School of Health Sciences

Turning Points: Part 2

How four School of Health Sciences alumni discovered their calling and pursuit toward advanced degrees.

Alumni Lorenzo DiPace stands in front of wheelchairs in the School of Health Sciences Physical Therapy lab

School of Health Sciences alumnus Lorenzo DiPace started his undergraduate studies in the School of Health Sciences with his heart set on a doctorate in physical therapy.

Article from SHS InHealth Magazine

icon of a calendarWinter 2019 Issue of SHS InHealth

icon of a pencilBy Patrick Dunn

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Turning Points Part 2

PART 2: Realizing a childhood dream

Thanks to positive experiences with physical therapy after sustaining a childhood sports injury, Lorenzo DiPace started his undergraduate studies in the School of Health Sciences with his heart already set on a doctorate in physical therapy. But he says the school’s faculty assistance has been invaluable to him in making that dream a reality.

One of DiPace’s fondest memories is of doing research with Dr. Tamara Hew-Butler while completing his bachelor’s in health sciences with a pre-physical therapy concentration. He expresses particular appreciation not just for Hew-Butler’s passion for research, but also the personal concern she demonstrates for students.

“She was like, ‘How’s your semester going? How’s your personal life? Do you feel stressed out?’” DiPace says. “It was a good 15 or 20 minutes of personal communication, back and forth, before we even got into the actual academic portion of it. I really liked that.”

When DiPace moved on to the School of Health Sciences’ physical therapy doctorate program in 2015, he similarly appreciated the individualized attention that was available to him. While many physical therapy schools are expanding their class sizes, DiPace enjoyed a manageable class size of 35.

“The professors got to know each and every one of us pretty well,” he says. “If you had a question, you’d just go up to the professor or the TA and they’d help you out right away.”

Having completed his doctoral studies, he anticipates working in a clinic or as a traveling therapist before starting his longtime dream of opening his own practice with a high school friend. After the experiences he’s had in his clinicals this year, DiPace expresses eagerness for “being able to help someone and get them back to doing what they want to do.”

“I see the clinic instructors and the professors and how much they’ve enjoyed [their work],” DiPace says. “It really makes me feel like I made the right choice in my career.”

Read more - Turning Points: Part 3

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