Hometown: Junction City, Oregon
Class of 2011
Major: Rehabilitation Science
Favorite Pirate Experience: The opportunity to volunteer with the physical therapy department at St. Joseph’s/Candler.
Best Advice: “Show up to class with a positive attitude about learning. Immerse yourself in all the subjects and see how they apply to your life and your major.”
A Great Field
Dustin Workinger’s interest in physical therapy started while he was serving with the U.S. Army Rangers, specializing in explosives, marksmanship and leadership development.
“My first experience with a physical therapist was in the military when my leg was getting numb,” he says. “The physical therapist told me I had an impingement and should do certain stretches. I did the exercises and the problem went away.”
After completing his four-year enlistment with the Army—which included overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan–Dustin decided to pursue a bachelor’s in rehabilitation science at Armstrong, in addition to serving in the National Guard.
At Armstrong, this Honors Program student participated in a work-study program with the Veteran Affairs Office and volunteered with a number of local organizations. He also helped found the Student Veterans of America school chapter and volunteered with the physical therapy department at St. Joseph’s/Candler. The organization later offered Workinger a job as a part-time physical therapy aide, which enabled him to get additional hands-on experience before completing his bachelor’s degree.
“Physical therapy is a great field because it helps people be more active and shows them what they can do,” he says. “It’s very fulfilling.”
He is currently applying for admission to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Armstrong.
“It’s rewarding to help people,” he said. “If someone has a bad knee or can’t move their arm and I can help them, it’s a great feeling. It’s all about helping people maintain their quality of life.”