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Alumni in Action

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Our DPT alumni are clinically-trained professionals with the skills and expertise to work in a number of areas and careers. Read on to meet some of our alumni and learn how they are using their degrees to shape the physical therapy profession.

Meet a Recent Graduate

Learn what inspired recent graduate Madison Yamane (DPT '21) to pursue a career in physical therapy and why she chose to apply to NYU Steinhardt's Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Jael McCants (DPT '19)

Jael McCants, DPT 2019

Jael was the 2019 New York Physical Therapy Association Minority Student Award winner as well as the 2019 NYU Steinhardt Doctoral Student Convocation Speaker alternate.

NYU allowed a space for me to hone my core values. Empathy, tolerance, and compassion are woven into the fabric of my being; I am committed to cultural competence, constantly exploring the ways our social identities matter in therapeutic alliance, patient safety, and beyond. In the classroom, I focused my airtime on encouraging these discussions.

In my last summer as a student, I completed a clinical affiliation at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT), an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinic with a focus on sports-related research and rehabilitation. NISMAT provides an excellent example of how commitment to evidence-based practice drives patient recovery and produces thoughtful PTs. While at NISMAT, I was given the opportunity to present a staff in-service and chose to discuss considerations for working with LGBTQIA+ patients in the outpatient physical therapy setting. As a queer woman of color, I am acutely aware of disparities that impact this special population and aim to create ongoing conversation about how they can be best served and above all, respected. With experience in workplace diversity and inclusion, I hope to bring this unique skillset to the clinic environment to enhance the greater cultural competence of our profession.

Zachary Gubitosi (DPT '18)

Zachary Gubitosi dancing with a patient in a wheelchair.

Due to the excellent experience I had at NYU and all of the great opportunities I had being in New York, I am now a pediatric physical therapist at Children's Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. I work in their inpatient rehab facility and my focus is working with children with traumatic brain injuries. I work with all disciplines in the hospital in order to provide children of all ages with a plan of care to rehabilitate from all types of brain injuries. Without the experiences offered to me at NYU's DPT program, I would not have been able to obtain this job right out of school and I couldn't be happier.

Casey Smith in a white coat

I focus on treating pregnant and postpartum women as well as men with pelvic health issues, and I am thankful that my education at NYU was comprehensive. NYU's women's health segment was very inclusive and I was exposed to many conditions and treatments... and the didactic and clinical foundation enabled me to think about patients as a whole person and treat from the inside out.

Casey Smith (DPT '13)

Auren Manalo (DPT '18)

Auren adjusts positioning of a patient in a plank position on their hands and toes.

I am a physical therapist for Danford Works, a concierge PT clinic here in New York City. I treat a variety of sports and orthopedic injuries using the examination skills and clinical reasoning I developed at NYU. The generalist approach of our program has allowed me to feel confident in my ability to treat a wide variety of injuries. Since graduating, I have taken courses in concussion management, soccer sports medicine, and blood flow restriction for rehabilitation. I plan on assisting in developing a blood flow restriction protocol following platelet-rich plasma injections and hope to one day serve as a medical volunteer for the Olympics.

Rena Eleazar (DPT '14)

Rena surrounded by basketball players.

I co-founded Match Fit Performance with fellow NYU alum Erwin Seguia in 2017. My NYU PT education informed the work I am doing now by encouraging critical thinking, not only in patient care but in serving the community as a whole. The problem solving that was required of us in the program helped me see things differently once I started my career. I received my board certification to become a Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy in 2018. On the path to taking the exam and ongoing since, I have been able to work with different sports teams, including the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club, the New York Empire from the American Ultimate Disc League, and the Brooklyn Nets G-League Team, the Long Island Nets. I have been featured in Brit + Co, Impact, Self, and the Keep Moving Forward Podcast.

Robert Lin (DPT '11)

Robert standing in front of a sign for the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center

I am currently the Physical Therapy Department Manager at an orthopedic physical therapy clinic in the Bay Area. I work alongside orthopedic surgeons and certified hand therapists seeing various musculoskeletal conditions. NYU has given me the leadership skills and fundamental knowledge to administer the highest level of care and manage a high-quality facility. Over the years I have had the privileged opportunity to work as a sports medicine volunteer at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to help the Paralympic and Olympic athletes pursue their dreams. I also provide sports medicine coverage for tennis, rugby, and marathons, and I plan on volunteering my time to provide PT services to underserved areas in Mexico with a nonprofit.

Justin Burr

I am working as a physical therapist in a large hospital-based outpatient orthopedic and sports medicine clinic. I was well prepared by the course work at NYU as I use kinesiology, biomechanics, ergonomics, orthopedic management, business management, and exercise principles every day. NYU also prepared me for my role as our lead physical therapist as NYU is focused on educating PT leaders for the future.

Justin Burr (DPT '16) 

Emil Berengut (DPT '09)

Emil Berengut

I am currently the Manager of the Physical Therapy Department at the NYU Student Health Center. My NYU PT education prepared me for this role in a number of ways. Most importantly, it instilled a desire to strive for excellence in my clinical practice and constant professional improvement. The NYU PT Curriculum on Critical Inquiry, the "PT as Educator and Manager" course, and the business administration course laid the foundation for me as an administrator, educator, and writer. Finally, the connections I made with my classmates and clinical instructors set me up for lifelong friendships and a productive career.

Jennifer Rubinacci Lehman (DPT '01)

Jennifer Rubinacci Lehman standing in front of a poster wearing a conference badge.

I have worked at New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center since I graduated from NYU in 2001. Several of my clinical education experiences at NYU allowed me to observe various settings at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. These varied experiences in the outpatient and cardiopulmonary departments helped me to understand the role of PTs along the continuum of care and to realize that I truly loved working in the hospital setting. My education at NYU prepared me to enter the field as a generalist and to treat patients in all of the different departments of a large academic medical center. After practicing for eight years, I received my Geriatric Clinical Specialist Certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. Currently, I am the supervisor of the inpatient rehabilitation unit. My role allows me to continue to learn each day through patient care, administrative responsibilities, and research. 

Stephen Chao (DPT '09)

Stephen Chao

Currently, I am a clinical assistant professor in the DPT program at the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York. I teach gross anatomy, kinesiology, and intro to orthopedics. Most recently, I directed the completion of the construction of a new anatomy dissection lab in our program. Later this year, professional continuing education courses will commence in the lab for health professionals in clinical anatomy. In addition to my academic duties, I am the director of a boutique outpatient orthopedic clinic in Manhattan. NYU's DPT program has a specific focus on leadership, administration skills, and professional presenting. These skills created a strong foundation as I have transitioned from clinician to administrator, practice manager, and teacher. Our course work in critical research inquiry prepared me well to operate now as an academic professor presenting research evidence to my students as well as creating new research.

Alumni Interviews

Broadway Behind the Scenes: Alum Dr. Brittney Mims on Providing Physical Therapy for Performers

"I love the responsibility I have in helping my patients get back to doing what they love."

Alumni in Action: Meet NYU Langone Staff Physical Therapist Dr. Elijah McMillan (DPT '20)

We connected with Elijah to learn more about his new role and how he overcame challenges presented by COVID-19.

The Path to Alleviating Pelvic Pain: An Interview with Denise Jagroo (DPT '02)

Denise Jagroo earned her doctorate in physical therapy from NYU Steinhardt in 2002. "I feel truly blessed to have found my calling," she says.