Class of 2024

Class of 2024 Virtual Class Photo



  

senior picElaria Ibrahim

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
I wanted to become a Physical Therapist for many reasons. It all started with my mom who went to Physical Therapy after the removal of a 5 cm benign tumor in her femur bone. She thought she would never be able to walk again, but her Physical Therapist gave her so much encouragement and hope and never allowed her to give up. I want to also be an inspiration to others and want to be part of the process of giving people, whether they have gone through injuries, disabilities, or diseases, the ability to go back to living a normal life. I also find it amazing how Physical Therapists can work with so many different types of patients and populations and can specialize in so many different areas.  

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program because of all of the support and resources it will provide to help me be a successful applicant to the Rutgers Physical Therapy program. It will also encourage me to work smarter and harder to meet my goals, and will allow me to meet a group of people with the same goals and interests as me. 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
I think this program will help me prepare for graduate school by giving me many opportunities related to my career goal. It provides me with opportunities to serve my community by working with the Make a Wish Foundation through PT club. It also encourages me to gain observation hours in the field at a variety of PT settings and specializations, while also taking an array of classes that are especially related to my career goal.  

One fun fact about myself is that I am a Coptic Orthodox Christian. I also love to sing, and I play multiple instruments, including the Violin, Viola, Piano, Oud, and Ukulele. 

 

michael bNicholas Chartoff

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
From a strained hip flexor to Achilles' tendinosis, I have been no stranger to the PT environment. The moment that most sparked my interest was three weeks into treatment for my hip flexor injury. My Physical Therapist had done a hip flexor release on me, which involved the PT pushing down on certain spots of my hip flexor while I pumped my leg to utilize the hip flexor. After the hip flexor release, I was able to stand pain-free on that hip flexor for the first time in about three weeks. While it was only temporary for about an hour or two, I viewed it to be like magic. From that experience, I both developed a curiosity to learn about the human body and developed a great interest in becoming a Physical Therapist myself.

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I am a 3rd generation Rutgers student and my father had spent 21 years in the RUPD. That added to the fact that I live in East Brunswick right next door made Rutgers an easy choice for me. I was lucky to arrive at the perfect time to join the DPT 4+3 program! 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
It’s a long road to graduate school but having the guidance provided by this program helps me know the steps I must take to achieve success.   

A fun fact about me is that from freshman to sophomore year of high school I accumulated around $10,000 worth of prizes from a mobile game called Clash Royale. At one point I ranked #3 in the world! 

 
 

michael bWeronika Chojnowska

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
I have always been active and involved with sports throughout my life, which sparked my interest in the human body and its functions. Once I was introduced to PT, I looked into the profession and I decided, this is what I want to do in my future. Being a Physical Therapist is very rewarding, knowing that you can connect with patients personally and help them get back to how they were before their injury. 

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program because I believe it will set me up to have a successful future, as long as I stay on track. I really enjoy that I have the ability to find out about my acceptance a year earlier, unlike the typical graduate school programs where students apply a year later. 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
This program has helped me by providing an easy-to-follow outline of classes to take that graduate schools are looking for. These classes are challenging and very interesting, which gets me excited for taking them in the future. The program also is great for making connections with current students who have the same interests as me in the Pre-PT Concentration, alumni, and other physical therapists.  

Some fun facts about me are that I am a gym rat, I've sprained each of my ankles three times because of cheer, and I have six siblings! 

 
 

michael bSydney Wong

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
I want to become a Physical Therapist because I want to perform a job that both helps people and uses the knowledge that I’m really interested in. I’ve seen so many people around me get helped by Physical Therapists, and I want to help people in the same way. 

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the program because of the opportunities and structure that it gives to students under it. Instead of wandering through an unclear path to Physical Therapy, this program gives me vital advice and allows me to make connections with other future Physical Therapists. 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
This program has shown me what classes I should take as well as advised me about volunteer hours for graduate school. I feel assured that I am and will be prepared for graduate school with the amount of aid from this program. 

A fun fact about me is that I love to draw, and despite the fact I want to be a Physical Therapist I often get carpal tunnel from my hobbies. 

 
 

michael bClaire Fabito

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
After a friend of mine, a track athlete, tore her ACL as a high school underclassman, most medical professionals told her that she would no longer be able to compete in track for the rest of her high school career. This news was devastating and after her surgery, she struggled to walk for days. However, once she was given a personalized physical therapist to treat her, she was capable of competing within a few months. That was when I realized that the movement of the human body and how it repairs under certain treatments amazes me. My strong passion for understanding how the human body functions and the desire to help patients with physical disabilities have and led me towards the physical therapy profession. In the future, I plan to work with young adults in athletic interests, to help them with physical rehabilitation and serve them as a mental guide through a difficult process.

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the Rutgers DPT 4+3 program because I knew that with the support of its supervisors, I would receive guidance when determining what courses to take, how to gain more PT volunteer hours, and how to overcome any unexpected obstacles. Also, with the unique opportunity of applying to the graduate program a year in advance, I can have a smooth transition from the Rutgers undergraduate school to the doctorate program.  

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
The Rutgers DPT 4+3 program has provided me with a solid outline in which PT-related courses to complete and other accessible sources like a resume workshop to prepare me for future internships. By building connections at an early stage, I am gaining a greater outlook in what the PT field is all about and learning from professionals who are willing to share their many experiences within the field. Not only am I staying on track in an academic sense, but I am also building relationships with other students in this program that may last for a lifetime. 

A fun fact about me is that I enjoy solving the Rubik’s cube and sudoku puzzles after a long day of work. Alongside, I enjoy watching various genres of anime and k-dramas in my free time.

 
 

michael bEmily Giffen

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
After spending time at a family friends clinic, I fell in love with the dynamics of physical therapy. I saw first hand how difficult it can be to get through a physical setback and wanted to be a motivating figure for anyone going through that. A strong bond between a physical therapist and their patient can make the whole process more enjoyable and hopeful through possibly a very dark time in their life.  

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the Rutgers DPT 4+3 program because it provides many benefits and opportunities that will ultimately prepare me for graduate school and the field ahead. The staff for this program are also incredibly involved and truly want to see us all succeed.  

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
This program will help me prepare for graduate school through keeping me oriented towards my goals and providing sufficient guidance to get there. I already feel so much support from the staff and know that will be so helpful in preparing for the road ahead.

A fun fact about me is that I have dual citizenship in the US and England since most of my family still lives there. 


 

michael bJoy Elasmar

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
Physical therapy provides a career where I know I can focus on helping others through a medical aspect which I have always been interested in. It also has the perfect amount of patient-physician interaction that would make the job feel very rewarding in the sense of seeing patients progress. I knew it was the perfect future for me once I went to physical therapy myself and witnessed the effort that PTs put into their work and into the success of their patients. 

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the DPT 4+3 program because it was the best option for me personally and academically. I felt as though I would benefit from the support of advisors and peers following the same path as me, as well as the opportunities that will come from this program.  

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
I believe this program was a huge help to me in the way that it strengthened my understanding of what was to come in the future. There was so much more insight provided on the process and what to look forward to after undergrad. There has also been a great support system whenever I have had questions or concerns regarding any aspect of my major and future. 

A fun fact about me is that I love to bake!! I usually bake as a way to destress after a busy week, and I’m always listening to Harry Styles while doing it. 

 
 

michael bSamantha Matson

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
Having the chance to see the dedication and passion the head physical therapist at the clinic I worked at in the past fall had for her patients and work helped strengthen my dream to be a physical therapist even more. I would be excited to have the chance to work in such a dynamic, collaborative, and rewarding environment as my career, and the patient-provider relationships that can be formed are one of the most influential reasons in my decision to pursue being a physical therapist. I also want to use my double major in Spanish to help provide equal access to care for people who are native Spanish speakers since there are many in this country, and they often are not given the medical attention they need and deserve, and I can do this through a career in physical therapy. 

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
The opportunity to receive guidance surrounding the process of applying to graduate school was an appealing part of this program—but the real reason I chose this program was to find a group of students with similar goals as myself to have a smaller community in the large student body at Rutgers. I look forward to learning more about the field of physical therapy and steps involved to reach that career with my peers in this program. 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
From being involved in the Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program, I have been extended many resources that can help me through the process of undergraduate education, applying to graduate school, and how to succeed at these levels and beyond. It is up to me to take advantage of the opportunities available, and with the guidance of the advisers through this program and the various professional and academic development opportunities provided, I know I will be in a good position when applying to graduate school as well as further steps in my career. 

A fun fact about me is that I used to perform magic, I enjoy reading or playing guitar in my free time, and I am on the Rutgers women’s rowing team. 


 

michael bNikki Andrada

What made you want to become a Physical Therapist? 
For most of my life, I've always known I wanted to be in the medical field since I grew up with both of my parents working in a hospital. However, what set physical therapy apart from other fields for me was the one-to-one relationship therapists had with their patients. I saw this close interaction when both of my brothers went to therapy; my older brother went to rehab after tearing his ACL and my little brother went to speech therapy. I also correlated my love for the human body and how it works to my growing interest in weight lifting in high school. Seeing the type of connections formed with patients in addition to having a strong passion for human anatomy and physiology has secured my interest in Physical Therapy. 

Why did you choose Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program? 
I chose the Rutgers DPT 4+3 Program because being a part of a competitive program will keep me on track and motivated during my career journey. In this program, I also receive support and guidance from advisors and physical therapists that I wouldn't normally get if I were to take the typical route. This program also feels much more personalized, which is important in such a large state university to have a smaller community to assist you. 

How do you think this program has helped you prepare for graduate school?
This program also provides us an outline of interesting, yet challenging classes that will prepare us for our future graduate school as well as the chance to connect with physical therapists and form connections with our fellow classmates. I also think the DPT 4+3 program will help me prepare for graduate school through the endless support from the advisors who want to see all of us succeed and are easy to talk to. 

A fun fact about me is that I'm a plant mom and I also love listening to podcasts!