Student Spotlight: Greg Tomita
Major: Transfer/Physical Therapy
Having worked in corporate IT as a computer programmer for nearly 20 years, Greg Tomita was ready to change careers.
"After that many years of staring at a computer monitor every day, I wanted a career where I could make a direct and positive contribution to a person's health and well-being," he said. "I wanted to combine my interests in health sciences, fitness and exercise. I had also witnessed on several occasions the beneficial effects that physical therapy could provide people - both bodily and mentally."
So Tomita made the switch and came to College of DuPage in 2010, where he has taken all of his prerequisite classes to transfer into a physical therapy program. He's also experienced firsthand the academic reputation that initially led him to COD.
"I have met some excellent professors who challenged me to perform my best and prepared me well for my future academic endeavors in PT," he said. "There are also a number of fascinating fellow students who have taught me about a lot of things outside of the classroom environment. Being a student at COD has definitely broadened my horizons in terms of learning about different cultures and lifestyles.
"It was initially a little tough to get my study habits back in gear, especially with students in some of my classes who were coming straight from AP classes in high school. Also, it is still a challenge to balance schoolwork with family life, the responsibilities of maintaining a home, and having a part-time job.
"However, all of my professors have been very approachable and helpful – they have great availability during office hours, and there are no TAs at COD! It has also been easy and beneficial to get to know other 'older' students and form supportive study groups."
Tomita has been accepted into the University of Illinois at Chicago Doctor of Physical Therapy program, Class of 2015. He plans to apply his knowledge and skills toward getting people back on their feet and pursuing an active life. He may even leverage his IT background to integrate new technology into PT.
Regardless of his future path, Tomita is pleased that he's making the change with help from College of DuPage.
"COD has a lot to offer the returning student: updated campus facilities and academic services, a wide variety of classes with convenient scheduling, and a very diverse faculty and student population," he said. "Going to school here has offered me the perfect chance to basically start my career over and begin pursuing what I think is my destiny."