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News Archive

Position Opening – UCA Physical Therapy

collage of student picturesPosition Opening: The Assistant/Associate Professor is a core faculty member who engages in teaching, research and service in the Department of Physical Therapy, which offers the DPT and PhD degrees and a pediatric residency program. Teaching responsibilities include DPT-level critical care and cardiopulmonary courses, or orthopedic physical therapy (including manual therapy), and other clinical science areas commensurate with education and experience. For more information:



Dr. Castillo Successfully Defends Dissertation

Congratulations to Fernando Castillo.  Dr. Castillo, a student in the UCA PhD in Physical Therapy Program, successfully defended his dissertation on November 1, 2021 entitled “Assessment of Balance and Gait for Adolescent Athletes with Sport-Related Concussion”.  His dissertation committee is comprised of Dr. Charlotte Yates, co-chair, Dr. Leah Lowe, co-chair, Dr. Melissa Allen, of the Department of Physical Therapy as well as Dr. Jacqueline Rainey, Associate Dean, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Nathaniel Grubbs, PT, owner of South Arkansas Rehabilitation in Monticello, Arkansas.  Drs. Rainey, Lowe, Yates and Allen are pictured here with Fernando.  Dr. Castillo is an alumnus of the UCA DPT Class of 2020 and enrolled in the dual DPT/PhD program at the University of Central Arkansas.  He is currently clinically active in northwest Arkansas at Everest Rehabilitation Hospital in Rogers, Arkansas as an outpatient therapist.

Dr. VanHoose named Fellow of the AAPT

UCA physical therapy alumnus,  Dr. Lisa VanHoose, was recently named a Fellow of the American Academy of Physical Therapy.  Dr. VanHoose is a member of the UCA MS in Physical Therapy Class of 1996, former UCA PT faculty member, and currently the Director of the DPT Program at the University of Louisiana, Monroe.  Established in 1989, the AAPT Seeks to promote innovative programs in healthcare, perform clinical research and promote and support physical therapy careers for minorities.

Clinical Foundations

First year students recently completed a 48 hour wheelchair experience for Dr. Maresh in their Clinical Foundation course.  Each student spent 48 hours in a manual chair, completed two outings, and completed a written assignment in reflection.  In preparation, students worked on transfers to the car during lab.  Brining lab to life and a meaningful learning opportunity.  First semester is hands-on!

student transferring from wheelchair to car

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.