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2019 Archive

2019 News and Events

PT Open House Planned – April 18, 2020

The Department of Physical Therapy will host PT Open House on Saturday, April 18 at the Physical Therapy Center on campus at UCA in Conway, AR.  The drop-in, come and go event will be held between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM.  Students and guests interested in applying to one of the PT programs are invited to attend.  Opportunities to meet faculty, students and tour the PT Center will be available.  Open House Flyer

Dr. Allen to Join the Physical Therapy Faculty in 2020

Dr. Melissa Allen will join the Department of Physical Therapy faculty in January 2020.  As an Assistant Professor, Dr. Allen will be teaching in the neuromuscular content of the DPT program including the Adult Neurological Rehabilitation course.  Dr. Allen is a Neurologic Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapist Specialties.   She is also a Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults by the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.   Dr. Allen received her PhD in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas in 2015.  She has been clinically active since 2007 when she graduated from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at UCA.  In 2004 she completed her bachelor of science degree in Biology and Psychology from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas.  Dr. Allen joins us from Reaper Physical Therapy in Searcy, Arkansas.  She has taught in the UCA Department of Physical Therapy as an adjunct faculty member in several courses for the past three years as well as presenting many continuing education courses in the areas such as the aging adult and neuroscience for the past 10 years.  Welcome Dr. Allen!


December 13, 2019

Meredith Flowers Receives PhD in Physical Therapy

Dr. Flowers graduated Friday, December 13 with her PhD in Physical Therapy during the Fall 2019 Commencement Graduate Ceremony held in the Farris Center at the University of Central Arkansas.  Dr. Flowers was escorted by her dissertation chair, Dr. Leah Lowe, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy.  Meredith McCoy Flowers’ dissertation title is “Pediatric Experiential Learning:  An Exploration of Outcomes in a DPT Program and Pediatric Residency”.  Dr. Flowers earned a bachelor’s degree in 2011 from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi in Kinesiology and Exercise Science.  She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2014 from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.  In 2015, she completed the University of Central Arkansas Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency program.  Dr. Flowers is a board certified clinical specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.



DPT Class of 2020 to begin 30 weeks of Clinical Experiences 

DPT Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 recently completed their Fall 2019 coursework and will proceed to the clinic for their final clinical experiences from January 6 until July 31.  We appreciate all of our clinical partners for mentoring these future physical therapists.





Dr. David Taylor Joins Faculty

Dr. David Taylor

Dr. David Taylor joined the Department of Physical Therapy faculty during the Fall 2019 term.  As an associate professor in the department, he teaches physical agents, kinesiology, cardiopulmonary physical therapy, pathophysiology, research, and PhD coursework. Dr. Taylor’s areas of research include: 1) exercise testing and prescription in people with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors and 2) data analysis.  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 Boliver, Missouri.  Dr. Taylor was most recently a faculty member in the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – Northwest in Fayetteville, Arkansas.   Prior to UAMS, Dr. Taylor was a member of the Department of Physical Therapy faculty at UCA between 2002 and 2010.  Welcome back Dr. Taylor!


Fuerst Receives Perfect Score on National PT Exam

Dr. Katie Fuerst

Dr. Katie Fuerst recently graduated from the UCA DPT program on August 10, 2019.  We congratulate her on receiving a perfect score on the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE).  She is currently working as a neonatal physical therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.  Dr. Fuerst says, “As a new graduate, I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work this specialized area of PT that allows me to impact the lives of our tiniest blessings and their families every day.”



Maresh  Receives Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Twala Maresh

Dr. Twala Maresh, senior clinical instructor, was awarded the 2019 Arkansas Physical Therapy Association Distinguished Service Award at the fifth annual OPTimize Conference held Oct. 4-6 in North Little Rock.  Hosted by the Arkansas Physical Therapy Association, this award is given to individuals with significant contributions to physical therapy in Arkansas in one or more of the following areas: public awareness, administration, education, patient care or research.

Maresh received her bachelor’s, master’s and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from UCA. She is a board-certified clinical specialist in neurology physical therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and is a certified assistive technology practitioner. In addition to teaching, Maresh is also the faculty mentor for the UCA Physical Therapy Club.



Integrated Health Sciences Center – Groundbreaking

The University of Central Arkansas hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Integrated

Groundbreaking October 11, 2019

Health Sciences Building on Friday, Oct. 11 on the UCA campus.  The new 80,000-square-foot, four-story facility will be home to the School of Nursing and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, along with the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation and Interprofessional Teaching Center to be utilized by the entire College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Nancy Reese, Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy is pictured (right) with the Chairpersons of each Department in the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences along with President Davis, Provost Poulter, Dean Ishee and Meagan Dyson.

The College of Health and Behavioral Sciences is the largest college at UCA, accounting for more than 34% of undergraduates and 42% of graduate students. The college has more than 1,200 affiliations and contracts with health care entities across the state, while students participate in approximately 420,000 hours of clinical, internship and practicum hours annually.

The integrated design of the building aims to foster an interprofessional educational environment that is most conducive to replicating real-life health care scenarios. This means students will participate in clinical and simulation experiences that require collaboration with all majors within the college. The first floor will house the Interprofessional Teaching Center where students will learn and work alongside each other instead of independently, creating a modern health care team.

Located at Western Avenue and Bruce Street, the Integrated Health Sciences Building is scheduled to be open for the fall 2021 semester.

UCA Presents at 2019 ArPTA OPTimize Conference

The 2019 ArPTA Optimize Conference will be held October 4-5 at the Wyndham Riverfront in Little Rock.  UCA Platform Presentations on October 5 include:

11:05 AM    Flowers M, Yates C, Fletcher J, Lowe L. Does dosing of pediatric experiential learning impact the development of clinical reasoning, self-efficacy, and critical thinking in Doctor of Physical Therapy students?

11:25 AM   Castillo F, Lowe L, Petrisin L, Yates C. Exploration of two clinical postural control assessments in adolescents with concussion.

12:00 PM   Odom BH, Lowe L, Yates C. Retrospective Cohort Study of Pediatric Tracheostomy Wound Healing.

3:15 PM   Dockery L, Forbush S, Garrison K, Fletcher J, Tucker S, Rainey J.  Analysis of Gait Propulsion and Role of Plantar Flexors During the Ankle and Forefoot Rocker Sub-Phases using Video and Pressure Mapping Systems

UCA Poster Presentations at ArPTA Optimize include:

  • Castillo F*, Gowan AH, Betts J, Long R, Zimmerman J, Lowe L, Yates C. Effects of regional and sport stratification on female athletes’ balance error scoring system performance.
  • Walker S*. Abdominal Pain Generated by Trigger Points of the Abdominal Wall Following 10-weeks of Bed Rest and a Complicated Delivery: A Case Study.
  • Batterton B, Charlson S, Christopher H, Hernandez J, Johnson S, Fletcher J. Comparing Internal Rotation Shoulder AROM in the 90° Scaption Position vs. 45° Scaption Position, with and without Scapular Motion.
  • Meyer W, Grimsley S, Magness K, Skogsberg B, Smith R, Weese R, Pate B, Landry A, Ryan C, Lairamore C. Effect of an Interprofessional Teaching Clinic on Student Development: A Qualitative Assessment.
  • Nelson R, Bandy WD, Forbush S. Burks MM, Hollingsworth B, Ivans L, Murray D, Rainwater D, Rapalo E, Sory K. Effect of Trigger Point Dry Needling on Throwing Performance in College Baseball Players.
  • Lowe L, Hill K, Furman K, Sawyer M, Simmons A, Fletcher T. Spatiotemporal parameters of adolescent gait while performing a visuospatial memory task.
  • Flowers M*. Timed Up and Go Reference Data for Preschool Age Children with Developmental Delay: A Pilot Study.
  • Flowers M*, Kepesky B, Dye C, Norris E, Clenin T, Cason Z, Lowe L. The Effect of Pediatric Experiential Learning on the Self-Efficacy of DPT Students.
  • Dockery L*, Forbush S. Analysis of Gait Propulsion and Role of Plantar Flexors During the Ankle and Forefoot Rocker Sub-Phases using Pressure Mapping, Video, and Electromyography.
  • Forbush SW, LeGrand C, Thacker M, Towers K, Caruthers B, Harrison DJ. EMG Analysis of Four Different Testing Positions for the Infraspinatus Muscle.

*PhD Students Current or Recent graduates

2019 UCA Foundation Scholarship Reception Held September 26

2019  Foundation Scholarship Reception

Scholarship recipients from the UCA DPT program attended a reception hosted by the UCA Foundation on September 26, 2019.  Pictured right are from left to right Catherine Lazo, third year DPT, Mathew Lim, second year DPT, Lauren Petrisin, second year DPT, Mrs. Pam Wren, Joe Finnell Scholarship Committee and donor, Jordan Rainwater, third year DPT, and Treslyn Fletcher, second year DPT.  Mrs. Pam Wren is an alumnus of the UCA Physical Therapy Program, a long-time member of the Joe C. Finnell Physical Therapy Scholarship Committee and always a supporter of the PT program.  The Joe Finnell PT Scholarship recipients for 2019 are Mathew Lim, Treslyn Fletcher, Catherine Lazo, Lauren Petrisin, and Jordan Rainwater.  Catherine Lazo is also the 2019 recipient of both the Madeline Ann Grubbs Scholarship and the Thomas M. Meadows Scholarship Awards.    Sarah Grace Brown received the 2019 Charlotte Mills Fant Memorial Scholarship and is an incoming Class of 2022 DPT Student.  These PT scholarships are made possible by privates gifts from UCA PT Alumni.  Congratulations to these outstanding DPT students.

UCA Graduate JoBeth Saulsberry Receives Neonatal Certification

Dr. Jo Beth Saulsbury, 2015 Graduate


Jo Beth (Sence) Saulsbury is a 2015 DPT Graduate from UCA and a physical therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Washington Regional Medical Center.  She recently earned designation as a Certified Neonatal Therapist by the Neonatal Therapy National Certification Board. Saulsbury is the first physical therapist in Arkansas to earn this designation, which requires therapists to meet certain eligibility requirements and pass a nationally administered exam.

Saulsbury, a native of Springdale, earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences and a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. She is also certificated in neonatal touch and massage therapy. Read the article here.


Dr. Odom, Dr. Yates, and Dr. Rainey To Publish Article

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Odom, Dr. Charlotte Yates and Dr. Jacqueline Rainey on an accepted publication in the area of wound care.

Odom BH, Lowe L, VanHoose L, Rainey J, Yates C. Examining Factors that Contribute to Delayed Wound Healing in Children with Tracheostomy Wounds. Advances in Skin & Wound Care. Accepted July 26, 2019. In press.

Dr. Odom is a recent PhD in Physical Therapy graduate from UCA.  Dr. Rainey is the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.  Another author on the paper is former UCA PT faculty member Dr. Lisa VanHoose.

Dr. Mize to Present Educational Session at CSM 2020

Lori Mize, PT, DPT, WCS

Dr. Lori Mize, a Clinical Instructor and Certified Women’s Health Specialist for the Department of Physical Therapy, submitted an educational session that has been accepted for presentation at the APTA Combined Sections meeting in Denver, CO in February 2020. This conference has an attendance of around 18,000 people.

Mize L, Fox S. Career Transitions: Watch out, here I come! From SPT to DPT in a Pelvic Health Setting. Oral presentation at: American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Sections Meeting; February 12-15, 2020; Denver, CO.



Home Game Tailgating – September 14, 2019

The Stripes


UCA Spirit







New Friendships







DPT Students








Second Year Students Participate in Pediatrics Development Lab

2nd Year Students

Joy!  Dr. Lowe and Dr. Yates facilitated another fantastic opportunity for second year DPT students on September 3rd and 5th.  This annual lab in the DPT Neurological Rehabilitation in Pediatrics course provides a great opportunity for physical therapy students to interact with typically developing children birth to school-aged.  The lab was held on September 3 and September 5.  Each day brought a lot of experiences for the children and the PT students.  On behalf of the students and faculty – thank you so much to the kiddos for sharing their uniqueness, motor skills, playtime, smiles and giggles!

Typical Development Lab







September 3 and 5, 2019









Thank you Kiddos!








Orientation for Incoming DPT Students – Welcome Class of 2022

PT Club Officers

The Department of Physical Therapy welcomed the incoming DPT Class of 2019-2022 on August 21, 2019 for New Student Orientation.  After checking in, having their photo taken, and receiving their official name tag students were welcomed by the UCA Administration.  The DPT Class of 2022 was first addressed by Dr. Houston Davis, President of UCA followed by Dr. Patricia Poulter, Provost and Executive Vice-President, then welcomed by Dr. Angela Barlow, Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Jimmy Ishee, Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Jackie Rainey, Associate Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.  The PT Club hosted the new students to a day of getting to know each other, answering questions, and meeting the faculty.  The PT club provided a lunch for both both classes, faculty and staff.

Orientation PTC 108







Orientation Break






Lunch with All – Dr. Bandy






Dr. Booth and Friends






Dr. Mize and Friends









2019 DPT Convocation and UCA Commencement Held August 10

August 10, 2019

The University of Central Arkansas Department of Physical Therapy celebrated the Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2019 during PT Convocation held in Reynolds Performance Hall on Saturday, August 10.   Fifty-eight graduates from the Class of 2019 were honored during the annual convocation ceremony.  Dr. Bandy was selected by the class as the keynote speaker to address the graduates.  Recipients of the first National Physical Therapy Honor Society were recognized and received their cords and pins from Dr. Reese.  Excellence Awards in Academics, Research, Clinical, Leadership and Service were bestowed.  Also, PT Scholarship recipients were announced including the Joe Finnell PT Scholarship, The Charlotte Mills Fant Memorial Scholarship, the Thomas Meadows Memorial Scholarship and the Madeline Ann Grubbs Memorial Scholarship was presented by the Grubbs family.  The Outstanding DPT Student for the class of 2019 was Amber Allison, who also served as president of her class.  Dr. Allison was also selected as the class speaker for the Convocation ceremonies.  In addition, Dr. DiGangi and Dr. Hudson were recognized for completing the Pediatric Residency Program.  A reception was held in the Student Center Ballroom for graduates and families following Convocation.  UCA Commencement was held afterward in the Farris Center.

National Physical Therapy Honors Society

Delta Phi Tau (DPT)

The National Physical Therapy Student Honor Society is an organization established by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) to recognize current Doctor of Physical Therapy students who demonstrate excellence, integrity, and professionalism in areas of academic achievement, leadership, and service or research.  Founded in 2018, Doctor of Physical Therapy students will be inducted into the Society who demonstrate excellence in all membership criteria, and who were individually selected by representatives from their respective ACAPT member institution. The Society represents individuals who exemplify outstanding traits in leadership, and service or research to society characterized by consistent demonstration of strong moral character and ethics.

National PT Honors Society Recipients

The University of Central Arkansas inducted eight members of the DPT Class of 2019 into the inaugural National Physical Therapy Honors Society during Convocation Ceremonies held on August 10 at UCA including Amber Allison, Sara Marie Eller, Kyle Bryant Camp, Alex Taylor Davis, Riley Joseph McAllister, Hallie Mossman, Allyson N. Rose and Lindsey Breanne Wade.  These students were the only DPT students from Arkansas to be inducted into the PT Honors Society.  Each student was recognized and received cords to wear with graduation regalia and a pin.  The top 15% of each PT class is invited to apply for the Honors Society and are selected based on specific selection criteria including success in academics, service and/or research.



August 10, 2019 – Celebrating Graduates


































Dr. Mize and Panel Present at World PT Meeting in Switzerland

Dr. Mize Presents in Geneva, Switzerland

Dr. Lori Mize recently co-chaired an international speaker panel representing the US, Japan, Chile, Nigeria and Ethiopia at the World Confederation of Physical Therapy meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The panel presented a session entitled, “Knowledge Transfer Across Borders: Ripple Effect of Providing Pelvic and Women’s Health Across the Globe.”





Reception Held in Honor of Dr. Reese Receiving Fellow Award from the APTA

Dr. Poulter, Dr. Reese and Dr. Ishee

A reception was held at Buffalo Hall on June 24 to honor Dr. Nancy Reese, Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy, a 2019 recipient of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow Award by the American Physical Therapy Association, hosted by the UCA Department of Physical Therapy Faculty and Staff.  Seth Coulter, President of the Arkansas Chapter of the APTA and Beck Crenshaw also of the ArPTA attended.  UCA Administrators including Dr. Patricia Poulter, Provost and Executive Vice President, Dr. Angela Barlow, Dean of the Graduate School and Dr. Jimmy Ishee, Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences each provided words of congratulations to Dr. Reese.  Jacqueline Rainey, Associate Dean the Chairs of the College of the Health and Behavioral Sciences and Chairpersons of the CHBS Departments attended as well as and many colleagues and friends including Dr. Tom Courtway, Dr. Elaine McNiece, Dr. Mrs. Neil Hattlestad, Dr. David Reese, Dr. Clayton Holmes, Nat Grubbs, Jim Hoyme, Steve Joseph.  As well as many UCA faculty and staff from across the campus.

Dr. Maresh, Nat Grubbs and Dr. Yates






Nat Grubbs, Dr. Bandy, and Maegan Dyson






Dr. Elaine McNiece, Dr. Reese, and Tom Courtway







Dr. Clayton Holmes and Dr. Reese


Dr. Rainey, Dr. Reese and Dr. Ishee









Reese Honored at Reception with Students for Catherine Worthingham Fellow Award from the APTA

Department of Physical Therapy Faculty, Staff and DPT Classes of 2020 and 2021 and special guests celebrated Dr. Reese’s recent Catherine Worthingham Fellow Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.  Dr. Reese is the first physical therapist from Arkansas to receive this award.  Dr. Reese was surprised with a video of well-wishes from colleagues, family and friends from across the nation.

Reception with DPT Students, The Brick Room, Conway







DPT Class of 2021 students






Class of 2021 students Lauren Petrisin and Treslyn Fletcher with Dr. Reese







Dr. Reese, PT, PhD, FAPTA








PT Faculty and Guests






Dr. Reese with Tim Lyons, and Dr. Barbara Sanders







Dr. Yates and Dr. Lowe


Dr. Booth, Dr. Reese and Dr. McGee









Dr. Reese Receives APTA’s Highest Honor – Catherine Worthingham Fellow 

Reese Family

Dr. Nancy Reese, Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy is a 2019 recipient of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow award. Dr. Reese is the first Arkansan to receive this award. The Catherine Worthingham Fellows of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA), the association’s highest membership category, serves as inspiration for all physical therapists to attain professional excellence.   She is a member of the Neurology Section, Education Section, and Health Policy and Administration Sections of the APTA and past President of the Arkansas Chapter of the APTA and currently serves on the Board of the Academic Council of American Physical Therapy Association (ACAPT) as Treasurer.  Dr. Reese has been the Chairperson of the Department of Physical Therapy at UCA since 2004, a member of the faculty since 1986 and a member of the APTA since 1980. Dr. Reese was honored at the APTA’s NEXT 2019 Conference and Exposition in Chicago, Illinois on June 12-15. She is pictured here with her family.

Weidman Named Outstanding Student for College of Health & Behavioral Sciences

Colleen Weidman

Colleen Weidman is the recipient of the 2019 University of Central Arkansas Outstanding Student for the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and was recently was honored during the Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremonies held on Saturday, May 4 at UCA in Conway.   Dr. Margaret McGee, Associate Professor, was selected to represent the PT Faculty during the ceremony.   Ms. Weidman graduated Summa Cum Laude with the Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Sciences.  Her academic advisor is Mr. Michael Hawkinson of the Department of Physical Therapy.  Ms. Weidman is from Fort Smith and has been accepted into the UCA Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree Program.  She will begin her graduate studies at UCA in the Fall of 2019.  We are thrilled for Colleen to be selected for this incredibly high honor.

DPT Students Present at College of Health & Behavioral Sciences Research Forum

DPT Students presented their research projects on Thursday, April 18 at the annual College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Research Forum.  Students answered questions from faculty and students from the College about their projects.  All students did an excellent job!  A few of the students are pictured below.

Hanna Christopher, Savannah Charlson, Sarah Johnson

Landon Owens, Katie Hill, Lauren McClendon, and Nick Christen




Kylie Shepherd, Fernando Castillo, Mackenzie Cale, and Sarah French.