Fredy Solis

Department of Physical Therapy members named to diversity groups

Nov 12, 2020
Kathryne Davis

Fredy Solis, assistant professor of physical therapy, will represent Brenau University and the Department of Physical Therapy as a member of the newly-formed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) consortium, created by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy.

The purpose of the DEI consortium is to advocate for change that supports increased accessibility and opportunities for everyone in the education and profession of physical therapy, with a focus on inclusion and acceptance of differences.

Solis got involved with the consortium because he wanted to help promote diversity and make students feel comfortable when applying to and after arriving at Brenau. He said he did not have any minority professors during his time in physical therapy school.

“I think it is important for us as faculty to have more representations of all the students that we teach,” Solis said. “We need faculty members also with unique backgrounds that can mentor all these students. That’s a way to enrich the profession. This is what the consortium is all about, and that’s how I became interested.”

Solis will be able to network with other physical therapists across the country who have a mutual interest in the importance of diversity and inclusion in their field. Members can influence the sustainability of DEI in physical therapy education and clinical practice.

Solis, who is Latino, said that he was able to connect with two graduating Latino students in the program because of their similar backgrounds.

“I want to create awareness within our physical therapy program because people need to be aware of how to make someone feel like they’re not different,” Solis said. “That’s very important. We now have one of the largest numbers of minority students. That gives us also some value in the eyes of minority students because that’s where they want to go.”

Heather Ross, chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, praised Solis for his efforts in getting involved and helping the students of Brenau.

“Dr. Solis has been highly engaged in departmental initiatives to develop conversation around DEI topics,” she said. “The past year has shown us that sustained efforts, evolving conversations and action plans are required to continue this movement and effect meaningful change for all constituents in the physical therapy community. Brenau University DPT is highly dedicated to these efforts, and Dr. Solis’s national level exposure and representation will ensure we stay well-informed and on the front edge of this work.”

In addition to Solis’s efforts, Danielle “Dana” Dolores, a student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, was named to the American Physical Therapy Association’s Georgia Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce over the summer.

The taskforce, made up of 10 members, was created in June and received many responses with individuals that had expertise, training, experience and passion in this area.

“When we began to have department-level conversations about DEI about two years ago, Dana demonstrated a keen interest in moving those conversations forward in a meaningful way,” Ross said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Dana to continue leading in DEI matters at the state level.”

For more about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Brenau, go to