School of Health Professions graduates 124 at commencement

The UT Southwestern School of Health Professions awarded 124 degrees on Sunday, Dec. 10, honoring the work and dedication of the latest class of graduates about to enter a multitude of health care fields.

Dr. Marc Nivet, Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at UT Southwestern, delivered the commencement address, applauding the graduates for their embodiment of the UT Southwestern core values of excellence, compassion, innovation, and teamwork, traits that he encouraged them to emphasize in their new careers.

“With all of your success thus far, what matters most now as you go out to practice is to be humble and to remember being a health professional is not job but a calling,” he said. “You are called to take all of this phenomenal knowledge and skill you have learned over the last few years and use it to provide empathic and compassionate care. That is what true excellence looks like.”

He cited the diversity of the graduating class, described as “a vibrant mix of cultures and backgrounds that I am sure enhanced your education.”

The School, established in 1968, will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. It has long produced quality, in-demand graduates who are hired quickly upon completion of their respective programs that include doctorates in physical therapy, master’s degrees in clinical rehabilitation counseling, prosthetics-orthotics, physician assistant studies, and clinical nutrition (Registered Dietitian/Licensed Health Professional Track or Coordinated Program), and postbaccalaureate certificates in radiation therapy.

Degrees and certificates were presented by Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, with Dr. Jon Williamson, Dean of the School of Health Professions, presiding.

Dr. Kim Hoggatt Krumwiede, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the School of Health Professions and a Distinguished Teaching Professor, provided program descriptions. She was joined by School of Health Professions alumna Marlene Gonzalez, who offered the opening words and concluded the ceremony with the charge to the graduates.

Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D., Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

A marathon finish for one graduate’s journey

For one graduate, the journey to an advanced degree meant going the extra mile – quite literally.

Dr. Meagan Stewart, who received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, ran the BMW Dallas Marathon on Sunday, Dec. 10, finishing in 3 hours, 28 minutes over a course of slightly more than 26 miles. It was her fourth marathon. She then recuperated a short while before heading to the Tom and Lula Gooch Auditorium for the 2 p.m. School of Health Professions graduation ceremony.

It was a momentous day. Her finish time qualified her for entry in the Boston Marathon, a pinnacle in the distance-running sport that she took up just four years ago. Making her finish even sweeter: walking across the stage that afternoon as a graduate.

“I knew way back in high school that this was what I wanted to do,” said Dr. Stewart, who graduated from Richardson’s J.J. Pearce High School and Texas A&M University. And the icing on the cake? Next is planning her wedding to Caleb Gottlich, a student in the Texas A&M College of Medicine Clinical Training Program at Baylor University Medical Center.

2017 School of Health Professions Graduates

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Allison Hope Barrett, Dustin Wade Blankenship, Sun Ah Cho, Grace Choi, Kenneth Houston Cox, Hannah Prestesater Dickerson, Kaitlyn Nicole Eastman, Jaime Ivan Flores, Sarah Jane Flores, Colin Hamlin Freeman, Paul Gale, Chelsea Elizabeth Harkins; Ellen Sumner Hornbeak, Avis Christine Jason, Abby Elise Jones, Michelle Elizabeth Kloss, Marie Katherine Klosterman, Victoria Beth Korson, Brooke Leah Landrum, Delbert Yashua McDowell, Morgan Michelle Melton, Elizabeth Noel Miller, Brittany Danielle Millweard, Kathryn Emily Morrill; Linh My Nguyen, Gregory Nicholas Perry, Laura Record, Christopher Gordon Scott, Ryan Scott Self, Meagan Stewart, Claire Noelle Tatum, Hayden R. Taylor, Mallory Ann Tipton, Anna Kay Tucker, Samantha Watson, Erin Elizabeth Wormsbecher. 

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Christine Marie Alexander, Bethany Bennett, Ryan Patrick Bialaszewski, Lauren Elizabeth Bowman, Maria Olga Burk, Dara Elizabeth Comer, Hannah Astrid-Brooke Culver, Kelsey Elizabeth Devine, Lauren Renee Elliott, Lauren Elizabeth Esrock, Sayyeda Hiba Fatima, Lindsey Grace Gerke, Audrey M. Gonzalez, Genaro Gutierrez, Jr.; Emily Elizabeth Halpert, Lauren Elizabeth Hamlett, Emily Lynne Hilton, Dayne Thomas Hollmuller, Erin Elizabeth James, Jessica Ann Jensen, Fahd Sajjad Kabani, Keri Sue Kaviani, Arielle Terra Kowenski, Stephen Daniel Krivan, Michelle Lee Leslie, Sarah Elizabeth Lindner, Elizabeth Rose Lloyd-Davies, Marlen Lucero; Jennifer Marie McKelva, Raymond Stephen Perez, Hillary Michelle Prince, Rure Alberto Salinas, Camille Marie Small, Marissa Blaire Spencer, Laura Camille Stewart, Thomas Tran, Dillon Trent Wade, Jamil Clifan Waters, Amanda Cathryn Westwood, Sarah Jane Whinery, Sarah Marie Zannoni, Maxine Newsha Zarbinian.

Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics

Robin Bradley, Katherine Emilie Breese, Amanda Katherine Brown, Katie Suzanne Edwards, Nicole Elizabeth Gilbert, Matthew Garrett James, Elise Cabais Lebiga, Maria Elena Lesieutre, Ashleigh Elizabeth Levine, Kelly Nguyen, Duran H. Pardue, Kirsten Lynn Witthoff, Joshua Louis Zermeno. 

Master of Clinical Nutrition

Jonelle Francine Addabbo, Katherine Claire Arvesen, Kacie Marie Barnes, Shelby Bianca Bradford, Mary Rachel Brooks, Erica Nicole Davis, Kylie Michelle Duensing, Abigail Gonzalez, Laura Beck Havard, Helena Aya Holt;

Yung Hsuan Hsiao, Alexandra Cain Jaggers, Jill Bernadette Kuzniarek, Caitlin Noelle Marek, Jennifer Christine Ryan, Jeffrey Noel Schellinger, Monica Lea Schwindt, Lauren Michelle Wonderly, Stella Yan.

Master of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

Nathan Clay Bakos, Nichole Marie Crouch, Jessica Nicole Gould, Jane Katherine Hensley, Laura Christine Jeffrey, Lauren Kiara Nelson, Kalli Alexandra Ross, Jake Steven Rossmango, Sierra Brett Waddell, Kayla Joy Wang, Hannah Christine Warren.

Master of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling

Mamuna Nasim Fuad

Certificate in Radiation Therapy

Candrea Tomeka Lynch, Tonya Regina March