First generation DPT student, Joel Marquez, is grateful for the foundation his family laid and hopes to become a well-rounded provider

“My family are immigrants who started a life in the states and have given so much to allow the younger family members (like myself) opportunities that we would have otherwise not received.”

Hispanic Heritage Month is dedicated to the recognition and appreciation of Hispanic Americans and their cultures. To honor this month, which spans from September 15 to October 15, CPHS will be featuring Hispanic students, faculty, and alumni and their contributions to CPHS and their chosen profession. To view stories, events, and exhibits in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, please visit

Student: Joel Marquez

Program: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Anticipated graduation: 2024

Undergraduate institution: The University of Texas at Austin

How are you making a positive impact? As a first-year student, I am starting to create my foundational knowledge and skill for my upcoming clinical opportunities and career. I attend all classes and labs that have been extremely beneficial. I am currently involved in CU DPT’s pro bono clinic, where I am trying to get in front of as many patients as I can before I am responsible for my own patients.

Why did you choose CPHS and what benefits do you believe you are gaining/have gained from attending Campbell? I was applying to many schools. Campbell stuck out because they gave me the opportunity, they put an emphasis on the rural community, and the faculty were exceptional. They all have accomplished so much, and it is very evident that they are experts in their areas of study when they teach, but they are all humble about it. I believe the faculty is also very invested in their students and their success. I attempt to get to know the faculty more any chance I get.

Please summarize your personal, business, and academic journey: I earned a B.S. in Athletic Training from the University of Texas. I was able to pass my board exams and receive the certified athletic trainer (ATC) credentials. I have also worked many jobs along the way such as a substitute teacher, a basketball official, maintenance worker, and many others. I am now here, at Campbell, and a part of our neurological student interest group. I am looking for more ways to be involved as I continue my educational journey in “the Creek.”

Additional accomplishments: what you are passionate about and who are you? I am very proud of where I come from! My family are immigrants who started a life in the states and have given so much to allow the younger family members (like myself) opportunities that we would have otherwise not received. I am a first-generation college student who is now pursuing a doctorate. I did not know I would come this far, and I am not sure if they could have guessed it either. I am very blessed and will continue to work to build upon the foundation I was given. Some goals I have are to work in professional sports and open/own a physical therapy clinic. I want to include the expertise from various healthcare professions that can incorporate aspects of rehabilitation, pain management/alleviation, performance, general wellness, nutrition, and injury prevention, providing an individual and holistic approach to each patient. I would like to practice with an emphasis in neurological and sports rehabilitation. My goal is to become a very well-rounded physical therapist with certifications in multiple manual therapy techniques and functional movement.

At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving/do you hope to leave? I strive to be a student who takes great interest in his education. I want to be a hard worker and a very curious student and clinician. I hope to become the most well-rounded person I can be. Someone who is helpful, willing to give, passionate, open-minded, empathetic, understanding, and composed.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: The caliber of faculty we have access to is amazing. Students are afforded the opportunity to learn from some of the best that this field has to offer. They are very invested in their students and always keep an open-door policy. The facilities are great, the school has great partnerships for clinical experience, and it is very respectful that they push to serve underserved communities.

Additional comments: I enjoy the area! There are some great outdoor attractions. I am very fond of Campbell, the resources, and all of the great people I have met. I am excited for what is to come, and hope to make an impact on the lives of many patients. I love the small town feel that Buies Creek has. It is a quiet, slow-paced environment and allows me to find the time I need for myself. It reminds me of how I grew up and has been the perfect place to attend graduate school.

I would advise incoming professional students to enjoy the time in undergrad, find things you enjoy doing, and learn how to take care of your mental health. School is demanding, but you always have to make time for the things you enjoy. Become more aware of yourself as a learner-know your study habits and how you learn best so you can make the most of the time you are spending on school. Find a good school-life balance!

To learn more about our Doctor of Physical Therapy program, visit our website using the button below.