OCtech’s PTA Class of 2018 Honored at Award Ceremony

Photo of PTA Class of 2018
Pictured are members of Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College’s Physical Therapist Assistant Class of 2018, bottom row, from left, Jordan Spivy, Chris Brisbon, Rachel Cunningham, Tiffany Ferguson, Courtney Finken, Kyle Gero, Anna Beth Hendricks, Kaitlin Huffstetler; back row, Allison Petree, Scott Whisenhunt, Brandon Mueller, Justin Jackson, Abbie Sturkie and Cayce Ulmer.

The Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Physical Therapist Assistant program held its annual pinning and award ceremony Tuesday, May 15, on campus in Roquemore Auditorium.

During the ceremony, 14 graduates received their pins and were presented with a green honor cord to be worn at graduation.

Kyle Gero received the award for highest GPA, and Kaitlyn Huffstetler was honored for achieving the second-highest GPA. Also receiving special honors were Rachel Cunningham and Cayce Ulmer, Clinical Excellence Award, and Justin Jackson, Fralix Award.

Gero – who was also named this year’s Division of Nursing and Health Science top honor graduate – set his sights on becoming an athletic trainer after tearing his ACL playing junior college soccer at the University of South Carolina-Sumter. He earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from USC-Columbia.

However, after discovering the outlook for his chosen career wasn’t ideal, Gero decided to return to school.

“If I had known about a PTA program prior to attending USC, I would have gone this route straight out of high school,” he said. “OCtech has an outstanding PTA program. It is very rigorous and requires a lot of time, but if you can dedicate yourself for the year that you’re in the program to learn everything the professors require of you, you will be a young professional making a good bit more money than most people earn with a four-year degree.”

For more information about OCtech’s PTA program, call Program Coordinator Lynn Fralix at 803.535.1305 or visit https://www.octech.edu/academics/programs-of-study/physical-therapist-assistant.