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January Student Spotlight: Jeni Smith, SPT

Posted By Annie Krapek, Wednesday, January 15, 2014
What is your current setting?
I am currently a third-year DPT student at the University of Minnesota. I just began my third clinical at the Fairview MS Achievement Center under the guidance of the amazing Sue Jerve. As the name suggests, the majority of our patients have multiple sclerosis, but we see a spectrum of neurological diagnoses and functional levels. Our patients are some of the kindest and most inspirational people I have met. This also happens to be my second clinical within the Fairview system, and I have been thoroughly impressed by the professionalism, knowledge, and mentorship exhibited by all of the clinicians in Fairview’s rehabilitation department. They are clearly dedicated toward fostering the full potential within their patients, students, and each other.
 

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in you career?
Regardless of where my career path takes me, I ultimately hope to work in a hospital or subacute setting. I enjoy the teamwork between multiple disciplines, the rapid pace of the environment, and being that first step toward a patient’s return to full function. The University of Minnesota has an excellent DPT program, and I am proud to represent the class of 2014 as the APTA representative. Attending SSIG meetings since first year has allowed me to keep my classmates in the loop about new speakers and events that may benefit them as new professionals. I even had several opportunities to represent the program at the national level, such as attending the National Student Conclave and receiving an invitation to attend the 2013 Federal Advocacy Forum. Such leadership opportunities have taught me that students have the capability to shape the dynamic field of health care. 
 
How are you involved with MNPTA?
In addition to my position as APTA representative for the U of M Class of 2014, I serve as one of the Membership Committee liaisons on the Student Special Interest Group executive board. The Membership Committee focuses on recruiting students and professionals into the APTA and encourages them to get involved as early as possible. We do this through social events, speakers, and offering incentives for current and future members. I also serve as a federal key contact for Representative Keith Ellison. Federal key contacts educate our national leaders about issues impacting physical therapy and the medical field, including maintaining a defined scope of practice, increasing the Medicare therapy cap, and the many ways in which PT can improve a person’s quality of life.
 
Why are you a member of APTA? 
Because health is such a dynamic profession, with the emergence of new technology and treatments and swiftly changing reform, it is important for students to stay abreast of issues that may impact their practice once they graduate. Getting involved with APTA allows them to make a difference from the moment they enter school. MNPTA in particular offers a variety of interest groups in which students can pursue individual tracks, ranging from research to health care policy. Additionally, students are able to get their feet wet by building a professional network and contributing their talents toward community service. Joining the SSIG is also an excellent way for students 
to build friendships with like-minded peers from other programs. I know the academic demands of PT and PTA school can be overwhelming, but joining APTA is worth it!
  
What other hobbies or special interests do you have?
I love to keep myself busy outside of the clinic. On my days off, I work as a PCA, mentor children in North Minneapolis, and cook for families at the Ronald McDonald House with a group of friends from church. Yoga, Pilates, and running are my favorite ways to stay active. I also collect vegetarian and vegan recipes and hold a beginner’s certification in Spring Forest Qigong.

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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December Student Spotlight: Julianne Beisswenger, SPTA

Posted By Annie Krapek, Wednesday, December 11, 2013
What is your current setting?
I am currently a 2nd year PTA student at Anoka Ramsey Community College. This past summer I took part in my first clinical experience at Rivers Edge Hospital in St. Peter, MN. I am currently on my second clinical with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute of St. Croix in Stillwater, MN. The focus of my current clinical is with pediatrics and neuro and I feel very fortunate to be able to experience such variety in this setting. 

 

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in you career?

I am keeping an open mind until I graduate regarding where my focus will be. After my first clinical I grew quite fond of geriatrics and am looking forward to more experience in this area on my third clinical.  I have really been enjoying the pediatrics and neuro field. The young ones have been so inspiring to work with and have brought on a new love for physical therapy. I have been honored with being the Class President for the ARCC PTA Program class of 2014 and with that have been able to establish a PTA Club open to all students at ARCC. 

 

How are you involved with MNPTA?

As a first year PTA student we were informed of different outlets for our interests in physical therapy and the Student Special interest Group really caught my attention. It is great to meet and work with so many other students who share your passion for this field. I am the PTA Liaison for the SSIG Executive Board and am excited to not only take part in this great group, but share and promote with others. Some tasks I have enjoyed doing while in this position have been organizing baskets for the silent auction for spring and fall conference, planning volunteer events, recruiting speakers for meetings or our upcoming conclave, and encouraging classmates to take part in all of these wonderful activities and opportunities. 

 

Why are you a member of APTA? 

I feel it is important to be a member of the APTA because our field is constantly changing and what better way to stay informed than with the APTA. As a PTA, it is my responsibility to keep up with the latest news in the physical therapy world. Being a member with the APTA there are so many opportunities to further your knowledge, get involved, and advocate for your field. Since becoming a member last year I have truly benefited from the APTA and it has helped me to grow into a better new professional. 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have?
During my time away from the class and books I enjoy dance, colorguard, traveling, scrapbooking, and especially spending time with my adorable 2 year old niece and my best friend’s new little girl. This winter I am hoping to make some time for snow tubing, snowshoeing, and to learn how to snowboard!

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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November Student Spotlight: Paul Youngberg, SPTA

Posted By Annie Krapek, Thursday, November 21, 2013
What is your current setting? 
I am currently a 2nd year PTA student at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). In mid-November I will start a clinical internship at Hopkins Health & Wellness.
 
What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career?
I graduated from Saint Cloud State University in 2010 where I studied Psychology and Biology. For my senior capstone I interned/volunteered at Courage Center – Golden Valley, analyzing the behavioral aspects of patients in the Physical Therapy, Aquatic Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy Departments, as well as Adapted Yoga classes. Through working with several patients recovering from brain and spinal cord injuries, I developed a special interest in neurological rehabilitation and was inspired to pursue a career in physical therapy.
This year I am especially excited to be assisting two of my classmates, Julianne Beisswenger and Anna Frahm-Cox, in establishing a Physical Therapy Club at ARCC
 

How are you involved with MNPTA? 

Thanks to my outstanding instructors at ARCC, I developed a seemingly unquenchable enthusiasm for physical therapy in my first year as a PTA student and sought to get involved as much as possible. It was brought to my attention that there was a group of students with a similar passion for physical therapy that met on a regular basis: the MNPTA Student Special Interest Group. This year, I am excited to be serving as the Public Relations Coordinator. As the Public Relations Coordinator, I am responsible for creating and distributing marketing materials for SSIG events, managing the SSIG Facebook page, and promoting student involvement in the MNPTA and APTA. Being involved in the MNPTA has also opened the door to several volunteer opportunities such as promoting concussion awareness at the MNPTA State Fair booth and working in the finish-line medical tent at the Twin Cities Marathon.

 
Why are you a member of APTA? 
I believe it is the therapist’s responsibility to provide the highest quality and most beneficial treatment available. The APTA is an excellent resource for keeping up with the latest research and therapeutic strategies and enhancing treatment effectiveness.
 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have?  

Since graduating from SCSU, I have become a certified personal trainer with advanced specializations in corrective exercise and fitness nutrition. As someone who has a difficult time sitting still, I enjoy channeling my extra energy into a positive outlet. Through my extracurricular education in personal training I developed a 5 year plan ultimately resulting in completing an Ironman Triathlon in 2015. Gradually increasing the distance each year, this past summer I completed my first Half-Ironman Triathlon. I am looking forward to improving on my time in a second Half-Ironman in the summer of 2014 and running the Twin Cities Marathon that fall.

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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October Student Spotlight: Vanessa Blaney, SPT

Posted By Annie Krapek, Tuesday, October 15, 2013
What is your current setting? 
I am currently a 2nd year DPT student at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.  This past summer I had a rotation at an outpatient orthopedic site.  This coming summer I will have a rotation at a private practice rural setting, next fall I will be doing a pediatrics rotation, and in the spring of 2015 I will be doing some sort of acute rotation, hopefully acute/neuro rehab.

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career?
I graduated from Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, IL) in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science.  It was there where I made the choice to become a physical therapist and I had a wonderful experience during a home health care internship.  My current interests in the world of physical therapy include: pediatrics, neuro rehab, and home health care, although, I am trying to keep my mind open to all possibilities until I have finished my coursework and clinical experiences.  I have also thought about how it would be possible for me to combine my love of animals with a physical therapy practice.  So far, I have discovered that there is an animal assisted therapy program through Baylor Health in Texas where the dogs are actually used as a part of the therapy.  Two examples are a patient using his or her affected limb to play fetch with a dog or grooming a dog to work on fine motor skills.    

How are you involved with MNPTA?
I became a member of the APTA, Section on Pediatrics, and MNPTA in 2012.  Last year, I attended the SSIG meetings via Google Chat and was able to get involved by acting as a liaison between my first year classmates and the SSIG group.  I helped to get my class more involved by organizing our silent auction donation and by encouraging them to attend the student conclave and to volunteer at the Spring Conference registration desk.  I was able to attend Spring Conference this past year and was encouraged by the passion for physical therapy that I experienced there.  This year, I am excited to be serving on the executive board, as co-vice chair of SSIG.  

Why are you a member of APTA? 
I am a member of the APTA because I think that it is important for students to be involved given that we will be the new professionals that are responsible for contributing to the profession and its' growth.  We need to know where the latest evidence is guiding our practice and how we can implement that.  It is also such a great opportunity to network and be inspired by all the possibilities that a career in physical therapy has to offer.  Additionally, I think it is important for students to take a break from the rigors of school and be reminded why they are pursuing their career goal of becoming a physical therapist. Being involved in the APTA and MNPTA has helped to keep me focused on my personal goal of becoming the best practitioner so that I can serve my patients well. 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have? 
In my free time, I love finding any excuse I can to be outside (even if that means bringing my studying to the outdoors)!  I enjoy exploring Duluth and all of the beauty it has to offer whether that be by jogging, hiking, snowboarding, or watching my husband play and ref hockey.  I also love to attend yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes.  Recently, I have started to experiment with baking as well.  Although I have not been able to travel much since starting PT school, I hope to combine my love of traveling and serving others by participating in PT missions.     

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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September New Professional Spotlight: Shawna Anderson, PTA

Posted By Annie Krapek, Thursday, September 19, 2013

What is your current setting?

I am currently working in the Skilled Nursing Facility/Transitional Care Unit setting in multiple rural towns approximately 90 miles west of the Twin Cities area.

 

What are some special interests/special accomplishments in your career?

I am a recent graduate of St. Catherine University in May of 2013 and was very involved in the APTA and MNPTA throughout my education. I was awarded the MNPTA Outstanding PTA Student at the Spring Conference in Brooklyn Park. I was involved in the St. Catherine University PT Club as a co-chair with 3 other PTA classmates and 4 DPT Program students. Some of my interests in the future include being an active member of the MNPTA and APTA by attending Fall & Spring Conferences as well as national conferences. Another interest I have is to advocate for PT locally in some of the rural areas that I work in so that people are informed about the definition of PT and the benefits. Lastly, I strive to be involved in the PTA Caucus so that I can learn more about PTA representation at a national level.

 

How are you involved with MNPTA?

I attend most conferences that are held by the MNPTA and I am also involved in the Guiding Coalition Committee

 

Why are you a member of APTA? 

I am a member of the APTA for multiple reasons but one of the reasons is so that I can meet other colleagues that are able to teach me more about who I am as a professional as well as educate me so that I can be a more rounded PTA for my patients. The other reason is that I believe it is my responsibility to advocate for my patients and the PT profession; being involved in the association is one way to do that.

 

What other hobbies or special interests do you have?

I enjoy traveling and spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy watching football in the fall on Sundays. I enjoy playing cribbage and relaxing with a good book! 

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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Student and New Professional Spotlight Archive

Posted By Annie Krapek, Thursday, September 19, 2013
MNPTA is proud to have featured an inspiring set of students and new professionals over the years. These students and new professionals have shown dedication both to MNPTA and to advancing the profession of physical therapy. You can view our archive here

Tags:  Student and New Professional Spotlight 

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