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DPT program holds Commencement ceremony

Elon University leaders conferred degrees Sunday on 36 candidates in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert charged graduates with upholding the university's core values.


PHOTO GALLERY: 2011 DPT Commencement

“Live passionately. Live powerfully. Live connected.”

As Elon University’s Department of Physical Therapy Education graduated its Class of 2011 on Sunday in Whitley Auditorium, one of the profession’s most accomplished researchers used the Commencement address to share with future therapists sitting before her how they can find fulfillment in a field that is rapidly evolving through new discoveries and practices.

Andrea L. Behrman, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Florida and a research health scientist at the Malcom Randall Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla., told the 36 doctoral candidates and their families that passion, power and connectivity will make them the “gateway” for medical care as patients attempt to recover and adjust to life-changing conditions.

Andrea L. Behrman, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Florida, gave the Commencement address.

Behrman’s areas of research expertise include neurologic recovery after spinal cord injury and locomotor experience applied to post-stroke. Since 1995, she has received grants totaling approximately $22 million. A prolific author, Behrman has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

However, she said, it’s the connections she has made with patients that make her career a point of pride. “It’s these individuals and my experiences with them as a physical therapist that continue to enrich my life on a daily basis,” Behrman said, “and that’s what you have to look forward to.”

After each candidate received his or her hood and diploma, the ceremony ended with a charge to graduates from Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. Lambert reminded the class that it carries with them the university’s core values, including a commitment to excellence, a passion for learning, personal integrity, respect for human differences and an ethic of service.

Graduates should take these values and “carry your lamps into the world, bringing light to darkened places,” Lambert said.

The ceremony also allowed program faculty to honor several current students and a clinical instructor at CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System in Shreveport, La.

DPT candidates organize in front of Whitley Auditorium prior to their Commencement ceremony.

The honorees were:

Outstanding Student Award: Jenna Murie Valaer
Outstanding Clinical Performance Award: Julianna Claire Christ
Outstanding Research Award: Danielle Nicoletti Gilbert and Tracy Jo Vincent
Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award: Darla Cathcart

Candidates for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Amber Reneé Anderson
B.A., Louisiana State University

Andrea Michelle Attorri
B.S., Elon University

Alyssa A. Bajdas
B.S., State University of New York College at Cortland

Evan Thomas Beckman
B.S., Elon University

Pamela Michelle Cameron
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Kathryn Louise Chambers
B.S., The University of Akron

Tiffany Denise Champion
B.S., Liberty University

Gregory Matthew Chrest
B.S., Elon University

Julianna Claire Christ
B.S., Texas A&M University

Maria De Los Angeles Garcia
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Julie Anne Ghormley
B.S., Western Carolina University

Danielle Nicoletti Gilbert
B.S., Elon University

Matthew D. Gingrich
B.S., McDaniel College

Jonathan Matthew Hartzel
B.S., Elon University

Shannon Leigh Jennings
B.S., Elon University

Philip Scott Jones
B.S., Kansas State University & Appalachian State University

Jenny Rebecca Kemp
B.S., Elon University

Terra Lynn King
B.S., University of Central Florida

Kenneth Allen Lynnes
B.S., Radford University

Elizabeth Carole Mann
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Morgan Dava Mason
B.S., University of South Carolina

Renée Elizabeth Delamarter Newsom
B.S., Valdosta State University

Joseph H. Osovski
B.S., Chadron State College

Brittany Ann Peterson
B.S., University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Danielle Marjorie Pike
B.S., Purdue University

Scott Jensen Rytter
B.S., Elon University

Judith Christine Saas
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Sarah Elizabeth Saxton
B.S., Virginia Commonwealth University

Jacqueline Kay Scott
B.A., Hardin-Simmons University

Jennifer Carol Maria Smid
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Lauren Elizabeth Spinks
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Katelyn Roberta Thurow
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University

Matthew Benjamin Tracey
B.S., Slippery Rock University

Jenna Murie Valaer
B.S., Auburn University

Shawn Michael Valentine
B.S., The College at Brockport - State University of New York

Tracy Jo Vincent
B.S., North Carolina State University

Eric Townsend,
12/12/2011 11:44 AM