Student Spotlight: Francis Talty

Published: September 4th, 2015

Category: Student Spotlight, Uncategorized

Hello! My name is Francis Talty, and I am a senior in the BHS Program on the General Health Science Track. I am a Pre-Physical Therapy student and am currently applying to Doctorate of Physical Therapy Programs throughout the country. The BHS program here with the College of Public Health and Health Professions has given me many opportunities to excel and has very much prepared me for my future as a health care professional.

I came into the BHS program as a transfer student from Florida State University. While at FSU, I was an honors student involved with many student organizations and was a research assistant with Dr. Antonio Terracciano, Ph.D. and Dr. Angelina Sutin, Ph.D. in the FSU College of Medicine, Geriatrics Department. I sought out the BHS program here at UF because I was drawn by its emphasis on being a pre-professional program for undergraduates seeking a health related career. With the program, I believe that my undergraduate education will prepare me for graduate school and my work as a future clinician by instilling in me the leadership skills, research related coursework, and public health knowledge that I have learned.

I am involved in many student organizations here at UF. I am currently serving as the 2015-2016 President of the Undergraduate Physical Therapy Association, an organization for Pre-PT students to deepen their insight into the career of PT as well as act as a community for these students to volunteer and build off each other. I am also a resident in the Southern Scholarship Foundation, an organization that provides a rent free housing community, and promotes leadership and teamwork by living in a diverse household run by students.

Outside of the classroom, I spend my time being involved with research. Since last fall when I arrived at UF, I have been working as a research assistant with the Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging and Depression Lab under Dr. Vonetta Dotson, Ph.D. in the Clinical and Health Psychology Department. In this lab as well as in conjunction with the BHS Honors Program, I am currently working on my Honors Thesis on the “Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Critical Regions of the Prefrontal Cortex in Older Adults” where I am assessing the brain regions of the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex and the Orbitofrontal Cortex in response to a group of elderly adults participating in aerobic exercise, and the changes in gray matter volumes that it has to those areas. I have also been accepted as a University Scholar for the College of Public Health and Health Professions with my current work under Dr. Dotson, and I look forward to presenting my work at the spring research symposiums held on campus. Go Gators!