On Friday, August 28th, 2015, 32 students officially became Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) candidates, as the 4th annual Doctor of Physical Therapy White Coat and Pinning Ceremony took place at Fresno State’s North Gym. This departmental tradition began with the implementation of the DPT program in 2012.

DPT students recite their oath as the c/o 2018.

At the momentous ceremony, each doctoral student receives a white coat that is then placed on them by faculty in the Department of Physical Therapy. The coats symbolize their entrance into the physical therapy profession, said Dr. Peggy Trueblood, chair of the department. The students also recite their professional oath, which is unique to their class, as it is something they developed and wrote themselves as a group.

These future physical therapists are going into a field that is only expected to expand, said Trueblood.

“The physical therapy career is among the top 10 most prominent rankings of health care careers,” continued Trueblood. “It is rewarding, yet challenging – and it requires a true commitment to life-long learning and dedication to serving our community and patients. The graduates from Fresno State will be part of the changing roles in health care.”

University administrators were in attendance to offer words of welcome and encouragement to the incoming DPT students, inlcuding Fresno State President Joseph Castro, Provost Lynette Zelezny, and College of Health and Human Services’ Dean Jody Hironaka-Juteau.

20150828_182214Alumnus (’95) Dr. Paul Smith was the keynote speaker of the evening. Smith has been a physical therapist for over 20 years, including serving as an adjunct professor in the physical therapy program at Fresno State. He currently lends his expertise at Community Regional Medical Center, working in the field of cardio-pulmonary, trauma, burn rehabilitation and early critical care delivery.

Being taught by professionals in the field is one aspect that student Megan Comparan is most excited about.

“I chose Fresno State because during my interview I was really happy with the faculty and with the current students, especially seeing what they are doing for the community – and how they are all so close knit,” said Comparan, who hails from San Jose. “That’s what I liked about Fresno State, immediately. I didn’t even want to go to any other school.”

“I want to become a physical therapist because, plain and simply, I want to help people move better and feel better,” added Comparan. “We’re students, but we’re on the right track to becoming physical therapists.”

In addition to the white coat, the students receive a department pin which has the ‘lamp of learning’ engraved to symbolize the beginning of a profession of lifelong learning.

“Physical Therapists have much more responsibility coming out of school and our students will be well prepared to take on the challenge,” said Trueblood. “We couldn’t be more proud of our program and the graduates that go through to serve and make a difference to the health care field and to the community.”

For more information on the physical therapy department, check out their webpage or follow them on facebook.

DPT faculty and students with President Joseph Castro and Provost Lynnette Zelezny.

The class of 2018 DPT students are as follows:

  1. Kayla Brass
  2. Steven Cabrales
  3. John Cardinale
  4. Katelyn Cartwright
  5. Ashley Christiansen
  6. Carolyn Collins
  7. Megan Comparan
  8. Jacqueline Cortez
  9. Yalda Fernandez-Mendoza
  10. Sean Goetzl
  11. Stephanie Gomez
  12. Ryan Hastie
  13. Kristopher Haycock
  14. Kelly Hosey
  15. Melissa Hu
  16. Torre Kotheimer
  17. Michael Lopes
  18. John Martin
  19. Nicholas Oifah
  20. Derrick Oliver
  21. Suneth Attygalle
  22. Theodore Oliver
  23. Punam Patel
  24. Jennifer Ray
  25. Maranda Smith
  26. Jacklyn Taylor
  27. Joseph Terrill
  28. Cole Thornton
  29. Kelley Urionaguena
  30. Nicholas Ward
  31. Amy Willesen
  32. Taryn Yamagami

View more photos below: