Veoletta Dyer, an incoming physical therapy doctoral student, has been awarded the Doctoral Diversity Fellowship by UCF’s College of Graduate Studies. The fellowship is awarded to a student to increase diversity in clinical doctorate programs. Dyer will start the program at UCF this summer.
The fellowship helps to increase diversity in clinical doctorate programs that have historically low diversity. According to the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, of the entire student population in physical therapy programs, only 4.1% are African American, and 6.9% are Hispanic, while 72.1% are Caucasian. The fellowship encourages a more diverse workforce in fields such as physical therapy to better represent the people they serve.
“This fellowship provides us a mechanism to recruit high-caliber, high-character students such as Veoletta to UCF,” program director Patrick Pabian stated. “We are happy to have her in the UCF doctor of physical therapy program and look forward to contributing to her development as a professional healthcare provider.”
Dyer says she is excited to start the program and to have support from UCF. “The Professional Doctoral Diversity Fellowship provides me with support that will allow me to focus my attention on exceling in UCF’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program rather than on the financial burden of pursuing my degree,” Dyer said. “I’m hoping that entering this field will also encourage other black and brown students to take up space and become physical therapists so that the field as a whole becomes more reflective of the beautifully diverse people we serve.”