June 2020 College of Health Professions updates from Dean Zoher F. Kapasi

Zoher F. Kapasi
June 11, 2020
Dean Zoher F. Kapasi in his office.

Dear CHP alumni and donors,  

I hope that this message finds you well. Please know that your health and safety are continually in our thoughts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges for us all – some more easily overcome than others. One particular challenge we faced over the last few months was how to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the 154 students graduating from the MUSC College of Health Professions (CHP) this spring. With commencement canceled and hooding ceremonies postponed, we had to find another way to honor the hard work of our graduates. Thanks to the creativity of Kelly Long, CHP director of student services, we were able to do just that.

In late April, the MUSC Board of Trustees approved early graduation for several Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and M.S. in Cardiovascular Perfusion students. These students met requirements and were ready to begin working with critically ill patients where they were most needed. Kelly arranged for the students to receive their diplomas at a drive-through ceremony on April 30. The event was such a hit that the Office of Enrollment Management organized a massive drive-through event for all university graduates on May 16. We couldn’t be more proud of Kelly’s innovation.

Despite the hardships we are facing each day, we try to find something to celebrate. I’m pleased to share with you some CHP accomplishments from recent months.

  • The Office of Student Programs and Student Diversity announced the winners of the 2019 to 2020 Student Leadership & Service Awards. Vanessa Fry, a third-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, received an Individual Award for Excellence in Service. The CARES Therapy Clinic was awarded the Organization Award for Excellence in Service. Bryant Seamon, a fourth-year Health and Rehabilitation Ph.D. student, was inducted into the MUSC Student Leadership Society.
  • Sara Kraft, PT, DPT, a faculty member in the Division of Physical Therapy, was elected to serve as chairperson for the Residency/Fellowship Education Special Interest Group of the Academy of Physical Therapy Education.
  • Jami Jones, Ph.D., chairperson for the Department of Healthcare Leadership & Management and division director for the Master in Health Administration program, was selected to be on the council for the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).
  • American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE) granted candidacy to the Pediatric Residency program. Congratulations to all involved, including program director Cindy Dodds, PT, Ph.D.
  • The MUSC Board of Trustees approved the following faculty promotions effective July 1, 2020. Congratulations to all of you!
    • Associate professor to professor.
      • Heather Bonilha, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, (Academic Researcher tenured)
      • Nancy Carson, Ph.D., OTR/L, (Academic Educator tenure track)
    • Assistant professor to associate professor.
      • Clint Blankenship, Pharm.D., PA-C, (Academic Educator tenure track)
      • Helen Martin, DHSc, PA-C, (Academic Educator tenure track)
      • Amanda Giles, OTD, OTR/L, Academic Educator
      • Dusti Annan-Coultas, Ed.D., Academic Educator
      • Candace Jaruzel, Ph.D., CRNA, Academic Educator
    • Instructor to assistant professor.
      • Christopher Chillura, MSPAS, PA-C
      • Matthew Ewald, MSPAS, PA-C

Finally, our summer semester began last month, and more than 220 new students started their academic journey at CHP virtually. We look forward to welcoming those new students on campus this fall.

I want to thank you for your continued support, and I hope that you and your loved ones continue to stay well. I am so proud of the accomplishments in our college, and we could not do it without you! 

Zoher F. Kapasi, PT, Ph.D., MBA, FAPTA
Dean and professor
College of Health Professions 

About the Author

Zoher F.  Kapasi
Dean and professor
Ph.D., PT
College of Health Professions

Keywords: Messages from the Dean