DPT Commencement Awards Bestowed

Commencement week kicked off with a career fair, luncheon, and a poster session featuring the work of the Class of 2017.  The 70 new graduates were then feted at a Touchdown Terrace dinner led by the Barbara C. White Lecturer Award Commencement Speaker Professor R. Scott Ward, PhD, PT, FAPTA from the University of Utah.

DPT commencement awardees were named, including:

  • Jodi Gilles – Martha C. Wroe Outstanding Clinical Student Award – Recognizes a graduating student who has completed all clinical affiliations demonstrating outstanding clinical performance and great promise in the field of physical therapy as documented by their clinical instructors.
  • Zachary Stearn – The Dr. Mark H. Trimble Memorial Scholarship – Established in 2001 in memory of the late Dr. Trimble. This award is presented to an outstanding student in orthopedics who demonstrates a strong commitment to learning, initiative, and self-reliance in his/her studies.
  • Dylan Conner, Brooke Denninghoff, Danielle Frain, Krissa Gorman, Dallas Roberts – Scholastic Achievement Award – For Excellence in Academic Performance Throughout the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program 2014 – 2017. Given to a graduating student in recognition of outstanding scholastic achievement, this award is based on the highest cumulative GPA while in the physical therapy program. This year’s awardees all graduated with a 4.0.

Recipients of pro bono and leadership recognition honors were recognized and received honor cords.

In addition, Darren Austria was named the recipient of the Outstanding Clinical Educator of the Year Award For excellence in clinical instruction and dedication to education of entry-level physical therapy students.


DPT Class of 2017 Graduation Banquet

Previous scholarship recipients were also recognized and included:

  • Laura Brown – awarded in 2016 Rolf and Anne Kuhns Endowment for Physical Therapy Scholarship

Mr. and Mrs. Kuhns established the Rolf and Anne Kuhns Endowment for Physical Therapy Scholarship for students in the physical therapy department and presented the award to Laura Brown. The award recognizes a student for outstanding performance in the first full-time clinical internship, thereby showing promise as a future clinician of excellence.

  • Jodi Gilles – awarded in 2017 the McWells Scholarship

DPT alumni of the Class of 2009, Ben and Becky Wells, established this award in 2016 which is presented to a DPT student who demonstrates outstanding volunteer work and community outreach.

  • Thomas Vollmar – awarded in 2016 the Elks Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2012 by the Florida Elks to support scholarships for students in the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Department of Physical Therapy and is presented to an outstanding student based on their record of civic leadership, service, and recognitions.

  • Danielle Borglum – awarded in 2016 The Frederick Family Scholarship in Physical Therapy

Bill and Mary Ann Frederick established the Frederick Family Scholarship in Physical Therapy to endow scholarships for students in the physical therapy department. This award is presented to an outstanding student who instills in her peers the spirit of cooperation, camaraderie, and responsibility.

  • Jennifer Squires – awarded in 2016 Julia Conrad Trojanowski Scholarship

The Julia Conrad Trojanowski Scholarship was established by her family and colleagues in 1996 to honor and recognize her outstanding dedication, compassion and academic excellence in Physical Therapy.  This award recognizes a student who is academically strong with clinical promise and who is recognized by student colleagues as a caring, compassionate, and highly principled person of outstanding character.

  • Michael Broderick – awarded in 2015 The Claudette Finley Scholarship Award
    Ms. Claudette Finley joined the department faculty, staff, students, and their families at commencement dinner and was recognized.
    The Claudette Finley Scholarship Award was established by the class of 1999 in honor of Ms. Finley, who retired from the Physical Therapy Department after 30 years of teaching anatomy in the physical therapy program.  This award recognizes an outstanding first year anatomy student who performed well in that course as well as provided assistance to other students in the anatomy lab.