Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

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    David Chapman, PT, PhD

    Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Dr. David Chapman, PT, Ph.D. is an associate professor and Co-Chair of the IRB at St. Catherine University. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science and secondary education in 1980. He received a Master of Science degree in Physical Education/Adapted Physical Education with an emphasis in measurement from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1984. He completed his doctor of philosophy degree at Indiana University in Human Performance and Developmental Psychology in 1999 as well as his physical therapy degree in 2000.

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    Deborah Madanayake, PT, JD, GCS, CLT, CEEAA

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

    Deborah Madanayake is a 1986 graduate of the College of St. Scholastica with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Therapy. She is certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Deborah earned a Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 2005. She holds certifications as a lymphedema therapist and an exercise expert for aging adults. She is continuing her lifelong education as a student in the Doctor of Bioethics program at Loyola University. Deborah joined the DPT faculty in 2006 where she teaches course content in geriatric physical therapy, ethics, legal issues, and practice management.

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    Christina Anderson, PT, DPT

    Director of Clinical Education, Associate Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Christina Anderson joined the DPT faculty in 2013 as Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education. She is a graduate of the Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University, receiving her Master of Physical Therapy degree in 2001 and returning to complete her transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2010. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College. Dr. Anderson is currently pursuing an EdD degree from Bethel University.

    Dr. Anderson practiced clinically for 12 years in the areas of acute care, home care, and geriatrics. She has worked closely with DPT students in various capacities including ICE Clinical Faculty, Clinical Instructor, Site Coordinator of Clinical Education, and now as the Director of Clinical Education.

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    Kelli Nielsen, PT, DPT, NCS

    Associate Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Kelli Nielsen joined the St Catherine University DPT faculty in 2017 as an assistant professor. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of science in kinesiology. She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Nielsen completed a neurologic residency at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA and became an American Board of Physical Therapy Certified Neurological Clinical Specialist in 2013. Her research interests include acute care safety and postural control.
    Dr. Nielsen teaches course content in neurologic examination & intervention, pulmonary rehab, acute care and complex medical physical therapy.

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    Cort J. Cieminski, PT, PhD, ATC, LAT

    Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Dr. Cort Cieminski, PT, PhD, ATC, LAT is a professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy in 1988. He received a Master of Science degree in Exercise and Sports Studies from Boise State University in 1992 and his PhD in Rehabilitation Science, with an emphasis in biomechanics, in 2007 from the University of Minnesota. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, National Athletic Trainer’s Association, and the International Society of Biomechanics.

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    Hugo Klaers, PT, DPT, OCS

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy | Director, Human Anatomy Lab

    Dr. Hugo Klaers, PT, DPT, OCS is an assistant professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St. Catherine University. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 2010. He received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from St. Catherine University in 2014, and completed the Fairview Health Services Orthopedic Physical Therapy residency program in 2015. He became a board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy in 2016. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Klaers has journal publications in the area of the athletic shoulder, has taught continuing education courses for local physical therapists and other allied health professionals, and has presented at the APTA's national annual conference.

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    John Schmitt, PT, PhD

    Professor; IRB Co-Chair

    Dr. John Schmitt received a Bachelor of Science from Central College in Pella, Iowa, followed by an M.S. in Organic Chemistry and a Graduate Certificate in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa. After practicing outpatient orthopaedic physical therapy for 11 years, he returned to graduate school and was awarded a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and has a certification in manual therapy from the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, FL.
     
    Dr. Schmitt’s primary teaching areas are research methods, evidence based practice, and outpatient orthopedics.

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    Jennifer Biggs, PT, PhD, MPH, CWS

    Program Director, Associate Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Dr. Biggs is a graduate of the UW-Madison where she received a BS in Physical Therapy in 1997.  She received an MPH in Public Health Administration in 2002 and a PhD in Health Services Research in 2016, both from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.  She is also a Clinical Wound Specialist through the American Board of Wound Management and she practiced extensively in this specialty area.  Dr. Biggs teaches course content in acute care, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and wound management.  She also coordinates service learning within the DPT curriculum.  Dr. Biggs’ research interests include service delivery models in physical therapy and community based participatory research.

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    Laura Gilchrist, PT, PhD

    Admissions Co-Chair, Professor

    Dr. Gilchrist is a Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and a Clinical Research Scientist at Children's Hospitals and Clinics. She holds a BA in Biology from Lawrence University, as well as a BS in Physical Therapy and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Gilchrist has an active research program aimed at improving physical function in children and adolescents undergoing treatment for cancer. Her current focus is on investigating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in this population. She has received both institutional and national awards for her work in this area. Dr. Gilchrist is actively involved in the American Physical Therapy Association at the state and national level. She began her career at St. Catherine University in 1999 and currently teaches throughout the DPT curriculum primarily in the areas of neuroscience and pathophysiology.

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    Craig Kage, PT, DPT, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

    Craig Kage, PT, DPT, PhD is an assistant professor at St. Catherine University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2008 (Bachelor of Science - Kinesiology) and 2011 (Doctor of Physical Therapy). He completed his PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Minnesota with a research focus in cervical spine kinematics in 2023. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Society of Biomechanics. Dr. Kage's scholarship is in the area of spine biomechanics and he has presented his research at local and national conferences.

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    Holly Clynch, PT, DPT, MA

    Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant

    Faculty member at St. Catherine University since 1998, PTA program director since 2015. Teaching/scholarship interests include regulatory issues, leadership, and geriatric physical therapy. Former president of APTA Minnesota and APTA Nominating Committee, currently serving on APTA Academy of Education Board of Directors. Board-Certified Specialist (emerita) in Geriatric Physical Therapy.
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    Brian Jonart, PT, DPT, NCS

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    As a practicing PT and Assistant Professor, I continue to be excited, challenged, and grateful to be in the PT profession. I teach primarily in St. Catherine University's PTA program, and teach in the DPT program as well. Clinically, I continue to practice at the Acute Rehab Unit at M Heath Fairview. My primary practice/teaching areas are Neuro/Orthopedic rehab. I also have a passion for health and wellness for the general population, healthcare provider, and patients with chronic medical conditions.
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    Jessica Scholl, PTA, EdD

    Director of Clinical Education and Associate Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program

    I have been with St. Catherine University since 2005. My clinical background is in outpatient orthopedics. In addition to teaching, I serve as the Director of Clinical Education for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program. My areas of scholarship include intraprofessional teaming in physical therapy and leadership.
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    Jonathan Duellman PT, DPT

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Assistant

    Dr. Jonathan Duellman, PT, DPT, is a professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at St. Catherine University. He is a graduate of St. John’s University of Minnesota receiving his undergraduate degree in Psychology. He received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in Omaha, NE at Creighton University. Upon graduation, Dr. Duellman completed an orthopedic residency at Creighton University before returning to Minnesota for clinical practice. He received board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy in 2017. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association within the Orthopedic and Sports Sections.