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Drexel Connections Changed an Alumna's Career

April 12, 2013

Gayle_Severance“The program really made a big difference in my life. It changed my career path,” began Gayle Severance, a 2004 graduate of the Drexel Certificate in Hand Therapy Program. “I was working in hand therapy because the person doing hand therapy at my workplace left. I was folded into her position but didn’t have guidance or mentorship. I was going through self-study.” After building the foundation of knowledge and experience she needed in the Drexel Certificate in Hand Therapy Program, Severance applied for a new job working with a large staff that included more hand therapists. “The program opened that door for me, helped me go on to get my CHT, and helped me become a much more skilled hand therapist.” Today, Severance works as a hand therapist for the Good Shepherd Penn Partners Rehabilitation Branch of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The peer relationships she built during the year she spent in the program and beyond have been both lasting and invaluable. Severance, like the majority of Drexel Hand Therapy students, continues to work the connections she made at Drexel and taps into the network when she has clinical questions or needs another opinion. She recently met with another therapist from the Drexel program at the American Society of Hand Therapists conference in San Diego. “It was great to have lunch with her and talk about ideas and how the program helped us grow. We talked about where we are in our careers and that was really wonderful,” Severance said.

She also reflected on relationships she has with faculty members from the Hand Therapy Program. “Jane felt like an instructor, a mentor, and a peer to everybody,” Severance said about the program’s director. “She was very approachable and so easy to work with and it made the whole program what it was. You weren’t intimidated by her knowledge or her experience; you were motivated by it.”