California Campus of University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Celebrates Commencement


California Campus of University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences Celebrates Commencement

San Marcos, CA—August 18, 2014—More than 70 graduates from 14 states celebrated their commencement from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences with nearly 600 family and friends on Aug. 16. Students earned Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our newest graduates. They are well prepared to enter or advance in their professions,” said Dr. Wanda Nitsch, USA’s president and chief academic officer.

USA granted awards to graduates who embodied their program’s mission with attributes including professionalism, clinical reasoning, ethical standards, and commitment to professional growth:

  • The Stanley V. Paris and Catherine E. Patla Award for Excellence in Manual Therapy: Scott Curran Hacker
  • Outstanding Physical Therapy Student Award: Katie Elisabeth Bucholz
  • Outstanding Flexible Physical Therapy Student Award: Matthew Wallace McCall
  • Outstanding Occupational Therapy Student Award: Heidi Ellen Dakin

USA also granted scholastic awards for the best cumulative GPA. The Judith Olson Scholastic Achievement Award was presented to entry-level occupational therapy graduate Heidi Ellen Dakin. The Wanda Nitsch Scholastic Achievement Award was presented to entry-level physical therapy graduate Travis Douglas Lanier.

USA is a member of Laureate International Universities, a network of more than 75 institutions in 29 countries and one of the most significant global higher education providers for health sciences.


About Us

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USA) is a graduate institution that emphasizes health science education through innovative quality classroom and distance education, and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Founded in 1979, USA has locations in San Marcos, California; St. Augustine, Florida; and Austin, Texas. The university is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). USA’s physical therapy programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), and its occupational therapy programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Degree offerings include the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT), the Dual Degree Option (MOT/DPT), the Flexible Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and the Flexible Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT). USA also offers the Transitional Doctor of Occupational Therapy, the Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, the Doctor of Education (EdD), the Doctor of Health Science (DHSc), the Clinical Orthopaedic Residency, the Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship program, and continuing education seminars and certifications for currently licensed therapists. For more information, visit

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