Daemen University Physical Therapy Research Symposium
Saturday, December 9, 2023
Spring/Summer 2023 Edition
Class of 2022 Department of Physical Therapy Award Winners
This award is in honor of our founding director Dr. Richard Schweichler and is given to the student who earned the highest GPA in the professional-phase of the DPT program, along with demonstrating contributions to the department, university, and community.
This award is given annually to a graduating DPT student who has demonstrated significant academic achievement, contributed in the classroom and clinic, as well as demonstrated service to the department, university, and community.
This award recognizes a hardworking student who has demonstrated significant leadership within our Student Physical Therapy Association (SPTA) in the role as student liaison to the Western District of the NYPTA.
The Italian Experience Eduglobal Associates
Benjamin Lepkowski & Skylar Kennedy, DPT Class of 2023
Prior to starting any clinical internship experience, there is a degree of uncertainty, excitement, and nervousness. Needless to say, these feelings were accentuated as we entered a foreign country with minimal knowledge of the culture, language, or customs.
We began our clinical on January 4, 2023 in an inpatient hospital setting located in the small mountainous town of Gavinana, Italy. Our apartment was just a short 20 minute walk down the steep mountain face and a narrow, winding road. Although we rented a car, the brisk morning walks offered a breathtaking view of the adjacent mountains and valleys.
Fast forward two weeks into our nine week clinical. At this point, we were settling into our apartment and getting to know our co-workers. The cultural differences, although noticeable, were not drastic. The Italian people appeared generally more comfortable with one another than what we would expect in America. They were understanding and welcoming of us as American students.
As we progressed through the clinical, we picked up bits and pieces of the language; we learned the names of body parts, directions, and rudimentary verbs and grammar. Learning to treat with truly minimal verbal communication is an invaluable skill in our field of practice, and we were lucky enough to practice just that for nine weeks. Although the language barrier was undoubtedly the largest obstacle for us, our clinical instructors were available to assist when we needed them.
We did not travel outside of Gavinana much during the week, however, we made an effort to travel nearly every weekend.
SPTA Community Service
The Daemen University PT Community Service Committee meets weekly with individuals in the Young Adult Life Transitions (YALT) Program run through People INC. Most Tuesdays throughout each semester Daemen students join together for a variety of fun and functional activities.
This year includes activities such as Jeopardy, bingo, and cookie decorating, where YALT members are able to participate in a variety of events alongside members of the Daemen University community. The Community Service Committee helped out with Halloween events through Buffalo Public School #50.
Those on the committee taught children in kindergarten through fourth grade about the skeletal system. Additionally, the Community Service Committee continues to organize fall and spring food/supply donations from the students and faculty in the professional phase of the DPT program.
Students collected 465 pounds of food during their fall semester food drive. These items, along with handmade birthday cards made during YALT events, are donated to FeedMore WNY in an effort to give back to the Buffalo community.
Daemen University served as the site for the annual Buffalo Moving Day event for the Parkinson’s Foundation on September 17, 2022. Students, faculty, and staff from the Physical Therapy Department and the entire campus community came out to walk, volunteer, and support this cause.
Moving Day serves to educate, improve awareness, and fundraise for individuals living with Parkinson’s disease. This successful event saw 42 teams and individual participants join the cause, exceeding the event’s fundraising goal to raise over $110,000.
In addition to the walk, this event provided opportunities for education, activity demonstrations, and connection between community partners and those personally impacted by Parkinson’s disease.
Students who participated in the event were able to have meaningful interactions with patients, caregivers, and other health care professionals while gaining a deeper appreciation for the importance of working to meet the needs of those with Parkinson’s disease in their future careers.
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
What a better way to spend a Saturday morning than to spend it with your friends, professors and raise money for a good cause? On October 22, 2022, 13 Daemen University PT students and professor Dr. Michael Seils, walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk sponsored. The Daemen team was much larger in numbers in donating, with a grand total of $1,002 raised out of a goal of $1,000!
With the physical therapy field growing in specialties of Women’s Health and Oncology, we all believed that it was important to fulfill our professional duty and social responsibility – two of the American Physical Therapy Association core values. The DPT class of 2023 would like to thank everyone who donated toward this cause and hope for the tradition to continue in future years!