Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

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.

Nancy Bond Departure

Professional picture of Ms. Nancy Bond

Nancy Bond

After thirteen years of wonderful service, Nancy Bond is departing UCA Physical Therapy.  Ms. Bond joined the Department as Assistant to the Chairperson, then Dr. Nancy Reese, in 2008.  She has worked with nearly 800 graduates of the department regarding many aspects from their course enrollment to graduation and licensure.   She was the recipient of the UCA Employee of the Year Award in 2020.  Her talents and character will definitely be missed and we thank her for all she has done as a member of the Department staff.  We wish her well in her new endeavors!

DPT Class of 2024 Begins

Large group photo of class of 2021-2024 outside in front of the PT Center

UCA Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2021-2024

The UCA Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2021-2024 began on August 18 with New Student Orientation.  Students were greeted and weldcomed by each member of the UCA Administration including Dr. Davis, President of UCA, Dr. Poulter, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Barlow, Dean of the Graduate School and Dr. Reese, Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.  Dr. Kevin Garrison, Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy echoed the congratulations and challenge to the new students who have arrived to begin an arduous and rewarding journey over the next three years.  Students have already logged in many hours of lecture and lab during the first Fall semester of the three year graduate program.

PT Students Begin Program on This Day 50 Years Ago

On this day in history…The first PT students in Arkansas began their professional education on June 7, 1971 at the State College of Arkansas (now UCA) and Arkansas Baptist Medical Center.  Pictured below is the 16 member graduating class of 1972, faculty and found Chair, Mr. Joe Finnell.  UCA will celebrate the 50th Anniversary in 2022.

State College of Arkansas

Dr. Yates Receives National Teaching Award

Dr. Charlotte Yates is the recipient of the 2021 Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching.

Professional picture of Dr. Charlotte Yates

Dr. Charlotte Yates.

This national award is bestowed by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Honors and Awards Program.  Dr. Yates holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and is a tenured faculty member who began teaching in the DPT program at UCA in 2003 as a clinical instructor and then as an Assistant Professor in 2007.  She is also clinically active at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Yates is a board-certified clinical specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.  In the Department of Physical Therapy she is active in neuroscience, pediatric neurology, and wound care. She is also teaches and mentors students in the PhD in Physical Therapy Program as well as the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program.  Qualified nominees for this award have been teaching for at least five years and have:  exceptional teaching effectiveness in the academic setting; a distinct expertise in at least 1 subject area to which the academic teaching has been directed; and excellence as a role model for academic teaching for students, faculty, and clinicians.  Dr. Yates will be recognized at the APTA Honors & Awards Ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as part of the APTA Centennial Gala Weekend, September 10-14, 2021. Congratulations for this well-deserved honor.


UCA Students, Alumni to Pursue LSVT-Big Training in May

Dr. Melissa Allen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, is just finishing up the Adult Neurological Rehabilitation Course for second year DPT students this Spring semester.  After introducing the students to treatment strategies for clients with Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders, she is pleased to announce that 18 students in the DPT Class of 2022, 17 students in the DPT Class of 2021, and eight recent graduates will be pursuing continuing education and certification in LSVT-Big.

LSVT-Big is an evidence based protocol utilizing high-amplitude intensity training to drive neuroplasticity and motor learning in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.  The program utilizes a holistic approach to patient care to address both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease to improve. Certification includes completion of a 2-day course culminating in a certification exam.  Once students have successfully completed the course requirements, they will be able to use the LSVT-Big program on their clinical rotations (under the supervision of LSVT-BIG certified clinical instructors) and independently upon licensure.

LSVT-Big is becoming a staple in clinics across the country (and internationally), UCA DPT is pleased to be guiding future clinicians in their pursuit of clinical excellence!

More information can be found at Therapists & Professionals (

ARISE Awards for Booth, Lowe, Bond, Dear and Downey

Logo UCA Bear and A.R.I.E. Award UCAPTA.R.I.S.E.  Altruism, Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence.  The Department of Physical Therapy is happy to celebrate faculty, staff, and students who have recently displayed one of our core values of Altruism, Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence.  Dr. Garrison, Interim Chairperson, recently presented the following ARISE awards.  Dr. Misty Booth, Director of Clinical Education, is recognized for her tireless work for the DPT Class of 2020 to modify, adjust and ultimately prevail in providing clinical education to each graduate despite the pandemic.  Dr. Lowe, Assistant Professor, is recognized for recently working above and beyond to assist an alumnus of the DPT program.  Nancy Bond, Administrative Assistant to the Chair, is recognized for going above and beyond to assist a current DPT student connect with valuable resources.  Two students have also been given the ARISE award.  DPT Class of 2023 student McKenzie Dear is being recognized for her invaluable contributions to the admissions process in the fall.  DPT Class of 2023 student Haley Downey is being recognized for her outstanding work with the UCA IPE Committee (Interprofessional Education).  These are each outstanding examples that embody the core values of the department:  A.R.I.S.E.  Altruism, Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence.

2021-2022 PT Club and UCA Marquette Challenge Officers Elected

UCA DPT students recently elected new officers to lead the Physical Therapy Club and Marquette Challenge Committee for the coming 2021-2022 school year.  The following students were elected by their peers to lead the PT Club including Melissa Miller who will serve as President, Hayley Dingler will serve as Vice-President, Emily Kaelin will serve as Secretary, Mary Claire Guanzon will serve as Treasurer and Madeline Harvey will serve as Community Service Coordinator.  Officers for the UCA Marquette Challenge Committee were also elected and will be led by Becca Mize as President, Dylan Alexander as Vice-President, Caressa Wilson as Treasurer and Amber Barker as Secretary.  Dr. Maresh is the faculty sponsor for PT Club and Dr. McGee is the faculty sponsor for the UCA Marquette Challenge.