December 14, 2015

DPT Research Day two years in the making

Two years. That’s how long students in St. Kate’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program have immersed themselves in research projects. Two years of measuring athletes’ knees as they jump on a force plate. Two years of recording the pain, hip strength and core endurance of adolescent female cross country runners. Two years of surveying older adults’ awareness of a falls prevention program. Two years of analyzing data and then writing, editing and rewriting research findings.

Research is integral to the three-year DPT program and among the reasons graduates are so highly regarded by employers. A signature program of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health, the program has a 100 percent placement rate.

On DPT Research Day, it was the students’ moment to step into the spotlight, present their findings to a packed auditorium of student colleagues, faculty and guests and celebrate the conclusion of their projects.

“This event is a celebration of how far these students have come in their physical therapy education,” says Lisa Dutton, DPT program director. “We watch them grow from nervous, first-day PT students into confident young professionals. We are so proud of them!”

DPT program awards

St. Catherine University’s DPT Research Day also recognizes the achievements of students and alumnae as well as contributions of clinical partners to the program’s success.

The DPT Program Endowed Scholarships recognizes students for their potential to contribute to the profession. This year’s awardees were second year students Jesse Klein and Kim Berggren and third-year student Justine Eggers.

The Marilyn S. Woods Scholarship is awarded to third year student who demonstrates servant leadership, a commitment to professional development and a desire to practice in a rural area. Sarah Anderson was this year’s awardee.

Dutton also announced that third-year student Hanna Von Arb 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.

First-year DPT students choose the winner of the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award for an individual's excellence in clinical teaching during first-year Integrated Clinical Education. David Gillette, a physical therapist at Saint Therese in New Hope, was honored for his generosity and commitment to student success.

The Alumnae/i of the Year Award honored Heather Engelbert MPT ’99 for her leadership, efforts to advance the profession, and involvement in the DPT program. A private practice physical therapist with New Heights Physical Therapy in Mendota Heights, she was recognized for her expertise and service in the area of Women's Health. Engelbert has taught this content to physical therapy students for the past nine years. In addition, she developed and teaches a course for practitioners on Pelvic Floor Dysfunction for the Postural Restoration Institute.

Patricia Nanoff (pictured above left with DPT Program Director Lisa Dutton), professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Kate’s, was honored with the Friend of the Program Award in recognition of her consistent contributions to the DPT program. She was recognized for her participation as key note speaker at the White Coat Ceremony and as a guest lecturer.

“We are indebted to Dr. Nanoff for her work with our program relative to the integration of Catholic social teaching into our curriculum,” says Dutton.

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.

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

By Julie Michener