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.

  • 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.

  • Cort Cieminski, PT, PhD, ATC, LAT

    Program Director, Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Dr. Cort Cieminski, PT, PhD, LAT is a professor and Program Director 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.

  • Craig Kage, PT, DPT

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

    Craig Kage, PT, DPT 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 is currently a PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Science program at the University of Minnesota with a research focus in cervical spine kinematics. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hugo Klaers, DPT, OCS

    Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy

    Dr. Hugo Klaers, 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.

  • Jaynie Bjornaraa, PT, PhD, MPH, SCS, ATC, LAT, CSCS

    Anatomy Lab Director, Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Jaynie Bjornaraa is a graduate of the UW–Madison where she received a BS in Physical Therapy in 1984. She received an Advanced MS from the UNC–Chapel Hill in 1992 as well as an MPH in Health Services Administration from San Diego State University in 1998. Jaynie also received her PhD in Rehabilitation Science at the University of Minnesota in 2008. She is board certified from the APTA as a Sports Clinical Specialist and is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well. Dr. Bjornaraa has more than 35 years of experience within Sports Medicine and Orthopedics settings.

  • Jennifer Biggs, PT, PhD, MPH, CWS

    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 continues to practice clinically 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.

  • 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 in December, 2002. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and has been active in outpatient orthopedic physical therapy practice since 1986. He has a certification in manual therapy from the Institute of Physical Therapy in St. Augustine, FL.

    Dr. Schmitt joined the faculty at St. Catherine University in 2001.

  • Kelli Nielsen, PT, DPT, NCS

    Assistant 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.

  • Kristin Thomanschefsky, PT, DPT, NCS, GCS, CEEAA

    Assistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

    Kristin Thomanschefsky joined the faculty in 2018 with over 30 years of clinical experience in the areas of neurologic and geriatric rehabilitation, acute care, and home care, specializing most recently in movement disorders. She is an ABPTS board-certified clinical specialist in both neurologic and geriatric physical therapy and is a certified exercise expert for aging adults. Kristin received her entry-level education in physical therapy from the College of St. Scholastica and later earned a transitional DPT degree from Regis University in Denver. She is currently working on a PhD in Educational Research.

  • 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.

  • Lisa Dutton, PT, PhD

    Dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health; Professor, Physical Therapy

    Dutton joined St. Catherine University in 2008. During her tenure here, she has served in a variety of leadership roles, including department chair and program director for physical therapy, associate dean, and most currently as the dean of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.
    In 2018, Dutton received the Stanford Award from the Journal of Physical Therapy Education, which recognizes authors of a paper containing the most influential educational ideas. The article, co-authored with Debra Sellheim, PhD, explored how students experience and cope with the differences between their curriculum and clinical practice.

  • Mary Sue Ingman, PT, DSc

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

    MarySue Ingman is Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at St Catherine University in Minneapolis, MN. Her physical therapy Bachelor's Degree as well as her Master of Science Degree are from the University of Minnesota. She received her Doctor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Wellness from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2011. She completed her Health and Wellness Coaching training from Wellcoaches in 2016. Her research interests include the role of physical therapists in health promotion within clinical practice.

  • Sean Fitzpatrick, PhD

    Associate Dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

    Dr. Fitzpatrick came to St. Kate's in the Summer of 2020. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at Marian University (WI) where he led the Exercise and Sport Science program and was the Chair of the Allied Health Department. He began his career at John F. Kennedy University as a faculty member in Sport Psychology. Dr. Fitzpatrick has an ongoing research line in graduate student preparation and early career experiences in the field of Sport and Performance Psychology. Additionally, he has presented nationally on assessment issues in higher education and is an active member within the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE).