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Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduates Receive Diplomas, Take Oath

by Paige Hawk Sep 1, 2022

They’ve tackled rigorous classes and challenging clinical rotations. They’ve developed the skills necessary to excel at patient-centered care and bonded as future health care professionals. Now, members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2022 are ready to pursue their passion wherever their careers may lead them.

Twenty-seven students received their diplomas during the annual recognition and awards ceremony held at the DeSales University Center. The program began with an address from Gerard Joyce ’91, Ph.D., executive vice president.

“What impresses me the most about this class is your dedication, flexibility, and your character,” Joyce said. “You remained dedicated to your vocation, you pushed yourself and adapted to situations changing daily, and you did this with a sense of great purpose. This pandemic did not stand in your way.”

Zachary Gambrell D’22, selected by his peers as class speaker, expressed a similar sentiment.

“We did it. We stuck it out. We persevered. We stayed strong even when our worlds were figuratively or literally falling apart. The strength and determination my classmates have shown me through the last three years is truly inspiring. ... My classmates—my family—I know each one of you will succeed not only as a PT but within your daily life.”

 Zachary Gambrell D’22 

After receiving their diplomas, the graduates took the oath of a physical therapist, conveying their commitment to their profession and all those whose lives they’ll touch as health care providers.

During the ceremony, the following students were recognized for their outstanding achievements:

  • Professional Excellence: Gabriel Lamm ’19, D’22.
  • Academic Excellence: Melissa Kugler D’22.
  • Clinical Excellence: Alyssa McCluskey D’22.
  • Research Excellence Award: Stephen Carp, PT, Ph.D., associate professor’s research group—Elizabeth Bartoli D’22, Marques Castro D’22, Matthew Heineman ’19, D’22, Rosalie Servin D’22, Giacomo Spatola D’22.
  • Salesian Spirit Award: Sarah Maria Berkenstock ’19, D’22.
  • The National Physical Therapy Student Honor Society: Sarah Maria Berkenstock ’19, D’22, Amanda DeRea D’22, Gabriel Lamm ’19, D’22, Mary O’Malley D’22, Cassidy Schultz D’22.
  • William A. Lavin Scholar Award: Amanda DeRea D’22.
  • Class Speaker: Zachary Gambrell D’22.