First Year PT Students Receive White Coats in Special Combined Ceremony

Posted On September 20, 2018
Categories News

William Foster, one of 43 first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students, proudly received his white coat during the fall Department of Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony and Service of Remembrance held earlier in September. These young men and women completed their initial classroom studies and officially marked their entry into clinical studies.

“This ceremony allowed me to officially make the first step into pursuing a career in physical therapy,” Foster said. “Receiving the white coat symbolized my transition into clinical and professional education. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to optimizing my potential.”

New Department of Physical Therapy chair Dr. Sujay Galen, along with three faculty, presented each student with his or her white coat.

On a more somber note, the second year DPT students conducted a service of remembrance for the donor who gave their bodies for physical therapy anatomy coursework. Each year, these anonymous individuals are recognized and remembered in a formal service as part of the white coat ceremony.

The Class of 2020 added to the remembrance service by planting a small tree outside of the Petit Science Center building which houses the physical therapy classrooms. Also, Alison Wilson, a second-year DPT student, inspired by a previous student’s artwork, presented the class with a painting she created celebrating the gift of the anatomy cadaver donors.

“I was looking at my skeleton one day after I had decided I wanted to contribute an art piece to the remembrance ceremony and I loved the lines and shape of the thoracic cage to the pelvis, the core and protection of the human body,” said Wilson. She added a large sunflower, small daisy, a water lily and rose. “Each flower represents a beautiful life lived by a generous people who allowed us to learn from him or her.”

Third-year DPT student Ashley Miller shared stories of the challenges of her clinical experiences and encouraged the first-year students to lean on each other and share their journeys of clinical self-discovery.

“I challenge you to learn from every mistake and difficult situation, embrace every experience you encounter and let it teach you and guide you to figure out the kind of clinician you want to be. You’re here on this new journey to find your passion. And being passionate is unique and different for everyone,” Miller said.

The PT department, during this ceremony, recognized clinical partners with a variety of awards including outstanding clinical educator and facility awards and gave out two distinguished alumni awards to Hannah Redd (D.P.T., 2015) and Alyssa Walz (D.P.T., 2014). Past alumni award recipient Robert “Barney” Poole, along with emerita professor Carolyn Crutchfield, attended this ceremony, making it all the more special for the faculty and students who are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of this department.