Student Spotlight

Graduation Spotlight: Jacob Allen, Physical Therapy

Written By: Lasha Markham | May 6, 2024

Jacob in UCF Knights shirt in from of HS1Meet Jacob Allen ‘12. Despite the obstacles it took to get here, he says it’s been the journey of a lifetime. After receiving an undergraduate degree in biology in 2012 from UCF, he was interested in healthcare but without a clear path to a career, took up jobs in restaurant management and substitute teaching. During this time, he found himself helping friends and family find solutions for pain and impaired functions and thought physical therapy could be a possibility for a career. In late 2019, he began researching the admissions process and found that some of his prerequisites had expired and he was required to retake several classes. He spent the spring and fall semesters in 2020 taking courses and applying for Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. In early 2021, he was accepted into the UCF DPT program. Three weeks after beginning classes, his first child was born and, he says, the faculty and fellow students were integral to his success during this time.



Hometown: Mims, FL

Degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy



What will you be doing after graduation?

My next goal will be passing the board exam in July so I can become a licensed physical therapist. Until then, I will be spending extra time with my wife and son, enjoying our favorite hobbies like visiting local springs. I will continue to be a manager of Goodrich Seafood and Oyster House in Oak Hill.




What are your long-term career plans?

My primary focus during school was preparing myself for a career in outpatient orthopedics. Through my clinical education experiences, I discovered that I could expect a fulfilling career in a few different settings, including acute care and inpatient rehab. I envision working in outpatient full-time and considering PRN – stepping in to clinics as needed – work in other settings down the line.


What accomplishment from your time at UCF are you most proud of?

Getting accepted into and completing the UCF DPT program is my greatest academic accomplishment. As a late entrant to graduate school, I had to retake two semesters of classes at community college amidst the chaos of the pandemic just to be eligible to apply.


What did you love the most about your time at UCF?

I always felt supported by the faculty and my classmates. Our son, Forest, was born a month into the program. My professors encouraged me to take all the time I needed, but this did not stop me from studying for my kinesiology midterm in the hospital’s maternity suite.


What was your favorite class, professor, or experience at CHPS, and why?

My favorite class was anatomy because it laid the foundation for my understanding of the human body. Teamwork and collaboration were expected in the lab and we students leaned on each other to make it through the most demanding part of the curriculum. In fact, my classmates and Dr. Jacqueline Flores-Otero conspired to throw me a surprise baby shower at the end of lecture one day, an experience I will never forget!


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