Class of 2020 Graduation

Our School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences (SPT&RS) Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2020 celebrated their graduation on August 7-8, 2020 virtually via our annual Graduation Celebration and the USF Summer Commencement. We welcomed forty new Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates to our alumni network, which is now over 890 alums between our DPT, Masters of Physical Therapy, and our Transitional DPT program. This class came in during the Fall of 2017, which created some uniqueness due to Hurricane Irma. They then also finished the program this year dealing with Covid19, and the new scenarios and challenges it presented. Having to deal with so many unique challenges and hurdles, these graduates are uniquely prepared for the adversity and new challenges they will face as practicing physical therapists.

During the evening we also awarded our annual Graduation Celebration awards. All awards are voted on by faculty and staff, and final approvals/decisions are made by the SPT&RS Scholarship and Awards Committee.

Garrett Dietz pictured above is the 2020 recipient of the Catherine Page Clinical Excellence Award. This award is named after Catherine Page who was the first Director of Clinical Education. This award recognizes a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional clinical skills and is awarded based on feedback from clinical instructors and the Director of Clinical Education.

Skye Haddock pictured above is the 2020 recipient of the Laura Lee “Dolly” Swisher Ethical and Professional Leadership Award. This award is named after Dr. Dolly Swisher, a founding faculty member, our third School Director, and now Professor Emeritus. This award recognizes a graduate who illustrates strong professional and ethical behavior, displays effective confidence, engenders trust with patients and colleagues, high academic achievement, actively participated throughout the program, and demonstrates clinical acumen.

Our last award given out was the SPT&RS Capstone Systematic Review Award, which recognizes an outstanding capstone research project. The recipients of this award are nominated by the Capstone Faculty and final decision made by our Assistant School Director of Research. The 2020 recipients of this award were Delysia Davis, Emily Jaffe, Blaine LePere, and Katelyn Panawash along with their faculty mentor Dr. Haladay. Their capstone project was titled “Efficacy of Shared-Decision Making on Clinical Outcome Measures in Adults with Low Back Pain.”


The Graduation Celebration concluded with final remarks from the Class of 2020 President, Ali Cochrane. Ali also led her fellow graduates in reciting their classes Oath of Professionalism, which they wrote during their first semester of the program.

To watch the 2020 University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine Commencement visit: