Reunited – Physical Therapist Assistant Program of Suffolk County Community College
Physical Therapist Assistant Program Reunion & Retirement Acknowledgement for Dr. Cheryl Gillespie (seated third from left) Photo credit: Victoria Pendzick
Images courtesy of Suffolk County Community College, Media Services.
Sunday September 25 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Lombardi’s on the Bay 600 South Ocean Ave, Patchogue, NY 11772
Over 50 alumni, faculty, employers, clinical sites and friends of Suffolk County Community College Physical Therapist Assistant Program gathered to support academic excellence. Guests traveled from across New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire to share special acknowledgement for Dr. Cheryl Gillespie on her retirement.
The event was coordinated and partially sponsored by the Suffolk Community College Foundation. Serving as event host and Master of Ceremony Russell Malbrough, Director of Alumni Relations, introduced the event goal to provide an opportunity to support volunteer leadership and college graduates.
Dr. Sylvia A. Diaz, Executive Director for the Foundation, shared greetings from College administration. She spoke to the importance of bringing together staff, alumni and our community partners to create new opportunities to transform lives through faculty support and the Maureen Davidson Memorial Physical Therapist Assistant Scholarship.
Program Directors (l to r ) Dr. Keith Perrucci, Dr. Cheryl Gillespie and Founding Director Marjorie Sherwin. Photo credit: Victoria Pendzick
Marjorie Sherwin (Founding Program Director 1967 – 1999) shared remarks honoring a very special woman she hired and worked along side for decades who has done so much for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, professional groups and the greater community, Dr. Cheryl Gillsepie.
Dr. Sylvene Blissett passed along insight of Dr. Cheryl Gillsepie’s leadership and impact on the American Physical Therapy Association, New York chapter, Long Island District.
Surprise guest Kevin Gonzalez shared memories of his mother reviewing homework, grading papers and putting her all into making sure Suffolk Community College students succeed.
Dr. Cheryl Gillsepie (Program Director 1999 – 2015) graciously commented her primary goal was to create community. She asked each of the alumni to stand and state their class years ranging from 1976 – 2015. She encouraged the alumni, employers and clinicians to meet one another and consider ways to support the program.
Dr. Keith Perrucci (Program Director 2015 – Present) provided a road map to the program future including professional development opportunities, expanding internship and job opportunities and seeking to maintain conversations with the newly launched online tools.
PTA Alumni Association Page
Physical Therapist Assistant Facebook
Suffolk County Community College comprises three campuses and serves a geographical area of 110 miles. The Ammerman Campus, home to the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program encompasses 156 acres of land with fourteen buildings. The PTA program is housed in the Riverhead Building with the nursing program and several other allied health programs. It is part of the Department of Education, Health and Human Services.
The College officially opened its doors in 1960 occupying temporary facilities. Students were officially accepted at the Ammerman Campus in the fall of 1961. The Physical Therapist Assistant Program was developed in 1969 as one of the four original PTA programs in the country. The first class of 13 students graduated in 1971 and class size has remained a constant at 26 students accepted annually each Fall.
The PTA program faculty comprises two full-time faculty members and two part-time professional assistant. The current program director has occupied the position since January 2016 after the previous director’s retirement. The current ACCE has served in that capacity since 1999.
Suffolk County Community College Mission Statement: Suffolk County Community College promotes intellectual discovery, physical development, social and ethical awareness, and economic opportunities for all through an education that transforms lives, builds communities, and improves society.
Alumni Association Mission Statement: To enhance the well-being of our student body, alumni, faculty, College and community by providing scholarships and establishing various social, athletic, cultural, economic and fundraising events.
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