School of Health Professions

School of Health Professions programs hold inaugural hooding ceremonies

Respiratory Care Class of 2024 poses after hooding and awards ceremony
Respiratory Care master's and bachelor's students and faculty held an awards ceremony for bachelor's students and an inaugural hooding ceremony for master's students on May 16.


Two School of Health Professions programs started a new tradition this spring by holding pre-commencement hooding ceremonies for their graduating students.

Dean's Award recipient Gavin Harrell, DPT

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program held its awards and hooding ceremony on May 17. The ceremony included numerous student awards, including the 2024 Dean’s Award presented by School of Health Professions Dean David Shelledy, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FASAHP, to Brook McDaniel, DPT, and Gavin Harrell, DPT. Other awards included those for highest GPA, clinical excellence, exemplary service to the professional community, research and sustained service and leadership.

Class President Kelsey Segner, DPT, opened the ceremony with remarks reflecting on the journey and growth she and her classmates have made over the course of the three-year DPT program.

“As we prepare to graduate and become licensed clinicians, we are confident that the trials and triumphs we have faced have equipped us to provide exceptional patient care and make a meaningful impact on the lives of our future patients,” Segner told the students and their family and friends that filled Hurd Auditorium.

Dean's Award recipient Brook McDaniel, DPT 

The Master of Science in Respiratory Care Class of 2024 students were hooded by faculty during an inaugural ceremony on May 16. The 35 master’s students will finish the program this August.

“We want to recognize you as leaders in the field of respiratory care,” Professor Ruben Restrepo, MD, RRT, FAARC, FCCP, told the students right before their hoods were placed.

“This ceremony is a celebration of our hard work, dedication and perseverance throughout our academic journey,” master’s student and Respiratory Care Student Organization Matriculation and Graduation Chair Serena De Luna said in her opening speech.

The ceremony, attended by students and faculty, also featured awards and pins for the program’s 14 graduating Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care students. Jenna Butz received the Dean’s Award, which requires a 4.0 GPA, and the Clinical Excellence Award. Mikhail Frolov received the Academic Excellence Award.

In his remarks to the respiratory care students, Dean Shelledy urged the graduates to stay connected.

“As you go out into that clinical world, I want to remind you that you are members of the UT Health family,” he said. “Keep in touch. Let us know of the amazing achievements you are going to have over the next few years and the course of your career.”

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