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First Graduating Class of Doctors of Physical Therapy

The Doctor of Physical Therapy graduating class of 2010
The Doctor of Physical Therapy graduating class of 2010

Sixteen proud students graduated in May with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). In addition to the formal UWM graduation ceremony, there was a special celebration just for the graduates and their families.

The CHS Human Movement Sciences (HMS) Department, which offers this program, held its inaugural “Distinguished Lecture Series” on May 15th in recognition of it first graduating class. Later each student was acknowledged and presented with a special pin and certificate.

The new Doctors of Physical Therapy are: Tyler Barrett, Lewis Benedict, Jeffrey Deja, Wendee Foley (Lensing), Elizabeth Johnson, John Kuhn, Kristina Laundre, Malinda Mueller, Karyn Plotz, Ali Rud, Cathy Steinhorst, Ryan Tully, Kelly Vander Bloomen, Amber Wacek, Kellie Wagner and Melissa Wiedmeyer.

Guest lecturer at the program was Ann F. Van Sant, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, Penn., who spoke on “Diagnosing in Physical Therapy Practice: The Confluence of Art and Science.”

The innovative DPT program offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum and specialized clinical preparation for a career in physical therapy.

Director of this pioneering new pro­gram, Kathryn Zalewski, Ph.D., MPA, PT, assistant professor, HMS, said, “The new degree is in response to the changes in the requirements of the physical therapy pro­fession.” There will be a statewide need for 150 new physical therapists each year for the next ten years.

Students begin their preparation to become Doctors of Physical Therapy after completing their Bachelor’s Degree. They complete two years of academic instruction and then spend a year in full-time clinical practice under the mentorship and guidance of hand-selected clinical instructors.

The DPT program, now fully accred­ited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), has already established an excellent repu­tation with more applicants that can be accommodated.

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