In 1993, Deydre Smyth Teyhen was sitting among a sea of Ohio Wesleyan University seniors awaiting her turn to walk across the graduation stage, claim her diploma, and begin her next adventure.
Three decades later, Brig. Gen. Teyhen will return to her alma mater to give the keynote address at Ohio Wesleyan’s 179th commencement ceremony, inspiring the OWU Class of 2023 to forge their own paths and make their own marks in the world.
At Ohio Wesleyan, Teyhen earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sports Science. She has since earned her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the U.S. Army-Baylor University, her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biomechanics from the University of Texas, her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Baylor University, and her Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies, with honors, from the U.S. Army War College. In 2022, she was named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the association’s highest member honor.
She has used her considerable education to build a military career focused on improving the delivery of healthcare, holistic health, and readiness (public health, musculoskeletal medicine, behavioral health, resiliency, imaging, and technology).
“Ohio Wesleyan provided the foundation for me to be able to spread my wings after I graduated,” Teyhen said when she spoke at the recent Women of Ohio Wesleyan (WOW) leadership conference. “As an undergraduate, we learn those skills of how to ask critical questions, we learn the skills of problem-solving, we learn how to communicate those things, we learn how to connect with others.”
Teyhen currently serves as commanding general of Brooke Army Medical Center, located on the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She also is the deputy market director for the San Antonio market and the 20th chief of the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps.
During the pandemic, Teyhen served as the Department of Defense Lead of Therapeutics for Operation Warp Speed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as the Commander for Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Department of Defense’s largest biomedical research facility.
Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said Teyhen exemplifies the commitment to lifelong learning and dedication to making the world a better place that all Bishops share.
“I am so excited for Brigadier General Teyhen to share her journey with our Class of 2023 and their families,” Jones said. “We believe our graduates have the confidence, conviction, and clarity necessary to make a positive difference wherever their paths lead them – and Deydre shows just how true this is. Her research has resulted in more than 225 peer-reviewed publications, editorials, book chapters, and published abstracts, and her commitment to health and healthcare is life-changing for those she serves.”
In recognition of her work, Teyhen’s key military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Medical Department Order of Military Medical Merit, the Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator, and the U.S. Army War College Commandant’s Award for Distinction in Research.
Reagan Jennings of Everett, Washington, was elected by her classmates to serve as this year’s student commencement speaker. Jennings is a Biology major and an Environmental Science minor.
A future veterinarian, Jennings’ time at Ohio Wesleyan has included conducting independent research into harbor seal behavior at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and completing research into plants and gravity mentored by professor Chris Wolverton, Ph.D., as part of Wolverton’s NASA-funded Botany research.
Ohio Wesleyan’s 2023 commencement ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. May 13. Weather permitting, the event will be held outdoors on the lawn in front of Merrick Hall, 65 S. Sandusky St., Delaware. The ceremony will be streamed live and archived online at www.owu.edu/stream. Learn more at www.owu.edu/commencement.
Submitted by Ohio Wesleyan University.