Deanna Sipes, a third-year student in the Division of Physical Therapy, integrates service into her life, and it’s a mission she hopes to continue when she earns her Doctor of Physical Therapy.

“I think it’s very important within this profession,” Sipes said. “It’s a very giving profession.” Sipes’s family is from Venezuela, and she said it’s important to take her passion for service learning abroad because of that personal connection.

“Working with kids with disabilities is very different than in the United States,” Sipes explained. “A lot of children with disabilities don’t get the medical attention and treatment they need. I am a really big supporter of providing service that empowers those in need instead of just giving a one-way service.”

Sipes, whose family now lives in Bethesda, Maryland, said her clinical rotations during the program have challenged her to apply what she’s learned with patients and make a difference. “Having that short eight or 12-week impact on a patient’s life is really cool, and it’s a great learning opportunity,” Sipes said.

After graduating in August 2019, Sipes hopes to work with children, especially those who face disabilities. “That’s exactly what I want to do,” she said. “Being a part of building their confidence and showing them that their bodies are physically capable … I like to be a part of that.”

For the 2018-2019 academic year, Sipes is a Rebecca Irene Sande scholar. The division is housed in the Department of Allied Health Sciences.