School of Health Professions

Physical therapy students receive white coats

Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2024 poses in white coats


The 47 students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2024 received their white coats on April 7 in a ceremony representing their move from classroom learning to the clinical phase of the program.

“It’s a symbol of your dedication to the profession, service and the provision of the best possible patient care,” David Henzi, EdD, associate dean of academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions, told the students assembled in Holly Auditorium.

Class President Kelsey Segner told her classmates that their white coats represent their collective hard work and dreams.

“This coat symbolizes the start of our journey,” said Segner, who along with her classmates soon will begin their third and final year of the program, which is dedicated to full-time clinical rotations.

“This ceremony is a recognition of the culmination of two years of dedicated study in the basic, translational, and clinical sciences,” said Department of Physical Therapy Chair and Associate Professor Greg Ernst, PT, PhD, ECS. “The faculty endorsed the competencies of these students and deem them prepared to engage in full time clinical rotations. Students will have the opportunity to put their skills and knowledge into practice to make lives better.”

The program included comments from two guest speakers, including a patient who receives physical therapy in a student-run pro bono spinal cord injury clinic organized by Assistant Professor Selina Morgan, PT, DPT, NCS, and a graduate of the program, Otha Green, PT, who shared his own experience as a patient receiving physical therapy.

“All you need is a heart full of love and soul full of compassion,” Green encouraged the students during his remarks.

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