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CSM Celebrates Third Doctor of Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony

Friday, April 12, 2024

OMAHA, Neb. – College of Saint Mary celebrated its third Physical Therapy White Coat ceremony on April 6 in Gross Auditorium. The event recognized the class of 2024 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students who will begin their clinical care internships at the end of April.

“Being a part of their progress has been a privilege and we are immensely proud of their achievements,” Associate Professor Kimberly Varnado, DPT, director of CSM’s DPT program, said in her opening remarks.

Student Jaineily Estrada led the prayer while Courtney Labenz delivered the student speech.

“We stand on the threshold of a noble profession. As we don our white coats, we symbolize the beginning of our clinical education and the dedication of serving others,” Labenz said. “This coat is more than just fabric. It embodies the values of compassion, integrity and excellence that define the field of physical therapy.”

Eder Garavito, DPT, assistant professor of physical therapy, presented the keynote address.

“Wear your white coat with pride,” Garavito said. “Let it serve you as a reminder of the incredible impact you are poised to make on the lives you will serve. You’ve earned the right to wear it.”

The students donned their white coats with assistance from Varnado and Alex Scharmann, director of clinical education. Heather Smith, MBA, president of CSM, provided the closing remarks.

The white coat represents medical and professional excellence and compassionate care.

This was the third White Coat ceremony for students in CSM’s DPT program, which launched in June 2020. Upon receiving their white coats, the students will begin clinical work and work directly with clients while completing their coursework. The students will complete their clinical rotations and degree requirements on Dec. 13.

CSM’s DPT program offers hybrid-learning with core faculty certified in various clinical specialty areas and in online instruction. This allows students to study from the comfort of their own homes while attending onsite intensive hands-on experiences with classmates, faculty and clinical partners throughout the year.


Class of 2024 Doctor of Physical Therapy Students

Anni Cummings, Paradise Valley, AZ

Alexandria Drenth, Ankeny, IA

Jaineily Estrada, Fremont, NE

Trevor Hanson, Aberdeen, SD

Asia Jackson, Atlanta, GA

Nadia Johns, Omaha

Alison Johnson, Brooklyn Center, MN

Ashley Jones, Bellevue, NE

Courtney Labenz, Hastings, NE

Darcy Paschke, Rapid City, SD

Emilie Reinhardt, Almo, KY

Allison Schomers, Omaha

Josslyn Veflin, Watertown, SD

Kassidy Welsh, Denison, Iowa

James-Evon Williams, Greenwood, SC

Austin Zimmer, Omaha