Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

UCA Physical Therapy Hosts Family Day

Many thanks to the PT Club and Dr. Maresh for hosting a great DPT Family Day on September 25th at the PT Center.  PT Club and class officers were happy to welcome families IN PERSON for a fun day at the PTC.   UCA Family Day hosted several events including a brunch, entertainment and inflatables, and a picnic with the President before the football game against Sam Houston State and a soccer match against Bellarmine University.  For this come and go event, students gave their families a personal tour of the PT Center and DPT students and families had refreshments and games on the lawn.  Great time to see families and relax a bit!

collage of pictures of students and families

DPT Family Day – UCA 2021

PT Students Enjoy UCA Mudstock 2021

First place goes to second year students, DPT 2023, at UCA’s Mudstock 2021 over the weekend.  DPT 2024 also had a team.  Great way to spend a Saturday with your classmates!!  Congrats!

collage of pictures of students outside after win

2021 Mudstock

Dr. Taylor Named DPT Program Coordinator

Dr. Garrison announced recently that David Taylor, PT, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical

Professional picture of Dr. David Taylor

Dr. David Taylor

Therapy will take on the role of Program Coordinator for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program beginning this fall semester.   Dr. Taylor received his PhD degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. He completed a Master of Physical Therapy degree and a BS in Chemistry degree from Southwest Baptist University. In the Department of Physical Therapy, he teaches in the areas of physical agents, cardiopulmonary physical therapy, pathophysiology, therapeutic exercise, and research. He also mentors students in the PhD in Physical Therapy program and serves on PhD student committees.

In the year 2000, the first DPT students began the three-year program.  Today, the DPT Program accepts 60 students into each cohort.  In August of 2021, UCA graduated the 49th class of physical therapy students. The UCA program is the oldest and largest program in the state and recognized nationally.

UCA Family Day will be September 25th

Family day is coming up on Sept. 25th! DPT students and their families are invited to come see the PT Center starting at 1pm and enjoy some snacks and games outside on the lawn before heading to the UCA football game at 4pm! We hope to see you there.  Head over to to find out more about lunch and other activities UCA has planned.

UCA Family Day 2021


PT Alum Dr. Susan Appling Elected Vice President of APTA

portrait of Susan Appling

Dr. Susan Appling

Susan Appling, PT, DPT, PhD is a graduate of the UCA PT Class of 1987 and was recently elected as Vice President of the American Physical Therapy Association during the 2021 APTA House of Delegates. She has served on the board of directors of the APTA for the past 6 years.  The Department of Physical Therapy at UCA honored Dr. Appling with the Physical Therapy Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2006.

Dr. Appling is a clinical board-certified specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, a certified manual therapist, and is an associate professor at The Ohio State University in Columbia, Ohio in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

The APTA is an individual membership professional organization representing 100,000 member physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy. In 2021, APTA is celebrating 100 years as a member association.

UCA Gross Anatomy and Neuroscience Lab

UCA DPT students enjoy a state of the art Gross Anatomy and Neuroscience Lab.  This Fall semester the Department of Physical Therapy welcomes Dr. Lara Davis, PT, DPT, NCS, PhD(c). Dr. Davis is teaching in the Gross Anatomy course as well as helping out some of the first year labs to get to know the students.

UCA represents at APTA House of Delegates

Dr. Tipton, Dr. Forbush and Dr. Garrison at meeting with Arkansas sign.

Dr. Tipton, Dr. Forbush, Dr. Garrison – Arkansas

Drs. Tipton and Garrison standing outside in front of new building for APTA Headquarters.

Drs. Tipton and Garrison at new ATPA Headquarters

UCA faculty and alumni recently served nationally.  The APTA House of Delegates was held on September 10-13 in Washington, D.C. during the APTA 100 Year Gala celebration.   Dr. Steve Forbush, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Chief Delegate for Arkansas, Dr. Kevin Garrison, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy and Delegate for Arkansas as well as Dr. Park Tipton, Alumnus of UCA’s DPT Class of 2011, clinician for South Arkansas Rehabilitation in Monticello, Arkansas and Delegate for Arkansas.  The trio were able to attend the in-person House of Delegates.  We appreciate their service the profession of physical therapy on special occasions such as this as well as each and every day!   #APTA100   #UCABEARS

Bandy, Yates & Lowe to be recognized at APTA Honors & Awards Ceremony on September 12

Collage with portrait of Dr. Bandy, Dr. Yates, Dr. LoweThree UCA Physical Therapy faculty members will be recognized during the 2021 APTA Honors and Awards Ceremony on September 12th in Washington, D.C.  Dr. William Bandy is a 2020 recipient of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow Award.  Dr. Bandy is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy.  Dr. Charlotte Yates is the 2021 recipient of the Dorthy E. Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching Award.  Dr. Yates is a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy.  And, Dr. Leah Lowe is the 2020 Recipient of the Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member.   Dr. Lowe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. The Honor and Awards Ceremony is being held during the ATPA Centennial Celebration on September 10-14, 2021.  The Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Central Arkansas is honored to have each of these exceptional individuals on faculty.

UCA Pediatric Physical Therapy – National Program of Excellence

UCA Pediatric Physical Therapy has been recognized as a national program of excellence in pediatric physical therapy education.

J G Moore, PT, PhD, M C Birkmeier, PT, DPT, H Lundeen, PT, DPT, L Dannemiller, PT, DSc, D K Anderson, PT, EdD, J A Furze, PT, DPT, National Study of Excellence in Pediatric Physical Therapy Education: Design, Methods, and Results, Physical Therapy, 2021;, pzab169, Abstract ahead of print.

The purposes of this study were to identify and describe the attributes of excellence and innovation in professional pediatric physical therapy education and develop a conceptual framework identifying dimensions of excellence. A conceptual framework was developed based on four key dimensions: Culture of Excellence, Exemplary Pediatric Faculty, Pedagogy, and Child and Family as Teacher (CFT), and 16 related elements. Results of this study are important to professional physical therapist education administrators, pediatric academic faculty, and clinical educators as they represent our understanding of the attributes of excellence. The model can serve as a guide for best practice in pediatric physical therapy education.

DPT Applications

Collage of pictures with graduate and two photos with students in lab classes.

DPT Applications due October 1, 2021

UCA Doctor of Physical Therapy Program applications close on October 1, 2021.  Candidates can apply at  The requirement for clinical observation is lifted for this application cycle due to the continuing pandemic.  Be sure to have your GRE score sent to us by October 1 as well.  The Department will hold interviews on December 3, 2021 with the format to be determined.