Commitment to Professionalism Ceremony is Milestone for DPT Class of 2017

USF 274
Forty six students in the DPT Class of 2017, including six recent graduates of the University of West Florida, recited a solemn oath before an audience of family and friends during the USF Health School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science’s Commitment to Professionalism Ceremony held in their honor on October 16. The occasion commemorates a significant step for 1st year students in USF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program and symbolizes their entry into the community of physical therapy professionals.

The procession at the School of Music’s concert hall featured a kilt-clad bagpipe player as the students took their places and again at the conclusion of the ceremony. Dr. Gregory Nicolosi is a bagpiper with a unique connection to the School. A former Professor of Physiology in the College of Medicine, he was an Executive Associate Vice President and interim dean/vice president who helped to found the USF the School of Physical Therapy in the 1990’s.

Each student was flanked by an academic advisor and clinical mentor during the presentation of white coats which were sponsored by donors from across USF Health and the Tampa Bay community.

Dr Ruth Purtilo, professor emerita at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and renowned for research in rehabilitation ethics and interdisciplinary health care teams, delivered the keynote address. Dr Purtilo spoke to the class about the rich history of their chosen profession and what they may expect as they prepare for the future. Words of wisdom and encouragement for the new class were also offered by Stephanie Vaughan, President of the Association of Physical Therapy Students.

The Nicolosi Commitment to Professionalism Award went to Brittany Davis, a second year DPT student. Casey Hodgin, a third year student, was awarded the Vorholy Memorial Scholarship. Dr Sandy Quillen presented the School’s Spirit of Interprofessionalism Award to Dr Stephen Specter, former Associate Dean of Student Affairs for the Morsani College of Medicine.

October 2014