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The UNC Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) and the Division of Physical Therapy officially welcomed 31 incoming students as part of the class of 2021 at a professionalism ceremony held in the Medical Biomolecular Research Building on August 24, 2018.

The Division of Physical Therapy Class of 2021 Professionalism Ceremony.
The Division of Physical Therapy Class of 2021 Professionalism Ceremony.

Judy A. White, PT, DPT, former UNC Division of Physical Therapy faculty and coordinator of professional education, served as the keynote speaker. During the ceremony, White shared her wisdom on the responsibility of taking on the profession of physical therapy, the importance of research, and respect for self and the community.

“Professionalism is being a part of a professional community,” White said. “Everyone here is here to support you…and you’re going to be so successful.”

Division Director Deborah Givens, PT, PhD, DPT, said the professionalism ceremony is a way to recognize the beginning of a career in physical therapy.

“This is an opportunity to welcome you to the profession and for us to all reflect on the ideals physical therapists believe to be important,” she said.

Givens presented the new students with physical therapy kits that included items such as goniometers, stethoscopes, and gait belts which the students will utilize throughout their academic training and professional longevity.

UNC SPTA President Amelia Cain welcomed the class of 2021. Other speakers included faculty member Michael McMorris, PT, DPT, and Stephen Hooper, PhD, associate dean and chair of the Department of Allied Health Sciences.

Lisa Johnston, PT, DPT, led recitation of the Carolina Commitment, which highlighted their devotion to the practice of physical therapy and to the students’ development during their time at Carolina.

The SPTA and the class of 2020 organized the professionalism ceremony; the division will host its 60th commencement ceremony in May 2019.