Ryan Koter, Helen Kaiser Scholarship Recipient, honored at Duke Health Professionals Scholarship Dinner


From left to right: Tiffany Nickel, former Helen Kaiser Scholarship recipients Leigh Anne Martino and Sarah Funderburg, Ryan Koter, Dr. Michel Landry, and John McCall

On Friday, April 8, 2016, our very own second-year DPT student, Ryan Koter, was honored at the Duke Health Professionals Scholarship Dinner for receiving the Helen Kaiser Scholarship. Recipients of the Helen Kaiser Scholarship are expected to demonstrate a strong sensitivity to, and appreciation for, the diversity in all individuals, and Ryan Koter could not be a more worthy recipient.

IMG_8501Ryan chose to come to Duke for his DPT education not only because of the strength of the program, faculty, and team-based learning curriculum, but because of the extensive opportunities available across the Duke community at large. He wished to, “…immerse myself early outside of the classroom and escape the PT bubble.”

Shortly after arriving at Duke, Ryan became a member of the Duke Vespers Ensemble, and as of this year, the Duke Evensong Singers as well. Each of these groups gave him a space of rest and contemplation in the Duke Chapel during weekly services. In addition, being apart of these groups gave him the opportunity to perform onstage as part of a group of backup singers for the Rolling Stones, during their hit song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Speaking of the experience, Ryan explained, “As someone who studies how the body moves, what Mick Jagger can do at 70 years old is amazing.”

So what effect has Ryan’s involvement in the Duke ensembles had on his education? “I have developed skills of listening and performing in the moment that are critical to have as a PT,” he says. Ryan concluded with these final words:

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to develop these skills in such a unique way by studying at Duke, and again, I thank you for the scholarship I received and the opportunity to come here. I never expected I’d get to sing in that Chapel, and recognize so much personal and professional growth because of that during my PT education. Not everyone comes to Duke and gets to sing with Mick Jagger like I did, but I am confident in saying that everyone who comes here can find opportunities equally as extraordinary that will lead them to excellence.”

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