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Division of Physical Therapy graduates received their degrees at its annual commencement ceremony, held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, on Saturday, August 4. The ceremony recognized 30 members of the class of 2018 and three physical therapists who completed requirements for the Doctor of Physical Therapy. Additionally, three physical therapists received recognition for completing orthopedic and pediatric residencies.

Stephen Hooper, PhD, addresses the Divison of Physical Therapy Class of 2018.
Stephen Hooper, PhD, addresses the Divison of Physical Therapy class of 2018.

Awards presented at the ceremony included the following:

  • Margaret L. Moore Student Recognition Award to Kate Finegan
  • Darlene K. Sekerak and Ben F. Massey, Jr. Service Award to Ali Serrani
  • Judy Capps Beswick Award for outstanding clinical performance to Maddie Wygand.

The Award for Excellence in Clinical Instruction was given to Diane Meyer, PT, MSCS, of UNC Health Care. Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, received the Outstanding Faculty Award.

“You represent the next generation of health care, and we are proud of all that you have accomplished,” said Stephen Hooper, PhD, associate dean and chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences. “Congratulations to all on a job well done.”

Deborah Givens, PT, PhD, and division director, challenged the graduates to embrace the legacy they have inherited. Givens talked about UNC-Chapel Hill leaders in physical therapy education. These trailblazers include Dr. Margaret L. Moore, the founder of the division, and Dr. Lynda Woodruff, the first African-American to join the faculty of the division.

“Graduates, we know we have trailblazers and commanders of ships among you. The faculty and I look forward to seeing grow in those roles as you start your physical therapy careers and further your contributions to your profession and communities,” Givens said.

The Division of Physical Therapy consistently ranks in U.S. News & World Report as a top program in physical therapy. The program boasts more than 1,600 graduates who live around the world but maintain close ties with Carolina.