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DPT program holds Commencement ceremony

Elon University leaders conferred degrees Sunday on 38 candidates in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.


Elon University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program graduated its Class of 2012 on Sunday in Whitley Auditorium as one of the profession's most esteemed leaders encouraged the new physical therapists to meet the challenges and demands of a changing medical landscape.

Robert Charles Bartlett, a professor emeritus at Duke University who currently serves as an adjunct professor of Physical Therapy Education at Elon, gave a Commencement address where he said the introduction of new technology, health care and health insurance changes mandated by the federal government, and the oncoming wave of Baby Boomers will present opportunities for physical therapists to revolutionize their field in the years ahead.

Bartlett served as the chairman for the Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy at Duke University until 1998 and has remained clinically active since then working with the pediatric population with a focus on children with multiple disabilities. He was president of the American Physical Therapy Association from 1976-79 and has received multiple awards for his work.

Robert Charles Bartlett, professor emeritus at Duke University

The ceremony included the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus Award to M. Dyer Diehl, an assistant professor at Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis. After graduating from Elon University’s Master of Physical Therapy program in 2001, he entered clinical practice at Cumberland County Health Care System. From 2003 until 2007, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he obtained his Ph.D.

During the five years since joining the faculty at the University of Indianapolis, he has given more than a dozen peer-reviewed presentations and has published five peer-reviewed articles. His research has focused on exercise and quality of life for persons with Parkinson’s disease.

University President Leo M. Lambert closed the program with a charge to graduates in which he told them to "hold your lamps high" as they "bring light to darkened places" with the core values an Elon education represents - a commitment to excellence in all things, a passion for a life of learning, personal integrity in all aspects of daily life, a respect for human difference, and an ethic of work and service.

"The superiority of this physical therapy program is a point of pride for the entire university," Lambert said. "Through your work you will leave a lasting impact on the quality of health care in comunities all over this nation. I can not think of a more worthwhile legacy."

2012 DPT honorees:

Outstanding Student Award: Christina Leigh Ridenour
Outstanding Clinical Performance Award: Yvonne Ranieri LaDouceur
Outstanding Research Award: Lisa Marie Brindley
Outstanding Clinical Instructor Award: Thomas A. Hetherington

2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient M. Dyer Diehl G'01

Candidates for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree

Jenné Marie Assard
B.S., Coastal Carolina University

Christopher George Backus
B.S., Appalachian State University

Laura L. Baldwin
B.S., Morehead State University

Christopher W. Boettcher
B.S., Concordia University Wisconsin

Lisa Marie Brindley
B.S., Alma College

Janaye Lanique Bryant
B.S., North Carolina Central University

Whitney Randall Bugh
B.S., Clemson University

Jordan Daniel Busse
B.S., Concordia University Wisconsin

Elaine R. Castle
B.S., Furman University

James Quinlon Curtis
B.S., Towson University

Michelle T. Cusack
B.S., Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Benjamin Carter Fisher
B.F.A., Ohio Wesleyan University

Sara Christine Fleming
B.S., Barton College

Sara Elizabeth Galligan
B.S., Virginia Tech

Margret Elizabeth Gardner
B.S., North Carolina State University

Lauren Elizabeth Butler Gossett
B.S., North Carolina State University

Nicole Marie Grates
B.S., Furman University

Christine E. Herzog
B.S., University of Michigan

Yvonne Ranieri LaDouceur
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Erin L. Leonard
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Brittany Marchyl Linscott
B.S., Armstrong Atlantic State University

Joshua David Locke
B.S., University of Texas at Brownsville

Meredith McCormick Marlowe
B.A., Appalachian State University

Ryan George Mason
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Asheville

Colin Kenneth McGowan
B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Syracuse University

William H. Nutt II
B.S., Concord University

Ashley Ann Oke
B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sara Elizabeth Prokup
B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Katie Ann Reynolds
B.S., North Carolina State University

R. Aislinn H. Rhodes
B.S., University of Georgia

Christina Leigh Ridenour
B.A., Muskingum University

Byanka Lyzette Rosa
B.S., Angelo State University

David Bryan Sutton
B.S., Greensboro College

Caylen Coles Thomas
B.S., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Nicole Marie VanWagenen
B.S., North Carolina State University

Alex Michael Wernikoff
B.S., Elon University

Leah Clark Wilhelmsen
B.A., Dominican College

Weston Paul Wise
B.A., Minnesota State University Moorhead

Eric Townsend,
12/12/2012 9:12 AM