News » Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduation Awards Ceremony

Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduation Awards Ceremony

After more than 2,100 didactic hours and 1,500 clinical hours of training, the 33 students who make up the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Class of 2013 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, gathered in the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre to celebrate their accomplishments and recognize the program’s highest achievers during the Health Sciences program’s DPT Graduation Awards Ceremony, May 17.

Joyce Maring, Ed.D., DPT program director and associate professor of physical therapy, and Joseph Bocchino, Ed.D., M.B.A., senior associate dean of health sciences and associate professor of clinical research and leadership, both at SMHS, welcomed the students and lauded the class for their service to the community and their dedication to the principle that “education is a team sport.”

Because interdisciplinary community service is an important component of the DPT program, SMHS’ Interdisciplinary Student Community-Oriented Prevention Enhancement Service (ISCOPES) Director Angie Hinzey, M.P.H., CHES, and Executive Coordinator Donna Javellana opened the ceremony by recognizing nine DPT students for their leadership roles. The following students were presented with the ISCOPES Peer Awards: Nodair Razi (Bread for the City — Health Resource Room); Lisa Stevens (Community of Hope — Marie Reed Elementary); Asya Hankin (Community of Hope — Transitional Housing); Mindy English (Emery House); Noelle Miller (Emery House); Jeffrey Sandy (Health Information Partners); Brittney Cogbill (La Clinica del Pueblo — Community Health Action); Emily Macklin (Southeast Children’s Fund); and Kevin McGuinness (Transitioning Veterans Collaborative).

The Outstanding Alumna Award was presented by Margaret Plack, Ed.D., professor of physical therapy and health care sciences, to Catherine Denny Printz, DPT ’09, of the University of California, San Diego. As a student, Denny Printz was among those who launched the GW pro bono physical therapy clinic at the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart. The award is presented annually to a graduate of the GW Physical Therapy program who embodies the mission and vision of the program.

The Outstanding Clinical Educator Award was presented to Jennifer Gray, PT, COMT, a clinical faculty member and PT with Select Physical Therapy in Springfield, Va., for her commitment to her students and the advancement of the program at GW. The award is presented annually to a clinical educator in recognition of exceptional dedication and commitment to the development of DPT students.

The Academic Excellence Award was presented to Jessica Wiley, DPT ’13, for her remarkable academic performance and achieving a cumulative GPA of 3.92. The faculty members of the DPT Program present this award annually, in recognition of outstanding academic performance, and it is awarded to the graduate who achieved the highest cumulative GPA.

The Clinical Leadership Award was presented to Craig Rudikoff, DPT ’13. Faculty members in the DPT program present the award in recognition of the graduate who most exemplified outstanding performance in clinical practice.

Elizabeth Ruckert, DPT, PT, NCS, GCS, assistant professor of physical therapy at SMHS, was chosen to receive the Distinguished Faculty Award.

This year, the Service Excellence Awards were given to three DPT students. All of them exemplified outstanding service to others throughout their time in the program. The winners were Helen Temilola Oyebefun, Laura Beynon, and Asya Hankin.

The Jean Johnson Award for Leadership, Excellence, and Quality was presented to Josh D’Angelo, a graduating DPT student, for demonstrating excellence in academic course work, clinical practice, research, and community service. The award is named for the dean of the School of Nursing, Jean Johnson, Ph.D., RN, who, as the senior associate dean for health sciences, was a strident advocate for the Physical Therapy program. The honor is one of many D’Angelo received this year. In the fall he was elected to serve as the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Student Assembly president, and in April he received the APTA’s prestigious Mary McMillan Scholarship Award, the first GW student to receive this honor. At GW’s Commencement ceremonies on the National Mall, D’Angelo was the student recipient of the 2013 GW Award.

The 2013 Alpha Eta inductees included Laura Beynon, Lauren Britt, Cara Cadigan, Mindy English, Jeffrey Sandy, Zach Varsos, and Jessica Wiley. The Alpha Eta Honor Society is the National Honor Society for Health Science Professionals. The inductees have performed academically in the top 20 percent of their class and have displayed leadership qualities and demonstrated a commitment to community service.

D’Angelo, the DPT class president, gave the charge to his classmates, inspiring them to continue along the path of clinical excellence and deliver compassionate care to their patients. In addition to thanking the faculty, family, and friends for their support during the program, he reminded his classmates of the awesome responsibilities they will face. “We are jumping from a world of guided learning to one of variability,” D’Angelo said. “Our ‘paper patients’ of yesterday, now become very real patients with pain and disability.”

In closing, Maring thanked the class for their efforts and dedication, and told them they were prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead.