HPU Announces Academic and Professional Achievements

High Point University’s Department of Physical Therapy was recently granted accreditation for the next five years by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).


HIGH POINT, N.C., May 27, 2020 – High Point University faculty and students recently received the following academic and professional awards and recognitions.

HPU’s Department of Physical Therapy Receives Accreditation for Five Years

High Point University’s Department of Physical Therapy was recently reviewed by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and granted accreditation for five years. This is the maximum accreditation the program is eligible to receive.

“Accreditation is a national recognition of the standing of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at High Point University,” says Dr. Eric Hegedus, chair and professor of physical therapy. “We are overjoyed by this achievement and what it means for all of our students. Just as important is that accreditation is a byproduct of our sustained and continued commitment to excellence.”

HPU’s Department of Physical Therapy was established in January 2011. The department currently consists of internationally renowned faculty and two world-class human movement science labs: the Human Biomechanics and Physiology Laboratory (HBAPL) and the Virtual Reality Clinical Gait Analysis Laboratory (VRCGAL). The department is also home to the Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic which is a great service to the surrounding community.

HPU’s Department of Physics Hosts Virtual Graduation Featuring Famous Scientists 

HPU’s Department of Physics held a virtual graduation ceremony for its graduating physics majors and their families. Faculty wanted to make students feel special despite the COVID-19 pandemic, so they reached out to several famous scientists around the world. They asked each of them to send a video greeting to the students while standing in front of famous scientific instrumentation.

Several scientists met the request and submitted videos standing at famous landmarks. Scientists include Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a world-famous British astrophysicist who discovered pulsars; Dr. Brad Conrad, president of the Society of Physics Students National Organization; and Dr. Don Lincoln, American physicist, author and host of the YouTube channel Fermilab.

“Each year we hold a departmental ceremony to recognize graduating seniors, and we did not want to stop such a meaningful tradition,” says Dr. Briana Fiser, chair and associate professor of physics. “Since we had to hold our ceremony virtually, we wanted to do something special for our seniors, and we were thrilled these scientists from all over the world were gracious enough to help us. Their video messages were a wonderful surprise to our seniors.”

HPU Student Commissioned as a U.S. Army Officer

Zachary Fleming, a recent HPU graduate who received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in sales, was recently commissioned as an officer in the United States Army during a virtual ceremony.

Hosted by North Carolina A&T State University’s Cadre and Cadets of the Aggie Battalion, Fleming was commissioned during the virtual ceremony. Fleming will travel to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for Field Artillery Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC).

“Becoming an officer in the United States Army has been a lifelong goal of mine,” says Fleming. “I am very excited to have accomplished this and am looking forward to growing both professionally and personally.”

School of Art and Design Students Win Innovative Design Award 

Ashlyne McComb, Jackie Occhipinti and Kristen Pinksy in HPU’s School of Art and Design recently won the 2020 ISFD Innovation + Design award for their work.

Innovation + Design is a furniture industry-sponsored competition intended for professional makers, designers and the next generation of serious woodworking students who are anticipating a career in the wood and related industries. The contest was open to professional makers, designers and students in North America.

The students’ light fixture, titled Flaming Ambience, won the lighting category for the award. Flaming Ambience consists of two separate pieces that offer a wide range of options for displaying the light fixture. Both pieces resemble abstracted flames that are formed with copper wire and wrapped in raffia. One piece is meant to sit on a pedestal while the other suspends from the ceiling. The two pieces may complement each other within a room or work as a singular sculpture as one floats above the other.

“The success of this piece derives from the interdisciplinary team,” says Dr. John Turpin, dean of HPU’s School of Art and Design. “Art and design students embraced an iterative process of research, design and prototyping to arrive at this beautifully sculptural and innovative solution.”

HPU Student Wins National Study Abroad Scholarship

Anthony Quagliata, a rising junior and mathematics major, was awarded a James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. The scholarship is for the 2020-2021 academic year. Quagliata was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society for students who have achieved a 3.5 GPA or higher, in 2019 and is an active member of his ALD chapter, an HPU Presidential Scholar, a representative student for the Mathematics Department and plays several intramural sports.

“I’m beyond proud of Anthony and his achievements,” says Giselle Mansi, an HPU student success coach. “As a vital member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society on campus, Anthony, brings many talents and a great sense of pride.”

The James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarships are awarded to Alpha Lambda Delta members who are pursuing a credit-bearing study abroad program to enhance their academic studies. Quagliata is planning to travel to Italy this upcoming year.

Two HPU Students Win National Graduate Fellowships

Nathan Grinalds, a recent HPU graduate who majored in chemistry and physics, was awarded the Dr. Margaret Berry Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $4,000, and Victoria Hart, a 2019 graduate who majored in biology with a health science concentration, were awarded the Gladys Bell Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $2,000. The graduate fellowship is for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“We are so proud of our former students who are still representing HPU and Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society, very well,” says Giselle Mansi, an HPU student success coach. “Victoria, who was a former ALD officer, continues to make great strides in her professional pursuits. These scholarships are testaments of how valuable their membership with Alpha Lambda Delta can be.”

Grinalds will pursue a Ph.D. in material science and engineering. Hart will pursue a D.M.D. in dentistry.

Twenty-six graduate fellowships are given annually by Alpha Lambda Delta to its members from a national pool of competitive applicants. Award amounts range from $2,000 to $7,000 and are used to offset the expense of pursuing graduate or professional studies.

HPU Becomes a National Finalist in PRSSA’s 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition

Students in a strategic communication class led by Professor David Radanovich, assistant professor of strategic communication, created a “Count Us In” campaign that qualified for a national competition. The campaign focused on getting HPU students and citizens in the community to fill out the 2020 Census and count themselves in the city of High Point.

HPU’s team placed third in the 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition hosted by the Public Relations Student Society of America. The team combined primary survey and biometric research with informational interviews from local thought leaders to produce a campaign that resonated with the community.

“We could not be prouder of this team’s success. This is the first time HPU reached the national finals in this prestigious competition,” says Dr. Virginia McDermott, dean of HPU’s Nido R. Qubein School of Communication. “The team’s efforts to promote the U.S. Census both on campus and locally reinforce our institution’s commitment to the High Point community.”

HPU competed against more than 50 other universities across the United States. The team’s six on-campus events, strong social media presence and video content engaged 66% of HPU’s undergraduate student population, while its partnerships with 10 community organizations aided the team in reaching more than 220 young African American and Hispanic males, populations that have been historically undercounted in the decennial census.

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