The Doctor of Physical Therapy program continued its recognition ceremony for a second year on Friday, December 1, presenting 33 students with stoles in the Bayada Teaching Auditorium of the Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Scott Biely, DPT program director, presented 33 students with stoles to symbolize that they have completed their classroom work and are moving on to their final clinical experiences. The students will graduate in May of 2024.
The stole ceremony was created to replace the traditional “white coat” presentation, Biely explains, because physical therapists no longer wear white coats. Students can wear the stoles at graduation as a method of communicating their affiliation with the program.
After Biely presented the stoles, Sister Kathy Dougherty, vice president for mission and ministry, conducted a "blessing of the hands" ceremony and led the students in reading a commitment statement in which they pledge their service to the benefit of their patients.
At the conclusion of the event, the students presented their Class of 2024 gift -- a large metal shelf loaded with exercise equipment for Celestial Steps, the pro bono clinic that the program operates for the Sisters of St. Francis. Two faculty members run the clinic, assisted by student volunteers who are hoping to improve their clinical skills.
The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday through Thursday in Our Lady of Angels Convent. Currently, 16 Sisters are receiving physical therapy, and the clinic averages 25-30 visits per week.
In addition to the equipment, students created a Celestial Steps sign for the clinic, named after Sister Celeste, who started the physical therapy services years ago.
The ceremony was attended by the students, their family and friends, and PT faculty.