LAKE HAVASU CITY - Nine new physical therapist assistants took a big step toward joining their profession. The graduates of Mohave Community College's PTA program received their PTA pins during a ceremony on the Lake Havasu City campus May 11.
The students participated in MCC's commencement ceremonies May 13. Next, they must apply to the licensing board in the state where they will work to sit for the national PTA exam. Afterward, they take an exam on the state's laws, regulations and practices regarding physical therapy treatment, and then they are ready to go to work.
The pinning ceremony is a somewhat formal affair, but this year it included some levity and some tears. Program Director Rhonda Schnabl had people on their feet and laughing when she and resident faculty member Carrie Perkins demonstrated the ins and outs of the "high ten."
The emotion of the evening included some tears, which accompanied the knowledge that this was Schnabl's last PTA pinning ceremony as program director. She is leaving the post after ushering the program through the accreditation process and directing it for the last three years.
Graduating from the program are Lindsey Arndt, Kelly Bales, Deanna Brocard, Jerrieann Buczek, Erin Ginsburg, Sherry Hammontree, Wendy McGuire, Darryll McKoy, Christina Miller, David Nichols and Kylee Nusbaum.
This is the second class to graduate from MCC's PTA program, which started in a garage on campus. The conversion was made possible by a donation from the estate of the late Catherine Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald's niece Kathleen Moon and friend Kathy Hodel, who also serves on MCC's Governing Board, presented the second Catherine Fitzgerald Leadership Award to graduate Kylee Nusbaum. The program's first "Horizon Award" was given to graduate Darryll McKoy.