School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences officially welcomes Class of 2020

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences class of 2020

Students in the Class of 2020 for the USF School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences officially began their journey to join the health care field after receiving their white coats Oct. 19 during the Commitment to Professionalism Ceremony at the School of Music auditorium.

The class of 50 students is the largest and most geographically diverse class of Doctorate of Physical Therapy students in the history of the school.  The 31 females and 19 males making up the group come from 18 different states with an average undergraduate grade point average of 3.71.  Dr. Swisher’s message to the students was about the importance of professionalism and its role in health care.

“One of the things we recognize is that professionalism is an interprofessional enterprise and we can’t do it alone.  The best care is delivered by teams committed to each other and the common goal of professionalism,” said Laura Lee “Dolly” Swisher, PT, MDIV, PhD, FNAP, FAPTA, interim director of SPTRS.

Justin Moore, chief executive officer of the American Physical Therapy Association, was the keynote speaker for the event.  His words to the class emphasized the important role physical therapists play on the health care team.

“We are afforded the unique opportunity to change the priorities of health care especially with growing emphasis on exercise and mobility as key interventions across health care,” said Moore.  “The path you choose will make all the difference in your journey toward advancing the health care of communities and individuals.”

Several awards were also handed out to staff and students to recognize their contributions to the school and the community.

– Spirit of Interprofessionalism Award:  Teresa Gore, PhD, DNP

– Community Partner Excellence in Teaching Award: Kelly Tucker,

– Gregory R. Nicolosi Commitment to Professionalism Award: David Kroger, Class of  2019

– Vorholy Memorial Scholarship:  Sarah Norris, Class of 2018.

– Kurtzman Scholarship: Rachel Harrington, Class of 2018.

– Future Professional Scholarship: Laura Zilke, Class of 2019.

– Tiedemann Circle of Motion Scholarship: Eric Lopez, Class of 2020.