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A first for physical therapy

May 25, 2005

Photo of Meredith Edwards WamplerMeredith Edwards Wampler accepts her doctoral degree at commencement ceremonies on two campuses. As the first graduate of the doctor in physical therapy science program offered jointly by SFSU's College of Health and Human Services and University of California, San Francisco, she will attend the SFSU ceremony on May 28. She attended the UCSF ceremony on May 20.

The new joint program concentrates on the needs of professional physical therapists who wish to pursue academic teaching and clinical research. SFSU and UCSF also have a joint doctorate program in clinical practice for those who wish to practice physical therapy at an advanced level.

Wampler, who holds a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from University of Missouri in Columbia, has been a practicing licensed physical therapist for the past eight years. After moving to San Francisco from her home state of Missouri five years ago, she began looking for an advanced degree program that would allow her to pursue both research and teaching. When she came across the SFSU/UCSF joint program, she said it seemed as though it had been developed just for her. The Richmond District resident was delighted to find out that the program was set up in such a way that she would be able to get a doctorate without having to first get a master's degree.

The program gave Wampler what she wanted out of her advanced degree -- a solid science base with heavy emphasis on clinical research. In addition she said, "I had the opportunity to work with highly skilled and esteemed faculty at both universities. The mentorship was fantastic."

Included in Wampler's courses at SFSU were kinesiology, exercise science and molecular genetics. Across town she had the opportunity to work with specialists and the cancer patients at the UCSF's renowned Comprehensive Cancer Center. Wampler, whose dissertation examined chemotherapy-induced damage to the nervous system in women with breast cancer, will continue her clinical work with breast cancer survivors at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center after graduation. She will also join the faculty at SFSU in the fall as an assistant professor of physical therapy.

"The Physical Therapy program is proud to have Meredith Edwards as our first Doctor of Physical Therapy Science graduate," said Linda Wanek, associate professor and director of SFSU's graduate program in physical therapy. "Meredith has not only been an outstanding student, she has also served as an exceptional mentor to her fellow doctoral students."

-- Denize Springer


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Last modified May 25, 2005 by University Communications