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Chatham University Master of Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

News Highlights


Congratulations to Nicole Stout, 1998 graduate from the Chtham Physical Therapy Program, for receiving the John H. P. Maley Lecture Awared to be presented at national conference this summer!  The John H. P. Maley Lecture Award is annually presented to an APTA physical therapist member who has demonstrated clinical expertise, as well as wide-reaching, sustained, and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession.  The honoree's lecture is considered to be one of the highlights at APTA's NEXT Conference & Exposition and is an honor commensurate with long-standing professional contributions.  Our heartfelt congratulations to Nicole for her exceptional work!

DPT alum receives prestigious scholarship!

Photo of Julie Stutzbach

Julie Stutzbach, Doctorate of Physical Therapy '14, has been awarded the Florence P. Kendall Scholarship from the Foundation for Physical Therapy as well as an NIH/NIA National Institute on Aging- T32 Integrative Physiology of Aging Training Grant.  The Kendall Post-Professional Doctoral Scholarships, part of the Foundation’s Doctoral Opportunities for Clinicians and Scholars (DOCS) program, assist physical therapists and physical therapist assistants with outstanding potential within their first year of post-professional doctoral degree studies. Applicants must be formally accepted as a student in a regionally accredited post-professional doctoral program whose content has a demonstrated relationship to physical therapy. Dr. Stutzbach’s research interests include high-intensity exercise interventions for medically-complex older adults.  Julie is a current student in the PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus. Congratulations, Julie!

DPT Class of 2018 Graduates! 

DPT Class of 2018 Photo
DPT 2018 Award Winners
Pictured: Class of 2018 graduates (top) and award winners (bottom)

The faculty of Chatham University’s DPT Program would like to extend a well-deserved congratulations to the Class of 2018.  We are excited to welcome you as colleagues into our profession.

Class members Jonathan Gray and Anna Coutsoumbis were chosen as class speakers and gave a light hearted, yet poignant, remembrance of their 2.5 years here at Chatham. Several annual graduation awards were given at the department recognition ceremony in Eddy Theater before the Chatham graduation:

  • Natalie Mayo was awarded the Faculty Commendation
  • Matt Melczak and Cass Bartoch were awarded the Potential for Professional Excellence awards
  • The Peer Recognition award was given to Bobbie Sue Kist
  • Lauren Williams of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System was given the Clinician Educator Award
  • Hess Physical Therapy was awarded the Award for Institutional Support and owner George Hess (Chatham ’02) accepted the award with Jessica Papale (Chatham ’14)

Additionally class member, Emma Bitner spoke on behalf of graduate students at the Chatham-wide graduation and made us all proud!

Sawhney-Gough Clinical Excellence Scholarship Event

Chatham PT faculty 2018
Photo of Rajiv, Steve, Linda, and Joe
Pictured (L-R): Steve Gough, Linda Thompson, Joe Schreiber, and Raj Sawhney

On October 18, Chatham's DPT Program held its 2nd annual celebration for the Sawhney-Gough Clinical Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship, started by DPT alumni and faculty Raj Sawhney and Steve Gough in 2017, recognizes and provides financial assistance to a second year DPT student who is able to articulate and demonstrate the importance of clinical communication, professionalism, and service activities. We were fortunate to be joined by Chatham alum and former APTA Board of Directors member, Nicole Stout, who spoke very eloquently about why supporting Chatham DPT and this scholarship is important to her. 2018 scholarship recipient, Linda Thompson (DPT '18) also discussed the impact the scholarship has had on her education. Thank you to the numerous alumni and students who joined us for this celebration! We look forward to seeing you next year!

PPTA 2018 Presentations

Nicole Giannangeli Alar Ligament: A Systematic Review PPTA poster image

Chatham DPT student Nicole Giannangeli (DPT '18) had a poster presentation at PPTA conference concerning her student research project titled "The Alar Ligament: A Systematic Review." The review of the anatomy of the alar ligament found variations in its exact origin, structure, and insertion. These findings suggest that stress testing of the ligament include several variations of testing post injury and prior to upper cervical spine treatment.

PPTA poster Fisher Spear Withrow image

Students Erica Fisher, Amber Spear, and Athena Withrow (DPT '18) also presented their student research at conference, titled, "Efficacy of Graded Exercise in the Treatment of Post Concussion Syndrome in Adults: A Systematic Review." This systematic review found that while there still needs to be more research on graded exercise in the adult population, the positive outcomes participants experienced and the low number of adverse events suggest that adults with post-concussion syndrome can be treated safely and effectively with graded exercise.


The faculty of the DPT Program offered well wishes to the Class of 2018 as they marked the end of coursework at an annual gathering at Dr. Perry's home. The "Perry Patio Party" has been a long-standing tradition at Chatham's DPT Program. Faculty and students were able to relax and discuss things other than coursework! Students will spend the remainder of their Chatham DPT program working under the supervision of licensed physical therapists in several settings before returning for graduation. Best wishes on this new chapter of your training and we will see you in December for graduation!

Perry Patio Pool 2018