“Making the most of it,” in and out of the classroom

Patrick Frigge

As a recent alum of the College of Health Sciences, Patrick Frigge (’16, MS) is applying the knowledge he gained to positively impact patients’ lives. Today he is an occupational therapist in the General Medicine/Surgical Unit at UW-Madison University Hospital in Madison, Wis.

Graduating with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Frigge credits his success to the opportunities that were made available to him both in and out of the classroom while he was a student in UWM’s Department of Occupational Science and Technology (OS&T).

Student leadership leads to success

There are many campus extra-curricular activities available to students willing to seek them out. Frigge took advantage of many of these opportunities, serving as a resident assistant, member of the Black & Gold Committee, vice-president of the Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA), First Year Mentor, Orientation Leader, and took on duties as a teaching assistant and research assistant during his graduate program.

Commenting on his on-campus leadership roles, Frigge said, “Each of these experiences were pivotal to my personal and professional development, and molded me into the health care professional that I am today.”

In addition to his on-campus service, Frigge participated in the OT program’s first study abroad trip to Haiti where he traveled with a former OS&T faculty member, Cindy Clough, as well as two other OT peers.

“I was able to immerse myself in the Haitian culture while we were there. I also learned invaluable lessons about how other countries around the world compare and contrast in the delivery of occupational therapy services,” Frigge said. “UWM offered an array of opportunities for service engagement at the university and community level, and this was equally, if not more important than the time spent in the classroom.”

“Making the most” of CHS’s unique educational opportunities

In the classroom, Frigge took part in several learning opportunities that proved instrumental in preparing him for the workforce. For example, in the course “Group Process in Rehabilitation”, Frigge and his peers led simulated group therapy sessions that provided unique hands-on experience.

“Even though I was nervous to be the first to lead the class in a simulated session, Professor Heidi Plach was very supportive toward me and my group partner. She was a tremendous supporter throughout my time at CHS.”

Along with Plach, Frigge credits his undergraduate academic advisor, Aggie Northrup, and his master’s major advisor, Dr. Inga Wang, as contributing to his professional success.

“One of my proudest moments was when I successfully completed clinical rotations at both Mayo Clinic and UW Health Rehabilitation hospital, which are two premier learning institutions,” Frigge said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have gotten so much support during my time at CHS and to have been given so many opportunities. I’ve always tried to make the most of it.”

Along with his professional endeavors, Frigge now enjoys training for full and half marathons, recreational biking, kayaking, camping and walking his English Bulldog puppy through his neighborhood. His older brother is currently pursuing a second degree from UWM.

Frigge is pleased to see that Panther Pride seems to run in the family.