How an 'Atypical' Degree Is Helping This Physical Therapist Think Outside the Box
The typical student pursuing a career in physical therapy will complete an undergraduate degree related to biology or public health. But Franklin & Marshall College alumnus Cory Hecht '17 was already pursuing a degree in mathematics when he decided his career path would lead to health care and working directly with patients.
"Physical therapy seemed like the best fit for me," he said. "But I was concerned that the [mathematics] degree would have little carryover to the physical therapy field."
After completing an independent research project advised by Associate Professor of Mathematics Christina Weaver, taking classes on dynamical systems and speaking with physical therapy clinicians, Hecht discovered that his mathematics background was not a hindrance to his dream—it actually provided a distinctive advantage.
"I realized the perspectives and skills gained from a mathematics degree can be applied to the human body and physical therapy rehabilitation as a way to make you a more effective clinician," he said.
Now a graduate of Columbia University with a doctorate of physical therapy, Hecht said he's happy he graduated from F&M with a math degree.
"Although it's not the typical route for a physical therapist, it has really helped me in terms of thinking a bit 'outside the box' about human movement and treatment approaches for people in pain," he said.
February 29, 2024
‘Transformational Experience’: Fellowship Connects Grad to Family Roots
Lisbeth Marquez-Delgado’s Fulbright fellowship has given her a chance to not only empower Mexican students, but gain a better understanding of her own cultural roots.
February 20, 2024
Record Number of Fulbrights Earns F&M a Top Producer Spot
For the seventh consecutive year, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program has named F&M a top-producing institution. Eleven recent graduates were awarded Fulbright fellowships in 2023, the highest number in F&M history.
February 14, 2024
Class of '89 Couple Finds Vibrant Community in Lancaster
When Claudia Mandarano Pace and Peter Pace ’89, P’20, P’22 graduated from Franklin & Marshall, they never would have imagined that their lives would bring them back to Lancaster years later, but that’s exactly what happened.