The inaugural class of Florida A&M University (FAMU) doctor of physical therapy graduates will transition from student to alumnus on May 3, at the FAMU spring commencement.
This commencement will also mark the first time FAMU has awarded the PharmD/Ph.D. degree.
Nkechinyere Ichit, who will be the recipient of the PharmD/Ph.D, decided to go for the duel-degree so she could standout in the crowd.
“I wanted to do more than fill prescriptions,” she said. “With this degree I can teach and I can research. That is my passion.”
Ichit added that working with such an ethnically diverse group of students and faculty provided her with a new perspective on the pharmacy industry and made her experience at FAMU that much more special.
The PharmD is the only pharmacy degree that leads to licensure as a pharmacist in the Untied States. The Ph.D. is a research-focused degree that permits graduates to conduct research in academic, industrial and governmental laboratories. The doctor of philosophy is a degree in pharmaceutical sciences with concentrations in pharmacology/toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics and environmental toxicology.
Ichite was able to complete the program in eight years.
Ichite will join 14 other students in a FAMU first during the spring 2009 commencement, the inaugural class of doctor of physical therapy graduates.
According to Eric Toran, director of the Division of Physical Therapy, FAMU received clearance from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in October 2008 to offer the doctor of physical therapy program, and permission from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in December 2008.
“Our program is probably the most culturally diverse program around,” Toran said. “We have a program that gives students the opportunity not only to be the consumer of research, but to be an actual contributor of research.”
The 14 doctor of physical therapy graduates are:
• Marilou Fequiere
• Teneisha Jackson
• Trivia W. Richardson
• Hua Liang
• Latifat Omotayo Oladipo
• Farha Parker
• Jamila Carter
• Aimee McLendon
• Amyre Crocket
• Tynik Fox
• Mario Anderson
• Guyron Mills
• Stacy Heard, Jr
Crockett, a Louisiana State University graduate, was excited about attending a
historically black university and was proud of her decision.
“This was the school that chose me,” she said. “I found that the closeness between my colleagues and professor established a great foundation. We took care of each other and throughout my matriculation they were my family. I don’t think I could have gotten that type of experience anywhere else.”