D.P.T. students in Riland auditorium during the white coat ceremony


D.P.T. Class of 2025 Receives Their White Coats

February 14, 2023

Family and friends gathered in Riland Auditorium on the Long Island campus on February 9 to celebrate the New York Tech Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Class of 2025 as they embark on their first clinical experiences. Faculty members invited the 25 students on stage and presented them with their white coats, a symbolic gesture welcoming students into the profession.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome the students of the New York Tech D.P.T. Class of 2025,” said Cheryl Hall, D.H.Sc., associate professor and chair of the D.P.T. program. “Most often, students receive their white coats when they’ve completed all of their didactic work. But since our students begin their clinical work following their first full academic year, we wanted to send them out into the world with this reminder of the important work they will do and the profession they will represent. This is a very exciting first step for these future professionals, and we are so happy to be able to share in their special moment.”

Hall then introduced New York Tech Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Balentine, D.O., who reassured the students that the faculty they are working with are amply equipped to prepare them for their future in physical therapy.

“The transition from the theoretical classroom work to this clinical work can be scary. It’s an important part of the education,” he said. “I’ve worked with your faculty for many years, so I know they’ve prepared you well. I know you’re ready not only to take care of patients, but also to impress your preceptors.”

Dean of the School of Health Professions Gordon Schmidt, Ph.D., noted that the students receiving their white coats had “made it to a very special part of [their] career.”

Assistant Professors Lori Hochman, Ph.D., and Eric Greenberg, D.P.T., then addressed the class with their words of advice.

“The white coat shows that you’re a medical professional. Let your white coat be a symbol of humility and openness to growth,” said Greenberg. “As you don this white coat for the first time, you’re going to assume the responsibility of caring for another human being.”

Hochman added, “Be good humans. Be grateful for the opportunity to be welcomed into the lives of others.”

Hall then introduced the D.P.T. faculty to the stage, where they received the members of the Class of 2025 and helped them put on their white coats for the first time.

In closing the event, Class of 2025 representative Charles Taibi gave special thanks to the department faculty, who inspire the class to be the best clinicians they can be.

“It’s because of you that this white coat means so much,” Taibi said. “We find ourselves eager to get into the field and show off what we’ve learned in the classroom. Today, we are one step closer. This white coat is our first step into a profession where we will care for others and learn how to be extraordinary clinicians. We are proud to represent this school and our profession. Thank you for making this experience so rich and fulfilling.”