(January 24, 2012)

Alumna receives Graduate Dean's Award of Excellence

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary alumna Dr. Melanie Zimmerman '08 was honored with the Graduate Dean's Award of Excellence while receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy during Hardin-Simmons University's winter commencement.

Dr. Zimmerman and her fiancé
Dr. Zimmerman and her fiancé

"Centenary was the most essential stepping stone to the accomplishments and goals I have achieved his graduate schools," said Zimmerman. "I get to spend everyday working with some of the most remarkable children I have ever met and with some of the most brilliant therapists in this field."

Since graduating from Centenary, Zimmerman has been involved in professional organizations at the local and state level. She has also spent extensive time volunteering with various organizations across Texas. Giving fun fitness screenings at the Texas Special Olympics, spending time as a caregiver at an animal rescue mission, and assisting with the Laura Bush Women's Health Fair are just some of the many ways in which Zimmerman has given of herself to the community. She completed all of this while excelling in her Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

Dr. Zimmerman currently works for the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities in Norman, OK. Future goals for Zimmerman include becoming a specialized pediatric physical therapist and starting her own clinic treating children with special needs or becoming the director of a large rehabilitation center.

Hardin-Simmons Graduate Dean's Award of Excellence is given to the student who has excelled as graduate student and shown potential to excel in his or her chosen field. Zimmerman also received the Texas Physical Therapy Association Midwest District Award of Academic Excellence.