WCU physical therapy students win Marquette Challenge Award of Merit

Published 2:12 pm Sunday, July 4, 2021

Physical therapy students at William Carey University received an Award of Merit for raising more than $6,000 during the Marquette Challenge – a nationwide competition among colleges and universities to benefit the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

“We are so proud of our physical therapy program. This recognition is an example of how our students go beyond expectations to contribute to the community,” said WCU President Dr. Tommy King.

The award was presented June 23 during a virtual ceremony celebrating the tenacity of physical therapy students who raised money for research despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“William Carey’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program launched in 2016 and our students got involved in the Marquette Challenge almost immediately. In the 2017-18 challenge, they raised the most money of any first-time participant,” said Dr. Ron Burns.

“This time, they broke their own record, raising more money than they had in any previous Marquette Challenge.”

In winning the Award of Merit, WCU’s Physical Therapy students placed in the top 14 fund-raising teams among 122 schools across the country that took part.

“Virtual fund-raising was key this year. Due to COVID-19 safety concerns, raising money has been a challenge, but our team came together and found ways to make it happen,” said Jordan Reynolds, president of the WCU Student Physical Therapy Association.

“We participated in a Krispy Kreme fund-raiser and sold dozens and dozens of donuts, virtually, to raise funds. We sold custom-designed attire to students and supporters so they could show their pride in William Carey University and the physical therapy program. We also did profit-share nights at local restaurants, who donated a percentage of that night’s earnings to our fund-raising efforts.”

A native of Petal, Reynolds plans to specialize in pediatric physical therapy.

Taylor Braddock of Walnut is a third-year student serving a 12-week clinical rotation at Champion Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala. After graduation in August, she will move back home to north Mississippi, where she has accepted a position at Crossroads Rehabilitation in New Albany.

“Fund-raising and volunteering are very important. In volunteering at injury tents, Special Olympics, and pro-bono clinics, we are setting our future course to serve others as clinicians. In fund-raising to donate to a foundation dedicated to evolving research, we’re supporting efforts that will allow us to better serve others in our careers,” Braddock said.

For more information about WCU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, visit www.wmcarey.edu/PT or www.facebook.com/WmCareyPT.