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Class of 2021 DPT Spotlight: Taylor Sillekens

Published May 24, 2021

Taylor Sillekens is a Class of 2021 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) candidate who has advocated for equity and inclusiveness on campus and beyond. He co-founded CSULB PTMA: (Physical Therapy Multicultural Alliance): a student-led club whose mission is to foster open dialogue on healthcare disparities of all ethnic, gender, and class groups. He was also a founding member of DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Council). In collaboration with the CSULB PT department, the DICE mission is to actively identify and reform academic policies, practices, and procedures that perpetuate systemic prejudice, bias, and inequity across social categorizations. 

Taylor Sillekens
Taylor Sillekens, DPT '21

Q&A with Taylor Sillekens


Describe a challenge you experienced during your time at CSULB. How did you overcome that challenge to get where you are now?

Taylor: Perhaps, one of the biggest challenges that I experienced during my time at CSULB was dealing with the infringement on human rights and social justice in American culture, specifically over this past year. These issues and concerns are not novel in any way and have persisted for centuries, but dealing with the recent unrest over George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others whose names and stories deserve to be heard, was particularly difficult for me while going through a rigorous doctoral program. I felt helpless at times and as though I was not doing my part to make the world better. Even with dedicating my free time to peacefully protesting and advocating for change, it just did not feel like enough. What helped me get through this challenge was the overwhelming support I received from my family, my friends, and a few of the faculty members in my program.

Students in the College of Health and Services are committed to creating a better, more equitable world. Describe any efforts you have made to advance social justice or racial equity. What has been the impact of your efforts?

Taylor: I created the "Why I Choose LB PT" video to showcase students of varying racial, ethnic, and gender-identified cultures to inspire more diverse students to pursue healthcare and reduce associated inequities. Co-founded CSULB PTMA: (Physical Therapy Multicultural Alliance): a student-led club whose mission is to foster open dialogue on healthcare disparities of all ethnic, gender, and class groups by incorporating mentoring groups, community service events, and educational workshops/panels. Became a founding member of DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Council): In collaboration with the CSULB PT department, our mission is to actively identify and reform academic policies, practices, and procedures that perpetuate systemic prejudice, bias, and inequity across social categorizations such as race, class, and gender communities including LGBTQIA+.