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UNCP alumnae earn white coats at Duke University's DPT program

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Angelica McNair (left) Genna Locklear
Angelica McNair (left) Genna Locklear

UNC Pembroke alumnae Genna Locklear and Angelica McNair have advanced one step closer to achieving their dreams of becoming physical therapists.

Locklear and McNair were among 91 students who donned their white coats at Duke University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy White Coat Ceremony on June 9. The ceremony marks the transition from the classroom to clinical experiences––a defining moment for first-year medical students.

Locklear and McNair were classmates in the exercise and sports science program at UNCP before earning their degrees in 2019.

“It was an incredible experience,” McNair said. “It feels surreal at this moment. Being on that stage took me back to where it all began, and I feel like UNCP gave me amazing volunteer opportunities. As a member of (Health Careers Access Program), HCAP I was able to tour various physical therapy schools and interact with people from various backgrounds.”

Dr. Marcus Roll––the professor who interviewed Locklear for the DPT program––presented her white coat, bringing her journey at Duke full circle.

“This was a huge milestone,” Locklear said. “It makes me feel proud because I was initially intimidated by Duke’s reputation as one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. However, with the help of my classmates, my hard work paid off.”

Locklear, a native of Pembroke, will complete her one-year clinical experience at Duke University Hospital and Four Corners Regional Health Center, located on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. McNair, a former UNCP student-athlete from Fayetteville, N.C., has been assigned to Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Center in Richmond, Va., Fayetteville VA Medical Center and Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans.

Locklear and McNair, who are set to graduate in 2023, credit their success in the DPT program to their experiences in UNCP’s HCAP. The program’s mission is to increase awareness of career opportunities in the health profession and cultivate interests in the pursuit of health professions. The goal is to increase the number of minorities who are trained, educated and employed in the health profession.

For more information about HCAP, visit hcap@uncp.edu or call 910.521.6673.