Developing Alumni Relations

Circle of Excellence Alumni Award Winners

The PT Department honored 3 alumni by awarding them the Alumni Circle of Excellence Award. 

Ms. Suzanne Gerhardt, PT, MS has been awarded the Alumni Circle of Excellence award for her philanthropic support of the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Michigan-Flint. Her frequent contributions to the UM-Flint Physical Therapy Department and her commitment to continued professional development of the professional DPT students are to be highly commended and have demonstrated the “Michigan Difference”. It is through alumni like Suzanne who continuously make the Physical Therapy Department part of your giving on an annual basis that we can continue to grow scholarships and other funds for the department and PT students.  It is very costly to get a physical therapy education today and students continually struggle to manage the expenses they incur.  Contributions like Suzanne’s greatly help the students and they are very appreciative of our alumni support!  In addition to philanthropic contributions, Suzanne has given back to the University of Michigan and University of Michigan-Flint physical therapy programs in so many other ways.  Her provision of clinical education internships for our students has provided excellent opportunities for our students to gain clinical instruction in high quality practice settings.  Suzanne has also been a stalwart supporter of our clinical education faculty over the years – this support is felt and has a great impact.


Ms. Janet Downey, PT, MPT, PCS has been awarded the Alumni Circle of Excellence award for her service to the profession of physical therapy. Her continual service to the MPTA and APTA over an extended number of years is to be highly commended and has demonstrated the “Michigan Difference”.   Janet’s steadfast commitment to the Michigan Physical Therapy Association and American Physical Therapy Association is clearly evident.  She has served almost continuously in leadership roles since 1978.  Janet served the Michigan Physical Therapy Association as delegate, chief delegate, secretary, vice-president, and president. She also served the Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association as Bylaws Committee Chair. Her service on the Nominating Committee of the American Physical Therapy Association is most notable.  Janet’s contributions to the profession reflect both a significant time commitment as well as a significant talent contribution to advance our profession.


Dr. Jonathan Quinton, PT, DPT has been awarded the Alumni Circle of Excellence award for his service to the Physical Therapy Department.  Jonathan exhibited a clear and strong commitment to the University of Michigan-Flint’s Physical Therapy program through the creation of an interactive timeline of the program’s history for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Physical Therapy Department in October of 2012.  His dedication to this project was clearly evident and was reflected in the high quality of the final product which was greatly praised by alumni and other guests when it was showcased at the APTA’s Combined Sections Meeting in San Diego in 2013. There is no doubt, that a service project of this caliber would not have been possible using resources currently available within the department.  His positive attitude and commitment to our department and the profession of physical therapy are highly commendable and demonstrate the “Michigan Difference”.

Thank you to Suzanne, Janet and Jonathan!