Allied Health students earn degrees; get inspiration from Boston bombing survivor

The commencement ceremony for the School of Allied Health Sciences took place at the Lancaster Center on Dec. 5. Students in the nurse anesthesia, physician assistant and orthotics and prosthetics programs received their degrees.

“You are in the best position possible to change the world,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor. “Go out and make us proud – I have high expectations for you.”

Dr. Alicia Monroe, provost and senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs, reminded the students that they had an extraordinary and dedicated faculty and emphasized that the day was a milestone in the lives of each of the students graduating.

Adrianne Haslet, a competitive ballroom dancer who lost her lower left leg in the Boston Marathon bombing, served as the commencement speaker and shared many life lessons she’s learned over the past few years with the graduating students and their families.

“When someone tells you something can’t be done, it’s more a reflection on their limitations, not yours,” she said. “It’s up to us to believe in ourselves.

Among the graduates are 39 students in the Physician Assistant Program, 16 from the Doctor of Nursing Practice and 18 students from the Master of Science in Orthotic and Prosthetics Program.

Orthotics and prosthetics students mark the inaugural class to graduate in the program, which was established at Baylor in 2013.

Haslet met with first-year students in Baylor orthotics and prosthetics program on Thursday, Dec. 3. She shared her personal story of losing her leg and adjusting to life with a prosthetic, including resuming dancing, and toured the lab where students learn to fabricate prosthetic and orthotic devices and fit patients.

She served as an inspiration to students. “It’s really cool to see that we can help people go back to the quality of life they had before losing a limb,” said student Karli Reich.