Betty Denton has seen a lot of changes in UAB’s department of physical therapy in the last 40 years. When she was going through the program, physical therapy was fairly new with a class size of nine and a bachelor’s degree. Today there are more than 110 students in the doctoral program. At the time she graduated in 1969, the degrees were granted from the University of Alabama since UAB didn’t exist yet; however, her last two years were taught in Birmingham at was then known as the UA Medical Center.
In 1973, Betty received her master’s degree in education from UAB. She became a clinical faculty member in PT and retired as a full-time faculty member in November 2005. Since then she has continued to consult with a federally-funded training grant through the U.S. Department of Education. Working with the UAB faculty in the school of education and department of occupational therapy, they are providing training for students in a variety of disciplines who work with infants and young children with special needs and their family.
Over the years, Betty has seen the industry change from a new concept to a universal discipline. Betty says there are now eight recognized areas of specialty certification within the profession. Thanks to her contributions to the program, Betty received the”Department of PT Distinguished Alumni” award in December. She says she’s proud to be associated with the program and has a word of advice to those soon-to-be graduates.
“The program at UAB has had a long history of highly qualified professionals who are recognized leaders in the field,” said Betty. “You have a responsibility to uphold that quality in all that you do. Be generous in giving of yourselves to your patients, your community, your profession, and to your alma mater. Be a guide and mentor for those who are interested in the field.”