News Archive

DPT2023 Class Officers

Third-year students met for their class portrait in front of Main Hall recently.  Pictured here are DPT 2023 Class Officers.  We appreciate their continued service and leadership to their class as they finish their third Fall semester of coursework on campus.  Wishing the DPT Class of 2023 the very best as they move on to clinical experiences.   Looking forward to graduation!!

students pictured outside

DPT 2023 Class Officers Peter Okolo (Pres), Britney Corker, Hayley Dingler, Ashton Hill (Historians) and Jarrod Rogers (VP).

DPT2025 Class Officers Elected

First-year DPT students have elected class officers.  Congratulations to these students and we applaud their interest in leadership and service for their peers.  Class President: Rob Hogue, Vice President: Jayson Allen, Historians: Emily Blanchard, Collette Lavoi, and Austin Fortinberry, and APTA student liaison: Elysian Majeske.  These students will lead their class over the three-year program.  We wish them the best as they move through the program and look forward to working with them alongside their classmates.

students in front of building

DPT 2025 Class Officers

Thanks to 3rd Year TA’s in Anatomy

Special thanks to the third year, DPT Class of 2023, Teaching Assistants in Gross Anatomy this semester.  These students were able to come back from clinic to assist in the final weeks of Gross Anatomy for DPT2025 students ending the Fall 2022 semester.  The Department would like to thank them for the awesome job and nice work while also navigating a very busy third year of DPT school.  Thank you to Haden Bunderson, Dylan Alexander, Destinee Marvel, Caressa Wilson, Tyler Futrell, and Colton Wise.  Dr. Davis and Dr. Garrison appreciate your mentorship to first year students.

students in lab coats

3rd Year Teaching Assistants in Anatomy

UCA Scholarship Reception 2022

Students at reception

Pictured from left, Shelby Ramsey, Anne Moellers, Cross Reames, Mack Pharr, Erin Woodward, Haley Dingler, Haden Bunderson, Kevin French, and Dr. Garrison.

UCA Legacy of Success was the theme of the recent UCA Foundation Scholarship Reception held on September 29th at UCA. DPT students receiving UCA Foundation scholarships in 2022 and Dr. Kevin Garrison, Chairperson of the PT Department, attended the evening event held at the Farris Center.  Ten physical therapy student scholarships were awarded this year to eight DPT students including: third year students Erin Woodward and Mack Pharr recipients of the Madeline Ann Grubbs Scholarship; third year students Haley Dingler, Mack Pharr and Daniel Symons, and second year student Cross Reames recipients of the Joe Finnell PT Scholarship; third year student Haden Bunderson and second-year student Kevin French recipients of the Thomas M. Meadows Memorial Scholarship; first-year students Anne Moellers and Shelby Ramsey recipients of the Charlotte Mills Fant Memorial Scholarship.

During the event, UCA President Houston Davis led a panel discussion attesting to the positive impact scholarships have for students. Panelists included current donors and recipients of UCA Foundation Scholarships.  The event allowed for donors and scholarship recipients to connect and network.  The UCA Department of Physical Therapy is thankful for the continuing generosity from alumni of the UCA Physical Therapy program for making these scholarships a reality!  See article at UCA News – UCA Foundation celebrates donors, students at scholarship reception.

Information about UCA Foundation Scholarships can be found at Foundation Scholarships (  Applications open on November 1, 2022.  UCA Foundation scholarship application deadline to apply is January 23, 2023.

Campus Lecture Planned for November 3rd

Special Lecture November 3rd.  Pain Science Education:  How science is changing our approach to pain.

The Department of Physical Therapy is hosting a special lecture on pain science that is open to the campus and community in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the first graduating class of physical therapists from UCA in 1972. The lecture entitled, Pain Science Education: How science is changing our approach to pain, is planned for Thursday, November 3rd during X-Period (1:40 PM to 2:30 PM) in Ida Waldron Auditorium. This lecture will be free to the public and suggested for all healthcare and basic science faculty as well as students. Incorporating pain science in undergraduate and graduate education will be the focus. This lecture will be presented by an international speaker, Dr. Adriaan Louw, a physical therapist and Vice President at Evidence in Motion. With degrees from the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Louw has taught throughout the US and internationally for 20 years. He completed his PhD on pain neuroscience education, is a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist, Certified Pain Specialist and has authored and co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles related to spinal disorders and pain science.

Sarah Malakoff to Serve on APTA Geriatrics Committee

picture of Sarah

Sarah Malakoff, SPT

Sarah Malakoff, SPT, will be working on a national level for the American Physical Therapy Association.  Sarah, a second-year DPT in the UCA DPT Class of 2024, has been selected to serve as a member of the APTA Geriatrics Awards Committee for the Fall 2022 through Spring 2023 semesters.  This committee is responsible for reviewing and scoring the nominees for the various APTA Geriatrics annual awards including the Clinical Impact award, Education Impact Award, Joan M. Mills award, and Carole Lewis Lecture award.  Dr. Melissa Allen, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, noted, “While students are encouraged to apply to serve on many of the APTA Geriatrics committees, they aren’t often selected. Very excited for Sarah to have this opportunity to serve and represent UCA at the national level!”

As a student member of the APTA as well as the Section on Geriatrics, Sarah has an interest in doing more. Sarah stated, “I applied to be on the APTA Geriatric Awards Committee to simply get involved with the APTA. I wanted to learn more about this organization and I’m also interested in working with Geriatric population in my future practice. I thought this would be a great way to get my foot in the door and meet other students and PTs from across the country. I can’t wait to get started and help honor those who are making an impact in our profession!”

Sarah is also serving as a graduate assistant in the Department of Physical Therapy as well as serving her class as President of PT Club.   Congratulations to Sarah!

DPT Class of 2025 Begins!

group photo outside

University of Central Arkansas     |      DPT Class of 2025    |     New Student Orientation     |     August 24, 2022

Welcome DPT Class of 2025 to UCA Physical Therapy

Sixty-two students attended New Student Orientation hosted by the Physical Therapy Club on Wednesday, August 24th before classes began on Thursday.  After an early start getting their name tags and photos made, the class was first greeted and welcomed by UCA President Dr. Houston Davis, Provost Dr. Patricia Poulter, Graduate Dean Dr. Angela Barlow, Dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences Dr. Nancy Reese, and Associate Dean Dr. Darshon Reed.   We wish these new students the very best as they begin this important chapter in their life and move a step closer to their future careers as physical therapists!

Merriweather Named 2022 Outstanding DPT Student


Dr. Gary Merriweather, Jr.

Congratulations to Dr. Gary Merriweather, Jr. of the the Doctor of Physical Therapy class of 2022.  Dr. Merriweather was named the UCA 2022 Outstanding DPT Student of the Year. Dr.  David Taylor, Coordinator of the DPT program,  announced the recipient and presented the award on August 12th  during the DPT Convocation Ceremony to honor the graduates of the University of Central Arkansas DPT Class of 2022.  Gary was also the Student Speaker and gave his remarks during the ceremony.

This year, the Department of Physical Therapy at UCA is celebrating the 50th graduating class of physical therapy students. In 2003, UCA celebrated the first class of students receiving the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. Since then, each graduating class has had the opportunity to select one of its members to receive the Outstanding Doctor of Physical Therapy Student Award to honor a member of the class who, according to class members, has had the most positive influence within the class.

We wish Gary and the DPT Class of 2022 all the best as they take their next steps.

DPT Convocation Ceremony – August 12

UCA Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2022

The University of Central Arkansas Department of Physical Therapy is pleased to host the Doctor of Physical Therapy Convocation Ceremony to celebrate the DPT graduating class Class of 2022 on Friday, August 12th at 1:00 in the afternoon in Reynolds Performance Hall.  An Open House is planned immediately following at the Physical Therapy Center.  University Commencement ceremonies will be held at 6:00 in the evening in Reynolds Performance Hall.  Congratulations to our graduates!

UCA DPT 2022 Convocation Program

Admin Position Available

The PT Department has an open position for an Administrative Assistant to the Chair.  Details are at  The position is open as of 8/1/22 and will remain open until filled.