By Kate Hunger
For the first time ever, the School of Health Professions commencement was held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
About 150 students from Emergency Health Sciences, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Care and Speech-Language Pathology participated in the May 18 ceremony, said David Henzi, Ed.D., Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies graduations were held in December.
The occasion marked the ceremonial graduation of the inaugural class of the speech-language pathology master’s program. Those 15 students will officially graduate in August after completing their final degree requirements —externships and comprehensive exams.
“They were our trailblazers,” said Angela Kennedy, SLP-D, CCC-SLP, assistant professor and clinical coordinator of the Speech-Language Pathology program in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “They are our first group. We’re super proud.”
Future SLP classes will graduate in May, Kennedy said.
Physical Therapy Class President Michael Nash, LMT, DPT, delivered remarks on behalf of graduates. He shared his excitement for the future.
“There is no measure for the impact—the true impact—that this group of graduates will have on the lives we will come in contact with,” Nash told his fellow graduates. “There is a great work before us: to help and to heal.
That is what we are celebrating today. Not simply the completion—the achievement—but that we are now on the precipice of going out into the world, armed with knowledge, to do the most good.”
Tracey Fontenot, PT, co-founder and co-executive director of Kinetic Kids, delivered the commencement address.
“This year’s graduation was one of the best, ever,” Dean David C. Shelledy, Ph.D., RRT, FASAHP, FAARC said. “The Tobin Center provided an elegant setting, we had an extraordinary commencement speaker, and the event was marked by the graduation of our inaugural class of new speech-language pathology alumni.”