Shelburne’s Feitelberg receives honorary degree from Utica College

Shelburne’s Sam Feitelberg poses with Dr. Morocco and President Hutton after receiving his honorary degree from Utica College on May 16.
Shelburne’s Sam Feitelberg poses with Dr. Morocco and President Hutton after receiving his honorary degree from Utica College on May 16.

Utica College conferred an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Samuel B. Feitelberg of Shelburne during the graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16 at The Stanley in Utica.

“We [my wife Gail and I] spent three busy days in Utica,” said Feitelberg by phone after the ceremony, “I was very humbled by the honor and recognition.”

A mentor to hundreds of students, faculty, and staff, Professor Feitelberg made immeasurable contributions to the profession of physical therapy throughout his long and distinguished career. Among his many accomplishments, Feitelberg established independent certification of physical therapy outside the aegis of physician-run programs, opening a new chapter in the history of this important discipline.

As president of the education section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Feitelberg developed and launched an evidence-based Journal of Physical Therapy Education, providing an invaluable source of scholarly research that has benefitted generations of aspiring practitioners. An outspoken advocate on behalf of underserved and marginalized people in the United States and abroad, Feitelberg developed fee-for-service practices designed to ensure equitable access to care for the elderly and the disadvantaged before the advent of Medicare and Medicaid.

His tireless efforts to advance the cause of increased diversity and cultural sensitivity in the profession have included longtime coordination of the UVM Race Relations and Cultural Diversity program, as well as professional service as APTA Board Liaison to the Council on Minority Affairs and the Task Force on Racism.

Named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2007 for his role in establishing a rehabilitation center for children and adults in Tela, Honduras, Feitelberg’s involvement in cultural affairs continues with a recent appointment to the Committee on Disaster under the World Health Organization which addresses rehabilitation concerns when disasters occur worldwide.