FORT WAYNE — Trine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program presented
awards to top students from its Class of 2020 on Friday, Oct. 2.
The awards are usually given at the Hooding Ceremony held as part of Commencement,
which was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the honorees returned
to the university’s Center for Health Sciences under the pretense of speaking to current
The DPT Distinguished Student Award was presented to Elizabeth Brennan. The award,
determined by faculty in Trine’s DPT program, honors a student who exemplifies the
traditions and values of Trine University and the profession of physical therapy through
high levels of achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.
Brennan graduated with a 3.9 grade point average. She presented the results of research
she conducted while a student at Trine at the fall conference of the American Physical
Therapy Association (APTA), Indiana chapter. She consistently volunteered for activities
that were part of the program and in the Fort Wayne community, and tutored students
in Trine’s DPT and physician assistant programs.
“Beth came to us as a wonderful person and she’s leaving as a remarkable physical
therapist who we’re proud to have had as part of our program,” said Ryan Dombkowski,
Ph.D., professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.
The DPT Most Outstanding Student Award, nominated by students in the program, was
presented to Cameron Buzzard. The award represents a student who classmates feel best
represents the character, traditions and values of their graduating class throughout
their time at Trine University.
Buzzard conducted research that contributed to a presentation at the APTA Combined
Sections Meeting and was also published in a peer-reviewed journal. He served as an
APTA Core Ambassador for the state of Indiana while in school.
“One classmate noted that he ‘will drop everything and ruin his own plans to help
someone,’ and another said, ‘His ability to create laughter and his sense of humor
is unlike any other individual that I have ever met,’ ” said Dombkowski. “Truly, he’s
an individual whom his classmates admire and whom Trine University is proud to call
one of our own.”