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Staying Determined and Dedicated, Hannah Swift ‘24 Follows Her Dreams in Physical Therapy

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Leading up to Spring Commencement, we’re asking some of our graduates to tell us about their experience as Greyhounds and what they have planned for the next step in their journey. Meet Hannah Swift, who will receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy this May!

Why did you pursue physical therapy?

I chose to be a physical therapist because within my own life, I am able to see how exercise and physical activity can promote best function. Being physically active allows me to do what I love and I want others to be able to do the same. Whether I am treating an athlete and helping them get back to the game they love playing, or I am helping someone’s grandmother be able to get down on the floor and play with their grandkids- everyone deserves the opportunity to be able to do what they love. 

Why did you choose to study at UIndy?

I chose to study at UIndy for their amazing PT program and faculty members. When looking into PT school, I knew that I wanted to be taught by experts in their fields and UIndy has that in each faculty member of Krannert School of Physical Therapy. 

Are you a part of any extracurriculars (RSOs, societies, student leadership, teams, volunteerism, etc.) on or off campus? If so, what are they and what is your role?

During my time in the PT program at UIndy, I participated in the Student Outreach Clinic, as well as various volunteer roles as a second and third year student in helping incoming first year DPT students adjust to life in grad school. One of my favorite volunteer roles I have done as a third year was getting to interview potential candidates for the DPT program this past November. It was an honor to have input in this incoming class and being able to offer them a student perspective when interviewing. 

Are there any faculty or staff members who have significantly impacted your time at UIndy? If so, who are they and how did they influence you?

Each and every faculty member of the Krannert School of Physical Therapy has helped me immensely in my journey to become a physical therapist. Particularly, Dr. Stephanie Miller helped me fine tune my research skills, helped me to get a head start in a future career in research, and has been integral in my professional development. I would not be where I am today without her. Dr. Ed Jones and Dr. Brett Rice have also been extremely helpful in my graduate school journey as they have frequently reminded me that I am human and to not be so hard on myself. 

During your time at UIndy, did you have the opportunity to complete an internship or earn part-/full-time employment with an organization in your field? If so, what was it and how did it help you professionally?

During my time at UIndy I developed a passion for research and, through my previous work with Dr. Stephanie Miller, I was given the opportunity to become a research assistant for an ongoing study with Rock Steady Boxing. This has helped me immensely as my primary role is interviewing participants about their experience with the organization and it has helped me grow into more of an active listener as well as improved my skills in building a therapeutic reliance and meaningful relationship with participants. 

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I will begin my first job as a physical therapist in inpatient rehab for a community rehabilitation hospital. I am so excited to work in this setting! 

How did your degree program prepare you for your next steps?

The DPT program at UIndy has prepared me immensely well for my next role after graduation. One of the biggest ways this program has helped me was getting to interact and provide patient care very early on in the program with the community patient research group. It allowed me to hone my skills in patient interaction early and helped me become adept at building a therapeutic alliance with patients. 

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at UIndy? 

One of my favorite memories from my time at UIndy was traveling to Boston this past February for the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapists Association (APTA). Getting to be around thousands of other people who are passionate about the field of physical therapy was amazing and getting to present research alongside some of my other classmates was such an honor. 

What advice would you give to incoming students?

To an incoming freshman and any incoming graduate students I would say to remember that you need to have a life outside of school as well. It is important to work hard in your academics, but it is also important to do things that will feed your soul so you can look back on your college experience and have those fond memories of friendship and fun.