Student Ambassadors | Physical Therapy

Each year approximately 30 PT Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to be the student voice of the DPT program. All of our Ambassadors are actively involved in campus culture and the local Physical Therapy community, and work closely with the Admissions Office to provide an invaluable resource for prospective students.

We encourage you to speak with a current student about their experience applying to and choosing Pacific University's School of Physical Therapy. Ambassador's emails are provided below, and they will be happy to help you learn why Pacific is the school for you!

Lead Ambassador

Allison O'Connor Ambassador PhotoName: Allison O’Connor
Undergraduate Institution: Colorado State University
Major: Health and Exercise Science  
Hometown: Evergreen, Colorado 
One reason I chose Pacific: "Once I came to campus for interview day, I immediately felt welcomed and was drawn to the genuine nature of the faculty and students. There is such a positive and supportive environment that had been created, and that was evident throughout all the interactions I had while on campus. I could see that the faculty cared about their students and was rooting for their success. Coming from out of state, I was looking for a school that had a good sense of community and a collaborative environment. I wanted to be in an area that had lots of activities/things to check out nearby, so being in the PNW is a bonus!" 
Hobbies: Hiking, reading, working out, paddle boarding, going for walks


Class of 2026

Emity Bath Ambassador PhotoName: Emily Bath
Undergraduate Institution: California Polytechnic University, Humboldt
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Grants Pass, OR 
One reason I chose Pacific: "Interview Day sealed the deal for me! Although I came in expecting the day to feel stressful and intimidating, I ended up feeling relaxed and valued as an individual from the moment I walked in. The faculty were very approachable, talking and laughing with me and answering any questions I had. Additionally, the current students on the panel all emphasized the team environment Pacific creates within the program, which I’ve been able to experience over the short period of time I’ve been here thus far. It builds quickly!"  
Hobbies: Running, camping, rafting, hiking, scoping out new views… anything outside, and probably with coffee! 


Rozelle Bustos Ambassador PhotoName: Rozelle Bustos
Undergraduate Institution: Stockton University in Galloway, NJ
Major: Health Science with a concentration in Pre-Physical Therapy
Hometown: Los Angeles- Koreatown, CA
One reason I chose Pacific: "If I had to choose one reason out of the many reasons I chose Pacific, it would be the diversity. Coming from the military, diversity is something I wanted to continue to see because I had been surrounded by different people from different places most of my adult life. At Pacific University, I already saw from not just the students but even faculty that there was more diversity compared to other schools I was accepted to. Some were born and raised in Oregon, but others were also out of state, like myself!"
Hobbies: CrossFit, Bikram yoga, BJJ/ watching MMA, baking, hiking, surfing in the summer, going to Korean saunas (jimjilbangs), pickle ball, grooming my German Shepard Lulu, tending to my houseplants and I really really like to clean and organize things

Ryan Chapin Ambassador PhotoName: Ryan Chapin
Undergraduate Institution: Eastern Washington University
Major: Biology
Hometown: Walla Walla, WA
One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific because of the program’s reputation and the inclusive and welcoming environment. I wanted to find a program where I could be myself, and that is exactly how I felt during my interview day! All of the students and faculty made me excited to continue my education, and that is not something that I felt at the other places that I interviewed at."
Hobbies: Anything to do with jellyfish, listening to podcasts, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, traveling, and playing sports.


Kyleigh Corpuz Ambassador PhotoName: Kyleigh Corpuz
Undergraduate Institution: Pacific University 
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Hilo, HI
One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University because I knew that I wanted a program that was strong educationally but also provided a supportive environment. The support both in and out of the classroom from the faculty is unmatched, allowing me to become the best student and future clinician possible. Not only is there support from the faculty, but also my peers and that is a huge component for me since we are going through classes and every day together. It is so comforting to know that at any time there is a bunch of people who have my back."
Hobbies: Running/working, going to the beach, shopping, hanging out with friends, spending time with family, and petting any dog that passes by.

Kyla Damerow Ambassador PhotoName: Kyla Damerow
Undergraduate Institution: Bemidji State University 
Major: Exercise Science, Minor in Psychology 
Hometown: Black Diamond, WA
One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific because of the environment and values that the program had and displayed, especially during interview day! The minute I stepped on campus, it was a welcoming and supportive environment, and you could see just how much faculty and staff supported each other to be successful! Along with that getting to be in the PNW is a huge bonus!"
Hobbies: Being outdoors, playing sports, traveling, and being around friends and family! 


Miguel DiazName: Miguel Diaz
Undergraduate Institution: University of New Mexico
Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
One reason I chose Pacific: "After the interview, I knew that I wanted to attend Pacific's PT program. The energy on campus was welcoming and encouraging! The staff and current ambassadors made it clear that the program was non-competitive and everyone was a part of the Boxer family. It seemed like a great program to be a part of being so far from home!"
Hobbies: Weightlifting, hiking, trying new restaurants, and watching movies


Ramyar Eslami (Ram)Name: Ramyar Eslami (Ram)
Undergraduate Institution: Portland State University Honors College
Major: Pre-Clinical Health Sciences
Hometown: Kurdistan, Iran (Born) & Beaverton, OR (Raised)
One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific for many reasons, but the inclusive and supportive community among the students and staff stuck out during my interview day. The faculty and students at this school all carry a positive energy and look to help each other achieve a common goal. From day one, there has been a sense of togetherness on campus, which has made my experience so far much smoother than I was expecting. As a current student, I have appreciated how much the program has invested in the students and how well it has set a foundation for becoming the best professional in PT. I also can't go without mentioning that we are in the PNW, which is automatically a plus!" 
Hobbies: Watching and playing all types of sports, but specifically basketball and soccer. Listening to music, playing board games, hanging out with friends and family, exploring new foods across Portland, camping and being outdoors, and cars!

Kennedy Howard ambassador photoName: Kennedy Howard
Undergraduate Institution: Portland State University
Major: Applied Health and Fitness
Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon
One reason I chose Pacific: “A large part of why I chose Pacific was because of the wonderful DPT students and the culture they cultivated here. I could clearly tell this was an environment with skilled people that could foster my growth as a clinician. I absolutely adore my cohort, and I’m constantly impressed by my peers in this program. Upon interviewing, I met some of the most gracious and humble physical therapy students who I knew I wanted to learn alongside. The student body contributes such a large portion of a program’s learning environment, and meeting the amazing ambassadors upon interview day just solidified that Pacific was where I wanted to be.” 
Hobbies: Dance, Hiking, Kayaking, Gyrotonic, Whale watching, and Star gazing

Kaila MannName: Kaila Mann
Undergraduate Institution: Chapman University
Major: Human Physiology 
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
One reason I chose Pacific: "Going through a graduate program is a challenging process, so I wanted to find a learning environment that supported me academically and in my personal life. Through the interview process, I felt that support through the friendly and genuine interactions I had with the professors, staff, and students. I was impressed with the numerous opportunities in interprofessional education and ways to get involved within the program and community, which emphasized the importance of a school-life balance for me."
Hobbies: Dancing, weight lifting, hiking, finding good food places, finding new ways to get active, spending time with friends and family

Kaila Oshiro Ambassador PhotoName: Kaila Oshiro  
Undergraduate Institution: Pacific University
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Pearl City, Hawaii
One reason I chose Pacific: "I chose Pacific University for numerous reasons. One of the top reasons being that I loved how they encompassed a tight-knit community feel. I initially chose to come to Pacific University for my undergraduate career because I knew they had a great DPT program and a lot of ties to Hawaii. All throughout my undergraduate, Pacific was my home away from home, and the DPT program is all of that plus more. On interview day, they made me feel so welcomed and comfortable. They put a huge emphasis on not only making sure that you are a good fit for their program but also that this program is a good fit for you."
Hobbies: Surfing, hiking, weight lifting, cooking, hanging out with family & friends


Emily PayneName: Emily Payne
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Undergraduate Institution: Transylvania University in Lexington, KY
Major: Health and Exercise Science, Minor in Psychology
Hometown: Tigard, OR / Northern Virginia
One reason I chose Pacific: "When applying for PT school, I knew I wanted to move back to Oregon, specifically in the Portland area, and Pacific provided just that. After receiving an offer to interview, I was able to visit the Hillsboro campus firsthand, and I fell in love immediately. I felt at peace. Though small, Pacific University is mighty and faculty, staff, community members, and peers will work in the best interest of the graduate students to ensure success and happiness in their field of study."
Hobbies: Trying new coffee places, working, hanging out with friends and family, watching lots of soccer, finding new avocado plushes to collect

Ashley Shumacher ambassador photoName: Ashley Shumacher
Undergraduate Institution: Washington State University
Major: Kinesiology, Minor in Biology
Hometown: San Jose, CA
One reason I chose Pacific: "After my interview and tour at Pacific University, I knew it was the school for me! All the students and staff were so caring and supportive. At other schools and interviews, I felt like a number, but Pacific University made me feel wanted, valued, and supported."
Hobbies: Hiking, baking, traveling, and doing anything outdoors



Jordan Wheeler ambassador photoName: Jordan Wheeler
Undergraduate Institution: Oregon State University  
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Portland, OR
One reason I chose Pacific: "During my interview day, Pacific felt like home. All of the faculty, current students, and others within the Pacific community were so welcoming and kind. It was evident that there was a family-like dynamic between everyone in the DPT program at Pacific. In addition, the program's dedication to helping those within the community, like volunteering with Special Olympics, was important when making my decision due to my passion for helping underserved populations. They truly embodied their core values of health equality, community health and wellness, and diversity of people." 
Hobbies: I love playing tennis, weightlifting, hiking, traveling, reading, and watching anime

Class of 2025

Liz Belecky ambassador photoName: Liz Belecky
Undergraduate Institution: Colorado State University
Major: Health and Exercise Science, Minor in Spanish
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
One Reason I chose Pacific: I chose Pacific not only because of the program’s reputation but also how kind and helpful everyone was during interview day! I just had a feeling that I belonged here after speaking with the students and faculty!”
Hobbies: I love to do anything outdoors, including hiking, paddle boarding, and hanging out at a lake! I also enjoy finding new food and coffee spots with friends! 



Rex Brayley Ambassador PhotoName: Rex Brayley
Undergraduate Institution: University of Oregon
Major: Human Physiology
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
One Reason I chose Pacific: “While researching programs, the positive and diverse community that Pacific has created was a huge attraction for me to attend this program. After interviewing and touring on Zoom, I truly felt giddy about the opportunity in front of me and knew that this was a good environment to learn in. The smaller class sizes create great relationships with my fellow peers but also the faculty as well. I genuinely feel like the faculty wants to know about us and our goals moving forward as future healthcare professionals. On top of earning my DPT, I can explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest most weekends! Easy choice for me.”
Hobbies: Playing soccer, hiking, love a movie night, seeing live music, and surrounding myself with friends and family

Austin Cooper PT Ambassador PhotoName: Austin Cooper
Undergraduate Institution: Purdue University
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Prior Lake, MN
One reason I chose Pacific: “One of the first things I noticed about Pacific University and the DPT program is how welcoming and genuine all the staff and other students were. I also have always wanted to visit the west coast, so I decided to use this as an excuse to travel.”
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, playing guitar, rollerblading, kayaking, and rugby



Gabrielle Dorsen PT Ambassador PhotoName | Gabrielle Dorsen
Undergraduate Institution: University of Kansas
Major: Exercise Science 
Hometown: Bartlett, Illinois 
One reason I chose Pacific: “I chose Pacific because during my interview, I felt so comfortable, and I felt that the faculty and students wanted to get to know me as a person first. Everyone was so welcoming, and I knew I would have people in my corner if I moved halfway across the country to come here. Along with the great reputation of the program and the great clinical opportunities, the genuine sense of community and support of all the faculty and students is why I chose Pacific!” 
Hobbies: Exploring coffee shops, cheerleading, going for walks, listening to music, watching sports 


Emma Helsel ambassador photoName: Emma Helsel, Class of 2025
Undergraduate Institution: University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: St Charles, IL
One Reason I chose Pacific: “The values of the program and the people that I met during my interview was why I chose Pacific. Everyone was so welcoming and preached inclusivity and collaboration. I liked that the program was non-competitive and it was clear that the staff and students are here to help everyone succeed. It is also in the beautiful PNW, which put it even further on top!”
Hobbies: Exploring new restaurants, playing sports, hiking, playing cards, baking cookies


Cali Lescas Hernandez PT Ambassador photoName: Cali Lescas Hernandez
Undergraduate Institution: University of Washington - Seattle
Major: Biology and Physiology
Hometown: Vancouver, Washington
One reason I Chose Pacific: “When visiting Pacific's PT program, I immediately knew that I could thrive here. It was a place that I could call home where the barriers between student and professor from undergrad didn't exist. Pacific fit my non-negotiable PT school need of a welcoming place with the goal of educating and inspiring its students on a personal level. I felt included in the community from day one and have been able to feel the growth toward my goals since. It didn't hurt that the campus is in the beautiful PNW.” 
Hobbies: Soccer, video games, exercise, watching movies, and music. I also love zoos and aquariums


Carolyn Nevin PT Ambassador PhotoName: Carolyn Nevin
Undergraduate Institution: University of New England
Major: Applied Exercise Science, Minors in Coaching and Nutrition
Hometown: Harwinton, CT
One Reason I chose Pacific: “Having moved around a bit before, I was really looking for a place that I would easily connect with and feel at home. I recognized quickly that Pacific would be just that during the interview process. Now that I am in the midst of the program, I can confidently say that the professors, faculty, and students have expressed a genuine care for helping us all be successful. There were a lot of logistical reasons why it was a great fit for me, but the community and program offerings that would help me grow as a person and a PT ultimately led to my decision to choose Pacific. Plus, I was so excited to explore the PNW!”
Hobbies: Hiking, reading, concerts, working out, skiing, going to the beach, traveling! 

Rebekah Pearson  PT Ambassador PhotoName: Rebekah Pearson
Undergraduate Institution: The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Majors: Dance, Religious Studies
Hometown: Newnan, GA
One Reason Why I Chose Pacific: “From the first time I stepped onto campus, it felt like home. I felt that the College of Health Professions would not only set me up for success through its programming but would also provide an environment where I felt supported while I was learning. As I have begun my first semester in the DPT program, I have been incredibly impressed by the heart with which each person approaches their role. I can only hope to grow into a clinician who can project the passion and purpose I sense from each member of the Pacific University DPT community.”
Hobbies: Ballet, Irish Dance, Hiking, Drinking Coffee, Knitting, Shopping at Trader Joe's

Megan Pham PT Ambassador PhotoName: Megan Pham
Undergraduate Institution: University of California Irvine
Major: Public Health Sciences, Psychological Sciences Minor
Hometown: Irvine, CA

One Reason I Chose Pacific: “One of the main reasons I chose Pacific was the welcoming atmosphere I experienced throughout my interview day. A supportive learning environment has always been important to me, so seeing the family-like community between the faculty and students, both in and out of the classroom, was exactly where I saw myself growing as a person the most.” 
Hobbies: Hiking, swimming, surfing, watching a sunset at the beach, camping, traveling, concerts, and anything dog related


Kevin Saltzman Ambassador PhotoName: Kevin Saltzman
Undergraduate Institution: Washington State University
Major: Kinesiology with a minor in Strength & Conditioning
Hometown: Sunnyvale, California

One Reason I chose Pacific: “Every single staff member I talked to treated me like they knew me for the past five years. Despite my interview on zoom, I gained a sense of being a part of a positive community where I belonged. Throughout my application process, all the faculty were approachable and genuinely wanted me to succeed.  All of my questions were answered with diligent feedback in a timely manner.”  
Hobbies: Playing basketball, lifting weights, hiking, cooking, playing video games, playing chess, watching tv shows and movies, and spending time with any and all types of dogs!


Elle Smith Ambassador PhotoName: Elle Smith
Undergraduate Institution: CSU San Bernardino
Major: Kinesiology Allied Health Professions
Hometown: Chico, CA
One reason I chose Pacific: “One of the main reasons I chose Pacific was the warm and welcoming environment I felt on interview day. On top of the amazing clinical education opportunities and high licensure pass rate, the community the school has built highlights inclusivity, collaboration, and camaraderie, which is exactly how I knew Pacific was the best fit for me in building my future career.”
Hobbies: I love hanging out with friends and family, going on hikes/walks, trying out new restaurants, and being a dog mom!


Lia TomName: Lia Tom
Undergraduate Institution: California State University Stanislaus 
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Kailua, Hawaii
One reason I chose Pacific: “I chose Pacific for many reasons, but the main reason that swayed me is the sense of community and support from the students, faculty, and staff. Coming from Hawaii means that community is everything, and I was really happy that I found that here at Pacific University. Knowing that I am a part of a family where everyone is loved, accepted, supported, and diversity is found provides the best environment for me to succeed as a student. When you come to Pacific University, you know you are a part of something great and that you are a member of the Boxer family forever!”    
Hobbies: Hiking, exercising, going to the beach, cooking/baking, watching Friends and Halloween Movies with my niece and nephew!

Bri Wickland Ambassador PhotoName: Brianne Wickland
Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Northridge
Hometown: Boise, Idaho
One Reason I chose Pacific: “Originally, I was impressed by Pacific’s academic reputation and dynamic clinical program opportunities, including international clinical sites. However, what won me over was the interview process. I felt so much support and positive energy from the staff and student panel. It was apparent that the staff honestly cared about who I was as a person, which spoke volumes about their program. As a current student, I can say that is absolutely true! All of the staff at Pacific take a vested interest in us as students and go out of their way to create a warm and supportive learning environment.”
Hobbies: Finding the best croissant in Portland, yoga, trail running, weightlifting, salsa dancing, and international travel.