ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

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Michael Battle 

   Michael Battle is one of the more recent alums to come from the Psi class of Delta Epsilon Mu. Michael is currently a third-year undergraduate student with aspirations of entering the Physical Therapy field. With everyone having their own specific reasons for joining DEM, Michaels had a few reasons: the first being to make himself a more competitive applicant for PT school setting him apart from other applicants. “I knew that I could separate myself from other applicants with this fraternity after I learned that DEM was big on volunteering and establishing vital connections with the healthcare community. Michael also wanted to push himself out of his comfort zone and grow professionally and overall as an individual. He explains how surrounding himself with like-minded individuals who are goal-orientated only pushed him to become a harder worker. Finally, Michael simply wanted a place on campus to call “home” and found the DEM family to be group that he can support and be supported by.       Through his experience with DEM, he stated how he was able to establish a large network of connections within his peers, was able to develop both his professional and leadership skills, and as he originally strived for, he found a place that he could call his home and family.

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Erick Gonzalez 

   As a recent alumni, Erick has still maintained his involvement in school and professional development. Currently a second semester nursing student in the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree program at UCF, Erick has taken a step further by joining the Student Nursing Association. He is not merely just a member who attends meetings and pays dues, but he also writes articles for the newsletter as well.

  His most recent writing touches on the topic of medication errors from nurses resulting in the death of a patient and its outcomes. He passionately wrote about its impact on the system and how the profession should go about dealing with these errors. It's important to learn from these mistakes, rather than punish the nurse and in turn, make a domino effect for other nurses to not report their errors.

   Erick’s writings and overall involvement is inspirational to many nursing students, as they have stirred discussion among those at the college. Upon graduation and passing board examination, Erick hopes to begin training in an intensive care unit as a critical care registered nurse.

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Daniel Torres

   When I rushed DEM, I was a transfer student from Mississippi with a grand plan to get into a Florida PT school and move closer to my then long-distance girlfriend, now fiancé! There was only one school in Mississippi that had a PT program, and I knew I didn’t want those kind of odds for an in-state graduate education. It’s crazy to write, but that grand plan has come together just as I hoped it would.

     I am currently a second year student at the Doctor of Physical Therapy program here at UCF. I just finished my first 8-week clinical rotation at Florida Hospital Orlando where I saw cardiopulmonary, neurological, and vascular patients in the intensive and progressive care units. To my surprise, I ran into several people that I met through DEM! (An example that networking matters). Within the program, I have a lot that keeps me busy. I am part of the committee that plans and hosts UCF DPT’s annual Activity Day for children of all abilities; I am the lead investigator for a research project looking at different interventions for the hip; and I volunteer to provide screenings or mobility assistance to people and patients of all sorts. If anyone reading this needs advice on your application or UCF’s PT school, I’d love to help you out. Thank you, DEM for all the opportunities to volunteer and meet some of my greatest friends.

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Atheanna Svenning

     Since becoming an alumnus of Delta Epsilon Mu, Athanasia (Atheanna) Svenning has graduated from UCF with her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Shortly after, she continued her education at UCF and pursued a Masters of the Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. As a graduate student, Atheanna found a particular interest in research. Not only did she lead her own investigation through her graduate thesis, but was also the first student to present her research at an international conference. Her research findings have been presented at conventions in Portugal, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

      Since graduating, Atheanna is currently working at Speech Works Pediatrics with a focus on early language development and developmental articulation and/or phonological deficits. Additionally, she is also working at Central Florida Regional Hospital helping patients with acquired neurogenic disorders in their trauma center and rehabilitation unit. In regards to research, Atheanna is in the process of publishing her findings from her graduate thesis. She plans on pursuing a PhD in the future in rehabilitative medicine.

Samantha Peña

      Our alumni spotlight for the month is Samantha Peña. Samantha, a member of the Phi class, is currently serving on the Delta Epsilon Mu national executive committee as the Vice Presidents of Finance. She was elected to this national position after serving as Zeta’s treasurer in Spring 2017 and will serve until 2019. Sammi is a double major in health sciences and anthropology. She currently works as a medical assistant at Optimotion Orthopedics as well as a senior accountant at American Concept & Design.

            In addition, she recently received her certifications in both pediatric and adult life support. In 2019, she will be applying to medical school in hopes of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. Ever since the age of 12, when she moved to the United States from Puerto Rico with her mother, Sammi knew that she wanted to become a doctor so that she could positively impact lives of others.

            Sammi is grateful for the opportunities that Delta Epsilon Mu has provided her both on the local and national levels and strives to strengthen the organization every day through her national position.  

James Maggert

     Our alumni spotlight for the month is James Maggert. He left DEM and graduated from UCF in
the Fall of 2016, matriculating into the UCF Doctor of Physical Therapy(DPT) Program the following Summer semester. Since then, he has risen to President of his cohort and will be  starting next semester as the president of the student body organization.

      James has been working hard developing skills and preparing for his future as a physical therapist while growing closer to his cohort and his professor. He speaks very highly about UCF’s DPT Program and says that “it’s been a huge challenge and it’s been a lot tougher than anything I’ve ever done but its extremely fulfilling and I love what I’m doing.” 

     During his time in DEM, James held the positions
of Director of Prospects and President. He loved seeing how the family came together during
times of adversity and had each other’s backs. Also, he was able to attend the National convention and see how our fraternity functions on a larger scale. The biggest piece of advice he would give to new members is to get as much out of DEM as possible. “Just overall
remember you rushed for a reason, just being an active is great but there’s so much more potential there if you’re willing to work for it.”