The UTMB School of Health Professions held their commencement with a total of 276 students graduating.  Of the graduates 43 graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in clinical laboratory sciences, 19 with Bachelor of Science degrees in respiratory care, 89 with Master of Science degrees in occupational therapy, 63 with provisional Master of Science degrees in physician assistant studies (pending completion of coursework in December) and 62 with doctoral degrees in physical therapy.

Dr. David L. Callender, UTMB president, conferred the degrees with Elizabeth Protas, vice president and dean of the School of Health Professions, officiating the graduation.
“These graduates represent an outstanding group of students and I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of them,” said Protas. “They will fill a vital role in the nation’s changing health care landscape.”
Commencement speaker and 2012 Distinguished Alumnus was Steven R. Shelton, UTMB’s assistant vice president for Community Outreach and director of Texas AHEC East. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from UTMB in 1975 and his MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 1983. He was one of six men and eight women in the third class of UTMB’s PA program.
Shelton currently has faculty appointments in UTMB’s Department of Family Medicine and the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. He has directed the East Texas Area Health Education Center program since its inception under UTMB leadership in 1990. Over his career at UTMB he has been principal or co-investigator of grants and contracts totaling near $34 million dollars and has administered a total of near $90 million in program and project support.
Established in 1968, the UTMB School of Health Professions has educated more than 6,500 professionals who serve the nation’s health care workforce. The school helps meet the health care needs of communities by preparing students to enter such professions as physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, clinical laboratory scientist and respiratory care.