Students talking to each other in front of posters

Nasri Hattar

Image of Nasri Hattar

Nasri Hattar

Yonkers, NY

Academic School



New York

What are your career goals / academic goals?

My current academic goal is to finish my doctoral degree in physical therapy and pass my national board licensure exam soon after. My interest is currently in acute inpatient and outpatient care. I have a keen interest in neurological and orthopedic rehabilitation and care. I am fond of the fact that my doctoral degree empowers me to learn how to treat a wide spectrum of conditions and cases.

My overall career goals include attaining my DPT and expanding my side business as a Dj. Despite having a busy academic schedule, I currently work as a Dj and my expertise is in both public and private events. It started as a hobby many years ago but has grown and become a part of me. Currently my focus is my academic responsibilities, but in the future my main goal is to have my own PT practice that treats a wide array of patient populations and to have a successful Dj and entertainment business simultaneously. Who says you can’t have wear a stethoscope during the weekdays and headphones on the weekends!

Why did you choose to pursue your graduate degree at Marist? Why did you choose to pursue this degree program?

When I was applying for my graduate degree, there were few options that offered what the Marist DPT program offered. Mainly, the gross anatomy lab which allowed for human cadaver dissections for our gross anatomy courses. Furthermore, upon meeting the DPT program faculty and visiting the Allied health building. I felt at home in the right place. Despite the faculties extensive credentials and successful careers as doctors and providers, they are some of the humblest people I have ever met. I couldn’t help but make the Marist DPT program a top choice. The combination of the beautiful campus, modern facilities, program amenities, and the incredible program faculty. The Marist DPT program was a no brainer. Not to mention, Marist is one hour away form my grandmother’s house and that is important to me.

Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development / academic development.

First thing that comes to mind is my first clinical affiliation. I was placed in an outpatient in Yonkers, Ny. I was blessed to be a part of an incredible staff and environment. My clinical instructor encouraged me to implement what I learned in class/lab to real life patients. However, what was most meaningful to me from this experience was when I was able to help the local middle eastern community. Being that I was born and raised in Jordan, my mother tongue is the Arabic language.

During my fist clinical rotation, the clinic I was at had an influx of Arabic speaking patients. It got to a point where I was performing complete initial evaluations and treatment sessions in Arabic. This was a real test for me as I had to be able to apply all what I have learned in a different language on a person not a make-believe case study. This experience helped me develop my professional skills and more importantly made those patients feel comfortable during their rehabilitation process.

Tell us about a meaningful experience you had at Marist as it pertains to your degree (whether that be with a Professor, Marist service, Scholarship opportunity, etc.).

The Marist DPT program calendar is 9 trimesters across 3 years. We have a mix of classes and clinical rotations all year round, but we always try keep things interesting. For example, during the summer trimester the students of the second-year cohort organize the Marist DPT summer Olympics. This is a pay-to-pay event where all the money goes to a charity, institution, or cause of their choosing. This past year, it was my cohorts turn to host and we wanted to make it special. We decided to donate to the Abilities First UPK school in Hyde Park.

However, to make the event more interesting my classmate pitched the idea of having me provide music during the Olympics. This was the first time where I was able to incorporate my passion as Dj to the Marist DPT program. The event was a great success. I was able to perform in front of my classmates and faculty for the first time and it was some of the most fun I have had behind the decks. I take great pride in being able to provide music and entertainment service to the Marist DPT program and hopefully the Marist college community.

What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing this degree at Marist?

My biggest piece of advice to any incoming students to the Marist DPT program is to be as flexible and coachable as possible. Starting PT school, you will get hit with a lot of new information and difficult content. Some of your study techniques and learning styles from previous stops may be effective once you get here. However, in my case they were not so effective. I had to change my study techniques and essentially start from scratch. I had to be flexible and try new ways to study. All the faculty in the program were helpful and gave me tons of advice on how to absorb information and apply it. That’s where the coachability came. It took some time, but I was able to figure out how to study and take tests. I highly recommend that all incoming students consider being flexible, willing to try new things for their academic career, and be coachable.

Please include any additional pertinent information as it pertains to your course of study and/or Marist experience.

My Marist experience has been eye opening and very positive. I enjoy the campus features, I have a great group of friends, and I am beyond thankful for the faculty that I am learning from. Despite the program intensity and the necessary stress that it brings, I am thankful that I ended up here. Selecting an educational institution should be a fit not a trophy. Luckily, being a red fox is both a perfect fit and a title I am proud to carry.