni and community engagement.

Mr. Turkall was nominated for and awarded the Culture Coin by Douglas Haladay, DPT, PhD, Morsani College of Medicine associate dean and director of the school of physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences.

“Jeremy embodies the USF Health culture by routinely showing our values of respect, inclusion, excellence and passion for our students and programs,” Dr. Haladay said, later adding, “(He) has stepped up in a big way to help out with Covid-19 over the past 20 months.”

Mr. Turkall has continued to help students if they need to isolate because they believe they’ve been infected or if they become ill with COVID-19, while also working to provide academic continuity and a safe return to campus. During the peaks of the pandemic Mr. Turkall routinely shared USF and CDC guidance with our community, collaborated with Student Health Services on testing and isolation, and worked with faculty on safe practices and educational environments. He also worked closely with our clinical education team to ensure testing for integrated clinical experience and assisted our director of clinical education if any students had an exposure or tested positive during their clinical education.

In addition, Mr. Turkall helped cover many on-campus events for our students and even established “study breaks” during 2020 to give our students more time on campus to practice skills in a safe environment. These “study breaks” were strategically placed in schedules near exams and practicals. Mr. Turkall also provided students access to supplies and materials to practice and study on campus. In January 2021, both athletic training programs moved into the school, and Jeremy has worked to support their students and faculty during the pandemic as well.