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DPT Research Day celebrates students, faculty and friends

L to r: Cort Cieminski presented the Friend of the Program Award to Kurt Olson, David Luedtke and Thomas Thieman.
L to r: Cort Cieminski presented the Friend of the Program Award to Kurt Olson, David Luedtke and Thomas Thieman.
Photo by Julie Michener.

The St. Catherine University Doctor of Physical Therapy program showcased students, faculty and supporters Friday, Dec. 6 on the University’s Minneapolis campus.

The day featured eight student and faculty team research project presentations that delved into physical therapy techniques for helping infants with Spina Bifida, assisting stroke victims as well as the correlation between hip strength and core endurance in adolescent female runners, among others.

Guest speaker Nathan Hellyer, MPT, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Mayo School of Health Sciences Physical Therapy Doctoral Program, addressed respiratory muscle training in the annual Scott Azuma Memorial Lecture.

Student scholarships announced

DPT Program Director Lisa Dutton recognized students and faculty for their achievements and scholarship in an awards ceremony before lunch.

She presented third-year students Hugo Klaers and Anna Simonson and second-year student Sarah DeRosier with the DPT Program Endowed Scholarship that recognizes students’ potential to contribute to the profession.

The Marilyn S. Woods Scholarship was presented to Heidi Sande. The scholarship is awarded to a third-year student for servant leadership and commitment to professional development as well as an intention to practice in a rural area.

Dutton also announced that third-year student Danielle Glenn would be the program’s nominee for the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Mary McMillan Scholarship. The national award recognizes academic excellence, potential for future contributions to the profession and service to the APTA and community.

Only students from institutions accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of APTA may be nominated for the award.

Faculty and alumnae also honored

Dutton also announced Friday that DPT Clinical Faculty member Meg Erlandson MPT 96, DPT 07, was the 2013-2014 Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award winner. First-year DPT students choose the clinical faculty member who demonstrates excellence in clinical teaching. She is a staff member of the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Stillwater.

Program alumna Jill Monson MPT ’02 was presented with the Outstanding Alumna Award for her leadership and involvement in the University and the DPT program. Monson currently works at University Orthopaedics Therapy Center – Fairview.

DPT Professor and Admissions Committee Co-Chair, Cort Cieminski, joined Dutton at the podium to present this year’s Friend of the Program Award to three St. Catherine University faculty members. The award acknowledges the contributions of individuals, facilities or organizations that have provided long-standing collaboration and service with and to the DPT Program.

Describing them as “the three amigos,” he presented the awards to Kurt H. Olson, Ph.D., associate professor of biology; David Luedtke, MA, associate professor of exercise and sports sciences; and Thomas J. Thieman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology.

“These three have a combined 60+ years of service to the PT program by serving on the Admissions Committee since the inception of the program in 1991,” said Cieminski. “They have each completed over 1,500 applicant file reviews. For your integrity, commitment, and excellence in service to the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program we are honored to bestow upon each you the Friend of the Program Award.”

More about the DPT program

St. Catherine University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program is ranked No. 86 nationally in the U.S. News and World Report’s “2014 Best Graduate Schools.”

A signature program of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, the DPT program integrates basic sciences and professional practice to prepare students with skills, knowledge and confidence to lead and influence in the profession.

In 2011, St. Catherine University completed the second largest anatomy lab in Minnesota, second only to one at the University of Minnesota.

Students participate in community work and learning opportunities with social service agencies and clinics in the Twin Cities. In addition, third-year students have an immersion experience to serve and explore the health needs of an economically impoverished community in the Twin Cities, in communities outside of Minnesota or at partner sites abroad.

The University’s DPT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education and works in association with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Minnesota Chapter of APTA and the Minnesota State Board of Physical Therapy, as well as the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Students graduating from the St. Kate’s DPT program have a 100 percent employment rate (three-year average).

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Dec. 10, 2013 by Julie Michener

See also: Faculty, Healthcare, Students