GWU Alumna Appreciates Professors Who Helped her Succeed in Graduate School

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Bonnie Baczewski ’13 Achieves Doctor of Physical Therapy

Bonnie Baczewski and Dr. Jeff Hartman
Bonnie Baczewski and Dr. Jeff Hartman

Bonnie Baczewski ’13 suffered four injuries as a young athlete and spent a lot of time in rehab and physical therapy. “I was impressed with the physical therapists and their knowledge of the human body and rehabilitation and found the rehab process interesting,” Baczewski reflected. “I decided to do a short internship at the clinic and take a few anatomy classes before going to college, and this just further solidified my passion for physical therapy.”

She chose to major in exercise science at Gardner-Webb University, where she was offered a full tuition scholarship. “I knew exercise science would best prepare me for graduate school,” Baczewski observed. “The curriculums line up well together, and the majority of my prerequisite courses fell under the exercise science curriculum.”

When she arrived at the University of St. Augustine in Florida for graduate school, Baczewski discovered she was well-prepared for the doctor of physical therapy program. She was often reminded of her professors at Gardner-Webb, and the way they helped students remember the material. “I can recall countless times in graduate school where I felt at an advantage to other students in the program because of my studies at Gardner-Webb,” shared Baczewski, a native of Damascus, Md. “My professors at GWU were so invested in truly helping students learn, which I soon found to be beneficial for my graduate studies, especially with courses such as anatomy and kinesiology.”

She also appreciated the guidance she received from Dr. Jeff Hartman, GWU associate professor of exercise science and department chair. “He was my advisor as well as my professor for many courses at Gardner-Webb,” Baczewski explained. “He helped me in every way when it came time to apply for graduate school. He was always willing to help with applications, resume building, writing recommendations, etc.”

Since graduating with her doctorate, Baczewski has accepted her first job as a travel physical therapist in California. Travel physical therapists complete 13-week contracts in different areas of the country. “In five years, I hope to be settled down in one location after a few years of doing travel physical therapy,” she offered. “I hope to be in a clinic where I’m able to utilize my manual physical therapy skills to the fullest.”