Traditional student, non-traditional student, faculty and alumnus are all hats Cevan Smithson has worn at ASU.
A West Texas native of Ackerly, Smithson earned his B.S. in exercise science in 2012, but then went to work in the oilfields for five years, bought his first house with his wife, Macy, and started a family before returning to ASU for his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. He credits his professors for ensuring he could complete his D.P.T. around his work and family responsibilities.
“As an example, I worked Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and there was a class that was only offered Mondays and Wednesdays,” Smithson said. “So I emailed the professor, and he said we could make it work. He met with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays so we could go over the class material. I don’t think that would’ve happened at a bigger university. That kind of flexibility was why I was able to graduate while still working in the oilfield.”
Since graduating, Smithson has practiced at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, and he now also provides home health with Gaitway Services and runs his own business, Concho Valley Home Gym. He has also stayed involved in the ASU Physical Therapy Department, delivering guest lectures, assisting in the Anatomy Lab and serving as an award-winning clinical instructor.
“I had a lot of people influence me here in San Angelo and at ASU.”
“I’m extremely passionate about physical therapy and how I feel people should be treated,” Smithson said. “Hopefully I can pass some of that on to the students. I also like helping students feel more confident in applying what they are learning in PT school.”
“I work a lot with older adults,” he added, “and as much fun as it is to see them succeed at something in therapy, it’s just as much fun seeing a student succeed at something, and to see that ‘light bulb’ moment.”
For his outstanding commitment to his profession and his ASU students, the Alumni Association has named Smithson its 2022 Distinguished Young Alumnus.
“It’s an honor,” Smithson said, “I was very surprised, and I’m not sure why they picked me. But, it’s always good to get recognition, and I really appreciate it.”
“I had a lot of people influence me here in San Angelo and at ASU,” he added. “That’s why I stayed here to pour my efforts into these communities the same way people did to help me get through my undergrad years and PT school. I don’t see us going anywhere else.”