University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2015 begins clinical studies

Forty-eight physical therapy students, members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) Class of 2015, started the clinical studies portion of their journey to become doctors of physical therapy this week at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The students received white coats at the Entrance Into Professional Service Ceremony held at the school on July 11.

The students, 23 men and 25 women, range in age from 21 to 36 years, with the average age of 24. Most are from North Dakota.

Keynote speaker was Henry C. “Bud” Wessman, professor emeritus and founder of the physical therapy program at UND in 1967. Wessman spoke about the importance of professional service. He has been involved in a variety of high level service activities, including state legislator (1979–1981), mayor of Grand Forks (1980–1988), and as executive director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services. He also directed state economic assistance programs including Medicaid and food stamps. In 1997, Wessman was nominated as a federal administrative judge to serve on the Provider Reimbursement Review Board of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Care Financing Administration, now known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“The ceremony emphasizes to the students the professionalism required in the clinic and within the physical therapy profession,” said Tom Mohr, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy.

After completing their first year of the professional component of the physical therapy curriculum, the students have to pass an intense, comprehensive examination of their knowledge before they begin their clinical studies. The first three years of the curriculum are considered to be pre-physical therapy (pre-professional). The professional component of the D.P.T. requires three academic years and two summer sessions following completion of the 90-credit pre-physical therapy entrance requirement.

Clinical experiences are a crucial component of the UND physical therapy curriculum and take place at more than 300 clinical sites across the nation, the majority of which lie outside the Greater Grand Forks area. These experiences meld academic information with hands-on clinical experience. Students participate in direct delivery of physical therapy services in a variety of settings under the direction and supervision of one or more clinical instructors. A physical therapist is on-site during the delivery of any service by a student physical therapist.

“Students are making the transition from being a student to being a health care professional,” Mohr said. “With that transition comes a great deal of professionalism, responsibility and accountability to themselves and to their patients. For many students, this will be the first life experience they will have had that carries the level of responsibility that is expected of them. We have trained them well, they have worked hard, and we anticipate they will do a great job working as part of a health care team.”

The students and their hometowns are the following:

• Lindsey Danielle Altringer, Mandan, N.D.
• Joshua M. Anderson, Rugby, N.D.
• Patricia Bisek, Mahnomen, Minn.
• Jamie Lynn Bowman, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Samantha Jo Braegelmann, St. Joseph, Minn.
• Jordan Mychal Braun, Williston, N.D.
• Kathleen Jo Breuer, Colfax, N.D.
• Jessica Catherine Bruns, Bemidji, Minn.
• Joshua Todd Burrer, Sauk Centre, Minn.
• Calvin Hunter Crawford, Devils Lake, N.D.
• Rachel Louise Dallman, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Thomas Alfred Ebertowski, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Sarah Beth Erickson, Alexandria, Minn.
• Christine Lynn Gillespie, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Noah Thomas Helgerson, St. Cloud, Minn.
• Scott Michael Holm, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Alexandra Jo Jares, Aberdeen, S.D.
• Daniel William Johnson, Moorhead, Minn.
• Jessica Ann Jones, Pierre, S.D.
• Dylan Mark Kent, Lancaster, Minn.
• Kassandra Mary Kertz, Edinburg, N.D.
• Angela Marie Kumm, Hutchinson, Minn.
• Zachariah Martin Kvidt, Thompson, N.D.
• Mark Mason Laraway, West Fargo, N.D.
• Jacueline Kaye Maddock, Bismarck, N.D.
• Samir Ghanem Maleki, West Fargo, N.D.
• Brady Rae Meyer, Minot, N.D.
• Krista Lee Moorman, Freeport, Minn.
• Richard Michael Morgan, Thompson, N.D.
• Brittany Marie Olson, Halstad, Minn.
• Hannah Marie Owen, Alexandria, Minn.
• Kylie Jo Palmiscno, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Anthony Robert Pohl, Hankinson, N.D.
• Maleeka Elizabeth Sandager, Hills, Minn.
• Shaun Michael Seaburg, Moorhead, Minn.
• Kayla Ann Skersick, Shevlin, Minn.
• Kjersten Joy Skjold, Kasilof, Alaska
• Samantha Lynn Stegman, Cavalier, N.D.
• Brian Peter Storhaug, Alexandria, Minn.
• Brandon Michael Szklarski, Thief River Falls, Minn.
• Andy Karl Taylor, Plentywood, Mont.
• Kip Henry Thorstenson, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Leah Gwen Tunseth, Grand Forks, N.D.
• Lisa Mari Viessman, Worthington, Minn.
• Allison Melissa Vosgerau, Hillsboro, N.D.
• Ian Robert Whitney, Devils Lake, N.D.
• Robert Michael Whittaker, Cheyenne, Wyo.
• Alex Michael Wohl, Minot, N.D.

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777.2733,

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