ASU White Coat Ceremony Held for its Doctorate of Physical Therapy Students!

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White coat ceremony PT 2021 April 30.jpg


White Coat Ceremony Held for ASU's Doctorate of

Physical Therapy Students!


By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

A White Coat Ceremony was held on April 30, in the Ralph D. Abernathy auditorium for Alabama State University's rising seniors who are enrolled in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy's (DPT) cohort class of 2022.

All 22 PT doctoral students were present for the event where each student was presented with a white medical laboratory coat that signifies the student's transition from the academic to the clinical portion of their education, said Dr. Cleve Carter, assistant professor of Physical Therapy at ASU.

"This is a ceremony where we formally induct our doctoral students into the profession of physical therapy by having them attend something akin to a robing ceremony where we give each one their very own white medical coat, which signifies that the student has obtained a level of competency and professional acumen,” Carter said.

A large audience of the students’ family and friends joined College of Health Sciences faculty and staff in witnessing the ceremony that provides motivation for the students as they approach their senior year. 


Montgomery native Jaketta Murphy earned her undergraduate degree at Alabama State University before enrolling in the three-year DPT program. 

She said that the ceremony made a deep positive impression on her.

“The White Coat Ceremony was a very important portion of my educational career to date because it symbolizes my mission to continue to learn throughout my career as a doctor of physical therapy and take seriously my duty as a medical professional to always place the welfare of my patients first,” Murphy said. 

She added that the white coat event has been a long-time coming, and she will soon embark on the clinical part of her education, which is her first rotation working with patients at Montgomery’s Jackson Hospital.

Shane Howard, a native of Jemison, Ala., received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and is excited to be part of ASU’s doctoral program.

 “I felt very excited to get my white coat and the entire ceremony was very surreal to me,” Howard said. “The event enabled me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it served as a wake-up call that I am soon to become a professional doctor of physical therapy.”

Howard embarks on the clinical portion of his ASU PT education in two weeks at the Decatur-Morgan Hospital in Decatur, Ala.


Howard said that ASU’s PT program has made a difference in his life.

“Alabama State’s PT program has enabled me to make my dream come true, and its faculty and staff are exceptional,” stated Howard.

Murphy said that the University has benefited her education in many ways, both in undergraduate and graduate school.

“I felt as soon as I enrolled in Alabama State’s undergraduate program that the campus was like my home away from home. It allowed me to embrace being black and obtain the education that I needed to be accepted and succeed in the highly competitive doctoral PT degree offered here."

“ASU has always made me feel supported educationally and psychologically. As a mother of two, I have even named ASU faculty members here on campus as their godparents; so Alabama State University is truly a part of my family,” she added. 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104