News Archive

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.

UCA Students Give Forward to PT Student Scholarships

Special thanks to two University of Central Arkansas student organizations who participated with generous donations in our recent Day of Giving on March 11.  The UCA Pre Physical Therapy Club with 150 UCA undergraduate student members made a $500 donation.  And, the Physical Therapy Club also made a donation on Day of Giving for $150 representing students currently enrolled in the DPT program at UCA (175 students).   Each group gave toward the incredible $10,000+ raised for PT student scholarships this year!  These students are giving forward and it is appreciated!

Physical Therapy Alumni and Friends Donate to PT Student Scholarships

Day of Giving Success 2021

Wow! We raised over $10,000 this week for our PT student scholarships to be shared among the Joe Finnell Physical Therapy Scholarship, Madeline Ann Grubbs Memorial Scholarship, Thomas Meadows Memorial Scholarship and the Charlotte Mills Fant Memorial Scholarship.  Each one of these scholarships honors a special person to the UCA Physical Therapy family.  The generosity of UCA Physical Therapy alumni and friends will benefit PT students who are working hard every day.  The Department of Physical Therapy appreciates everyone who supported us this week!

Dr. Mize Receives Academy of Pelvic Health Education Excellence Award

Education Excellence Award

Lori Mize PT, DPT, WCS, is the recipient of the Academy of Pelvic Health’s Education Excellence Award.  Dr. Mize was presented the award on March 8th at the annual Academy of Pelvic Health virtual business meeting.  The Education Excellence Award is one of the few national awards given for the American Physical Therapy Association’s Academy of Pelvic Health. She was particularly recognized for leading coursework into the digital environment, for leadership, collaboration, and for excellence in engagement with course participants both in the live and virtual space.  Dr. Mize is a board certified specialist in women’s health physical therapy and graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2004 from the University of Central Arkansas. Dr. Mize worked as a full-time clinician devoted to women’s and pelvic health rehabilitation for 11 years and has worked primarily in academia as a faculty member for the last 7 years. Dr. Mize  joined the faculty at the University of Central Arkansas Department of Physical Therapy in January 2019. More information about the Academy of Pelvic Health can be found at

Dr. Meredith Flowers and Team Publish Article

Dr. Meredith Flowers published an article in the Journal of Allied Health along with Drs. Yates, Fletcher and Lowe.  Dr. Flowers is a 2019 graduate of the PhD in Physical Therapy Program at UCA as well as the UCA Pediatric Residency Program in 2015.  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. Dr. Flowers is a board certified clinical specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.

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 DPT Students? J Allied Health. 2020;49(3):196.

Link to Article

Dr. Tyler Floyd, DPT 2014 and PhD 2017 Graduate, Publishes Article 

Dr. Tyler Floyd

Congratulations to Dr. Tyler Floyd, PT, DPT, PhD, who had an article published in October 2020. Based on his dissertation work, the article titled “Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Can Alter Cortical Excitability of the Lower Extremity in Healthy Participants: A Review and Methodological Study” is published in the journal Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience Research. Dr. Floyd authored this work along with Dr. Chad Lairamore formerly of the University of Central Arkansas, who is now the Chair of the PT Education Department at Western University of Health Sciences in Oregon, and Dr. Garrison and Dr. Rainey of the University of Central, as well as Drs. Mennemeier, Kiser and Padala of UAMS and Dr. Woods of the University of Florida.

Dr. Floyd completed his PhD in Physical Therapy from the University of Central Arkansas in December 2017 as well as his DPT degree in 2014 and his BS degree in 2011 as a summa cum laude graduate and was in the UCA Honors College.  Currently in clinical practice in central Arkansas, Dr. Floyd has also been serving the Department as an adjunct lab instructor in the DPT program since 2015.

Link to article