Making a tangible difference

Many of our students, faculty and alumni come together each winter to help disabled children learn to ski. A physical therapy alumna and her former physical therapy professor joined forces to bring a summer camp for children with limb loss to our campuses. A professor of biomedical sciences has spent years studying why black women are more likely to get breast cancer than white women. Faculty and students host a popular falls prevention program every year for seniors in the local community. Physical therapy and occupational therapy students routinely travel to Nicaragua and Barbados to help treat people with diabetes and perform other humanitarian missions.

These experiences not only sharpen the clinical skills of our students, but help them transform into more mature and compassionate practitioners and scientists. These students become more marketable, too. 

Nicole Napolitano, left, a Quinnipiac Pre Med student helps Ian Thompson, center, with Christina Ast, a Physical Therapy student on his other side. Steve Vonick, a volunteer with Skiers Unlimited holds the ropes attached to Ian's skiing aid. Quinnipiac occupational and physical therapy students helped children with disabilities ski on the last day of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center's Skiers Unlimited program at Mt. Southington in Southington, Connecituct on February 12, 2016.

Helping hands

Pre med student Nicole Napolitano '16, left, and physical therapy student Christina Ast '14, DPT '17, help Ian Thompson hit the slopes.

Featured Work

No limits on fun

School of Health Sciences students help out at the Camp No Limits event on the York Hill Campus.

Camp No Limits

In July 2015, Quinnipiac became the first institution of higher education in the country to host Camp No Limits, an overnight camp for children and adolescents with limb loss and their families. Now an annual event, physical and occupational therapy, nursing and pre-med students have the opportunity to put their clinical and professional skills to use, helping campers gain confidence by participating in life-skills programs and a variety of sports. 

Kevin Carroll, vice president of prosthetics for Hanger Clinic, was treating a small child, Jeremiah, who had multiple amputations. At his 2015 Quinnipiac Commencement address, Carroll talked about the transformation he witnessed in Jeremiah. Carroll told graduates, “It was at Camp No Limits that Jeremiah had the good fortune to meet several Quinnipiac University students who were donating their time — literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of time. Jeremiah just changed right there as a result of working with your faculty and students. Today, Jeremiah is doing very, very well. And that’s what you guys are all about — giving back. There’s nobody better than the students and faculty at Quinnipiac for giving back to the communities.”

Around the World

A world of opportunities exist for health science students to expand their personal and professional horizons far beyond Connecticut.

“Students with international experience are more marketable as they begin their professional careers because they come to the field open to diverse perspectives,” says Andrea Hogan, director for global education.

Quinnipiac maintains a special relationship with University College Cork, one of Ireland’s premiere research institutions. Many PT and OT students choose to study in Ireland during the spring semester of their sophomore year because the UCC classes align almost perfectly with the courses that they would be taking at Quinnipiac. Every year at least five diagnostic imaging students head to the University College of Dublin for a summer clinical exchange program. Health science studies majors also have the opportunity to spend the spring semester at the University of Queensland, one of Australia’s top research facilities. 

Service trips are also a popular way for students to gain international experience. All students can participate in a nine-day alternative spring break experience. Usually affiliated with the Albert Schweitzer Institute, past projects have included school building and environmental projects in Nicaragua and other Central American countries. Graduate occupational therapy and physical therapy students are eligible to travel to Nicaragua during winter break. In recent years, health science students have also gone on service trips in the Bahamas, Guatemala and Barbados.

Student Groups

Strength in numbers

Joining a student organization is an ideal way to boost your skills, get involved, network — and have some fun, too.

You could volunteer to lead a team at the annual Special Athletics Day that the Physical Therapy Club holds each spring. The group also sponsors massage clinics and wheelchair basketball events throughout the year. You could organize (and run in) a 5K fundraiser for the Student Occupational Therapy Association, which meets every two weeks and has an active mentoring program. Both with and without clubs, there are hundreds of ways for health science students to volunteer and make a difference in the community. Some of our physician assistant (PA) students regularly serve meals at homeless shelters, provide oral health training at local health fairs, mentor high school students, and provide medical care to Connecticut’s migrant farm workers.

Walking to defeat ALS

Students participate in the ALS walk at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven, CT.


  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Athletic Training Club
  • Behavioral Neuroscience Club 
  • Physical Therapy Club
  • Pre-Health Professionals Society
  • Student Occupational Therapy Association
  • Physician Assistant Club


Research rewards

Emma Farquharson transferred to Quinnipiac during her junior year to pursue a more vigorous research environment.  "It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Farquharson, who graduated with a microbiology degree in December 2015.

Now pursuing her Ph.D. at Cornell, Farquharson was particularly impressed with two facets of her QU education: access to faculty and how easy it is for undergrads to do research. “In my very first class — it was virology with Dr. Dwayne Boucaud — the teacher said to me, ‘I’ve never seen you before. What is your name?’ In three years at my previous school, nobody ever asked me my name — not once. Even my advisors didn’t know me; I was just a number to them. “

Farquharson quickly started working on a research project on infectious diseases with Dr. Boucaud. “What QU does for students who want to do research is really incredible. It’s the hands-on experiences, the chances that they give you,” she says.

Farquharson treasures the time she spent at Quinnipiac — and not just for the academics. “It’s such a beautiful area, and the school has clearly poured a lot of money into the facilities,” she says. “I really loved the 24-hour library, too — even Cornell doesn’t have one of those.”

Community Services

Quinnipiac University students Kristianna Giannico (left) and Alissa Rocco (glasses), both are in the third year of the graduate physical therapy program, work with  Mike Mingrone, of Milford, as part of the VISION clinic. Mingrone suffered a traumatic Brain Injury following a 2013 car crash.
VISION, which stands for Volunteers in Service Impacting Our Neighborhoods, is a student-run, pro-bono clinic that operates on Tuesday nights at the North Haven campus. The clinic offers interprofessional rehabilitation to uninsured residents in the Greater New Haven who do not have access to physical and occupational therapy services. (Autumn Driscoll / Quinnipaic University)

Making patients whole

Physical therapy students Kristianna Giannico (left) and Alissa Rocco work with patient Mike Mingrone, of Milford, at the VISION clinic. Mingrone suffered a traumatic brain injury following a car accident in 2013. VISION is a student-run, pro-bono clinic that offers interprofessional rehabilitation to uninsured residents in the Greater New Haven area.

Community Services

The surrounding community becomes an extension of the classroom, as physical therapy, occupational therapy and diagnostic imaging students sharpen their skills while benefiting the uninsured or under-insured patients throughout Connecticut. 

Among a few examples:

VISION Rehabilitation Clinic

Volunteers in Service Impacting Our Neighborhoods is a student-run, pro-bono clinic that offers physical and occupational therapy services. 

The Lions Low Vision Center

The Lions Low Vision Center, staffed by social work and occupational therapy students and faculty, offers evaluation and recommendations for patients with vision impairments.    

Community Access Imaging

Community Access Imaging provides MRIs, CAT scans and ultrasounds. 

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