Suzanne Reese, D.P.T.
50th Anniversary Notable Alumni Feature Suzanne Reese, D.P.T.: Taking classes in 1990 and again in 2000, Tulsa Community College offered Suzanne the resources and flexibility for more learning opportunities while working full-time. She had already earned her bachelor’s in Physical Therapy and master’s degrees in Exercise Science and would go on to earn a doctorate in Physical Therapy.
“I thought I wanted to earn a Sociology degree and didn’t have a single class in my previous coursework,” she said. “So, I took classes. While I didn’t complete the degree, what I learned opened my eyes to the needs of society and shaped what I would go on to accomplish.”
One of those accomplishment was creating the Nate Waters Physical Therapy Clinic at the TCC Metro Campus. Suzanne was instrumental in the development of the clinic, which serves as a hands-on learning space for TCC students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program. As a resource for the medically underserved population, the clinic has provided more than $700,000 in pro bono services. In addition, the clinic has been recognized nationally as an innovative workforce development program by the National Council for Workforce Education (Exemplary Program Award) and as a 2019 Bellwether Finalist. Suzanne published an article on the work, "Impact of a Self-Contained Learning Space on a Physical Therapist Assistant Education Program", in the September 2018 issue of Journal of Physical Therapy Education.
Working more than 30 years with the TCC Physical Therapist Assistant Program before she retired in 2019, Suzanne has contributed to the success and employment of roughly 600 licensed physical therapist assistants in northeast Oklahoma who graduated from the program.
Serving as President of the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Association twice, Suzanne received the Chapter’s Founders Award in 1997. Nationally, she served as a Commissioner for eight years for the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education, six years as a mentor for the Education Leadership Institute Fellowship Program, received the 2015 F.A. Davis Publishers Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Educator Award and the 2018 American Physical Therapy Association Lucy Blair Service Award.