Robert Roller '12, DPT '15
For Robert Roller, clinical work and internships have taken him from high school field hockey fields to Division I college football turf.
Roller earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training from Quinnipiac and is now a student in the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program. He says his undergraduate studies prepared him for the rigors of graduate school.
This year, he's working as a graduate assistant athletic trainer to the women's rugby team as well as instructing several undergraduates in the athletic training program.
After completing his DPT, Roller says he would be interested in working with athletes undergoing post-surgical rehabilitation programs, but his true passion is research.
Roller has developed a close relationship with his faculty mentor, physical therapy professor Juan Garbalosa, who oversees the University's motion analysis lab. "I've taken on a lot of responsibilities in the lab," Roller explains. He started there as a work-study student.
So when Garbalosa was awarded a Fulbright specialist grant to pursue research at a similar lab at Hyogo University of Health Sciences in Japan, Roller was an obvious choice for a research assistant. "I take opportunities when they come up," he says. "I've always been good at adapting. It didn't take long before I jumped right in."
They worked alongside Japanese researchers, focusing on Garbalosa's ongoing research project on foot motion. Roller was invited to the homes of fellow researchers on the weekends, where he sampled the local cuisine and culture. The month-long trip in summer 2011 was his first time out of the country.
Roller says the best part was the close collaboration with Garbalosa. The experience sparked Roller's interest in research as a career path. Roller is currently working on his capstone project on foot motion, which he hopes will be published in an academic journal. "All the professors really care about your future--getting you prepared for life after Quinnipiac," he says.
"You get so much hands-on experience. So many opportunities come up. If you take advantage of everything, this University will help shape your career path."
More School of Health Sciences Spotlights
For physical therapy professor Juan Garbalosa, his students are like family. Their accomplishments, particularly in the field of research, are his proudest moments.
Mumbi Ngugi had a calling to make a difference by entering the field of medicine and joining the military. The Quinnipiac graduate is fulfilling both these dreams as a physician assistant in the U.S. Air Force.
Cynthia Lord, clinical associate professor and director of the physician assistant program, believes community service is integral to the curriculum and the PA profession.
Three diagnostic imaging students completed a clinical placement at University College Dublin, as part of a 'first-of-its kind' exchange agreement between Quinnipiac and UCD.