Several hundred Florida Southern College supporters and alumni were on hand today when the college dedicated its new Jean and Sal Campisi Sr. Academic Center for Physical Therapy on Florida Avenue in Dixieland. Here’s video of the ceremony:

Twenty-four students enrolled in the college’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy program when it launched this semester. The college is seeking accreditation for a 36-student program.

The program was founded both to continue expanding FSC’s STEM and health professions offerings and to fill physical therapy shortages in Polk County and Central Florida, Provost Brad Hollingshead said after this afternoon’s ceremony.

Inaugural community partners include VISTE, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine and One More Child — programs where the doctoral students perform pro bono work, he said.

The structure was designed by Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects Inc., now part of The Lunz Group, and built by Rodda Construction. It emulates some of FSC’s newer buildings on Lake Hollingsworth and incorporates the colored-glass windows similar to the ones Frank Lloyd Wright used in buildings he designed for FSC.

The Comission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy granted the school candidate status in May.

The department’s technological innovations include ceiling-mounted classroom cameras, donated human body parts preserved through a plastination process, portable ultrasound units, an advanced balance assessment system and gait analysis technology.

Roughly half of the 24 inaugural students are from Florida, and three grew up in Polk County, including Will Keith, who stayed in Lakeland after graduating from George Jenkins High School to study at Southeastern College and now graduate school at FSC.

The program is directed by Dean Nancy Nuzzo and includes seven faculty members.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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