University of Evansville

Physical Therapy

At UE, Doctor of Physical Therapy students complete 1200 hours of full-time, in-the-clinic experience. Physical Therapist Assistant students complete 720 hours.


UE DPT Students Win the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy Annual Student Consumer Brochure Contest

Posted: January 5, 2016

Second-year DPT students, Kristen Sholander, Libby Peterson, Sarah Jaacks and Danyelle Hall-Harlan have won the Student Consumer Brochure contest from the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

The brochure submission was a course assignment for PT523-Patient Management III-Multiple Systems, taught by Dr. Tzurei Chen. Their winning brochures will be displayed at the Academy Booth at APTA Combined Section Meeting in February 2016. The brochures will also be displayed at the Academy Membership Meeting at the Combined Section Meeting.

Third Place - Preparing for a Joint Replacement by Kristen Sholander and Libby Peterson

Honorable Mention - Medication Adherence by Sarah Jaacks and Danyelle Hall-Harlan

Congratulations Danyelle, Kristen, Libby and Sarah!

UE PTA Student Publishes Paper

Posted: November 11, 2015

Daya Devanathan, BS, MS, a first-year physical therapist assistant student and former graduate of Indiana University in psychology and biology and the University of Illinois at Chicago in rehabilitation sciences, published her paper titled "Effects of Anodal tDCS of the Lower Limb M1 on Ankle Reaction Time of Young Adults."  Sangeetha Madhavan, PT, PhD, was her research mentor and the second author of the paper. Congratulations, Daya!

UE Physical Therapy Graduate to Give Homecoming Lecture

Posted: September 25, 2015

The University of Evansville fifth annual Homecoming Lecture is planned for September 26, at 10:00 a.m., in Eykamp 252, Ridgway University Center. 

The speaker will be Tara Halaby, physical therapist at Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment. Halaby received her masters of physical therapy degree from UE in 2007. The event is free and open to the public.

During her lecture, Halaby will be sharing her career experience working for WWE and describe how her educational foundation from UE helped fuel her career. For the past two years, Halaby has been working at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, as its only staff physical therapist. Along with Halaby, the medical team at the WWE Performance Center is composed of a medical coordinator, two physicians and three athletic trainers. Approximately 70 men and women train daily at center, learning what it takes to become the next WWE superstar or diva.

For the full schedule of events, visit For more information, contact or 812-488-2586.

Kiesel Conducts Lectures on Injury Prevention in Singapore

Posted: August 18, 2015

Dr. Kyle Kiesel, Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy Program just returned from a week in Singapore where he served as a Health Manpower Development Plan Visiting Expert for the Ministry of Health. He conducted 10 different lecture/learning sessions to over 300 physical therapists, physicians and podiatrists regarding research and clinical application of injury prevention through movement screening, testing, and assessment.

UE Represented at National Hockey League Combine

Posted: June 15, 2015

Current ProRehab & University of Evansville Sports Residents, Drs. Gourlay & Wehrhahn, administered the Y Balance Test to professional hockey prospects at the 2015 NHL Combine in Buffalo, New York.

The Y Balance Test was developed and extensively researched by Dr. Phil Plisky, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy & Sports Residency Program Director at the University of Evansville. The Y Balance Test is used test a person’s motor control as well as demonstrate functional symmetry and is used by professional, collegiate, and high school sports teams, US Military, industry, and researchers worldwide.

2015 Physical Therapy Recognition Awards

Posted: May 13, 2015

Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physical Therapist Assistant graduates were presented awards by the Department of Physical Therapy faculty for their outstanding achievements.

  • The Outstanding Physical Therapist Award was presented to Brittany England and the Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Award was presented to Meredith Boyland in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement, clinical performance and leadership.
  • The Outstanding Clinical Performance Award for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program was presented to Jordan Van Wyk and the Outstanding Clinical Performance Award for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program was presented to Heather Sisk.
  • The Mary Kessler Leadership Award for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program was presented to Lauren Curry.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2015 presented Dr. Phil Plisky, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, with the Mary Bennett Award of Excellence-Outstanding Physical Therapy Professor of the Year.
Patty Balbach, PT, PCS, CNDT, was presented with the Friend of Physical Therapy Award in recognition of her dedicated service to students, graduates and faculty.  Patty is a Physical Therapist with the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center.

McFelea Appointed to Term as Director of Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Posted: May 12, 2015

Joni McFelea, associate professor of physical therapy and assistant director of clinical education, has been appointed to a one-year term as director of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program for the 2015-2016 academic year.  She has been with the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Evansville since 2008.

Physical Therapy Professor, Shala Cunningham, has Articles Published in the Journal of Manipulative Therapy

Posted: April 13, 2015

Dr. Shala Cunningham, assistant professor of physical therapy, has two articles regarding medical screening in physical therapy accepted and published online ahead of print in the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy.   

Inter-rater reliability and validity of the screen assist lumbar questionnaire: a pilot study

Upper cervical instability associated with rheumatoid arthritis: a case report


Physical Therapy Professors’ Abstract Selected for Presentation at the Widener University Interprofessional Simulation Conference

Posted: April 13, 2015

Dr. Shala Cunningham, assistant professor of physical therapy, and Dr. Joni McFelea, associate professor of physical therapy, have two presentations accepted for the Widener University Interprofessional Simulation Conference to be held July 15-16 in Chester, Pennsylvania: 

Effect of an acute care interprofessional simulation on physical therapy students’ ability to collaborate effectively on a healthcare team will be presented as a poster on July 15.

The Development of an Interprofessional Acute Care Simulation Experience will be presented as a platform presentation on July 16.

Physical Therapy Professor Chen Presents

Posted: March 20, 2015

Dr. Tzurei Chen, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, provided a podium presentation “Center of Mass Control During Turning Phase of Time Up and Go Test for Older Adults with and without Fall Histories” at the Gait and Clinical Movement Society Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

UE DPT Students Attend Conference on Pro Bono Clinic

Posted: March 16, 2015

Five second year DPT students representing Ace CARE attended the 3rd Annual Pro-Bono Physical Therapy Clinic Conference and Networking Event at Widener University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 14.

This event provides a networking opportunity for student-run pro bono physical therapy clinics from across the nation.  UE was one of 11 universities accepted to present at this conference.  Alyssa Waninger and Paige Knott presented "Current Status and Expansion Opportunities".  Other student attendees included Shannon Dick, Hailey Jones, and Matthew Kremer.

Physical Therapy Professors’ Abstract Selected for Presentation at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015 in Singapore

Posted: March 3, 2015

Shala Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, and Joni McFelea, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, had their abstract “A Description of Kenyan Physiotherapists’ Knowledge and Psychomotor Skills Following Participation in a Post-Graduate Manual Therapy Residency Program” accepted for presentation at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015 in Singapore.

Congress 2015 Singapore

Professor of Physical Therapy, Shala Cunningham, Receives First Place for Platform Presentation

Posted: March 3, 2015

Congratulations to Jayson Myerson PT and Shala Cunningham, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, on receiving  first place for best 5 x 5 thoraco-lumbar spine platform presentation at AAOMPT 2014 for their case series: The Use Of Modified Thoracic Manipulation Techniques In The Treatment Of Patients Following Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery.

Dr. Phil Plisky and UE/ProRehab Sports Residency Program Conduct Injury Prevention Screenings for the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Team

Posted: February 24, 2015

Dr. Phil Plisky, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, along with members from the UE/ProRehab Sports Residency Program conducted injury prevention screenings for the Milwaukee Brewers Major League Baseball team in Arizona over the weekend.

The testing was implemented last year and the team saw a dramatic reduction of time-loss injuries last season going from 22nd in the league in lost player days to 2nd.  The screening involves specific tests developed and researched by Plisky and an algorithm to categorize injury risk developed by Plisky and Dr. Kyle Kiesel, Professor of Physical Therapy and Department Chair.  This injury prevention model is used by a wide variety of high school, college and professional sports teams.  Plisky and Kiesel are currently part of a team conducting their second large research project utilizing the testing and algorithm to reduce injuries in the US army.  

Dr. Kiesel Gives Lecture on Injury Prevention

Posted: February 17, 2015

Dr. Kyle Kiesel, Professor and Chair of Physical Therapy, along with his two colleagues, Gray Cook and Greg Rose presented a 3-hour lecture on injury prevention in professional football players in Indianapolis at the NFL combines.

They were invited to present by the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.  There were approximately 120 NFL Athletic Trainers in attendance.

Along with Dr. Phil Plisky, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Dr. Kiesel has published several studies regarding injury prediction including two related to injuries in the NFL.

American Physical Therapy Association Combined Section Meeting Indianapolis

Posted: February 10, 2015

The University of Evansville’s Departments of Physical Therapy and Alumni Relations hosted an Alumni Reception this past week in Indianapolis at the American Physical Therapy Association’s Combined Section Meeting (CSM).  Approximately 70 UE PT faculty and alumni attended the event.  The faculty enjoyed seeing and catching up with the graduates.

UE’s Physical Therapy faculty and students were busy presenting their research at CSM this year.  Collectively we presented the following:

  • Teyhen DS, Kiesel KB, Butler RJ, Rohn, D. Prevention, and Preemption: Screening for Sports and Training Injuries;  Course
  • Kiesel KB, Butler RJ, Plisky PJ, Schwartzkopf-Phifer K.  Normative data on the Selective Functional Movement Assessment top tier movements; Poster
  • Plisky PJ, Shaffer S, Teyhen DS, Kiesel KB, Butler RJ, Williams, Jennifer Prye, J, Goffar SL, Rohn D. Prospective Musculoskeletal Injury Rates Among Different Categories of Soldiers. Platform
  • Teyhen DS, Shaffer S, Plisky PJ, Kiesel KB, Butler RJ, Williamson J, Goffar SL, Rohn D. Identification of Intrinsic Risk Factors Associated with Musculoskeletal Injury in Rangers. Platform
  • Teyhen DS, Shaffer S, Plisky PJ, Kiesel KB, Butler RJ, Goffar SL, Rohn D. Factors Associated with Predicting Time-loss Injuries in Active Duty Soldiers Platform
  • Koewler, B., Blue, E.C., Coomes, S., and Yoshida, Y., The Effect of a New Gait Training Program on an Elderly Patient Following a Total Knee Arthroplasty. Combined Section Meeting (American Physical Therapy Association) 2015 Indianapolis IN.
  • Yoshida, Y., Koewler, B., and Catena, R.D. A New Eccentrically-induced Gait Training to Improve Loading Response during Gait. Combined Section Meeting (American Physical Therapy Association) 2015 Indianapolis IN.
  • Yoshida, Y., Blue, E.C., and Catena, R.D. Is Asymmetry Gait In Individuals With Knee Injuries Resulted From An Inter-Limb Temporal Differences? Combined Section Meeting (American Physical Therapy Association)2015 Indianapolis IN.
  • Hansen J, Huebner B, Alm A, Erion A, Plisky PJ.  Sports Residency:  Restoration of Functional Movement through Trigger Point Dry Needling Aids in Quick Return To Sport.  Poster Presentation at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, Indianapolis, IN 2015.

Professor of Physical Therapy Tink Martin Completes Requirements for PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences

Posted: August 13, 2014

Tink Martin, professor of physical therapy, has successfully defended her dissertation "Play in Children with Motor Disabilities" and completed the requirements for her PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky.

Cody Blue, 2014 PTA Program Graduate, Presents at the World Congress of Biomechanics

Posted: July 29, 2014

Cody Blue presented his work titled: Do Asymmetric Gait Kinematics Result From Inter-Limb Temporal Differences. This research is beneficial to define pathological gait patterns due to injuries. Dr. Yuri Yoshida and Dr. Robert Catena are co-authors.

Dr. Tzurei Chen presents research at the 7th World Congress in Biomechanics in Boston

Posted: July 29, 2014

Dr. Tzurei Chen, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, presented her research at the 7th World Congress in Biomechanics in Boston, MA. Her research is titled: Effect of Age and Fall Histories on Center of Mass Control during the Turning Phase of the Timed Up And Go Test.

Dr. Yuri Yoshida-Most Cited Research Article

Posted: October 30, 2013

A research article written by Dr. Yuri Yoshida, UE assistant professor of physical therapy, has been ranked one of the most cited articles published since 2008 (Journal of Clinical Biomechanics).  The article has been ranked one of the top five from February 2011 through October 2013.

Dr. Phil Plisky is named 2013 Outstanding Alumnus

Posted: October 28, 2013

Dr. Phil Plisky, UE assistant professor of physical therapy, was named Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions’ 2013 Outstanding Alumnus.

In addition to serving as an assistant professor in the University of Evansville’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Dr. Plisky is the Residency Program Director for the University of Evansville & ProRehab Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program. Dr. Plisky has a master’s in physical therapy from the University of Evansville and a Doctor of Science degree in orthopedic physical therapy from RMUoHP. He is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedics through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He is also a certified athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. Dr. Plisky’s research focuses on comprehensive movement testing and injury prevention among athletes, military personnel and school-aged children. Dr. Plisky’s fieldwork, moreover, has garnered research grants in collaboration with multiple universities totaling over $2 million dollars.
“Time and time again, Dr. Plisky has demonstrated his dedication to the protection of human subjects by drawing on his personal experience as a clinician and devoted parent,” said Darcy L. Hammer, IRB manager at RMUoHP. “He brings a sophisticated level of both clinical and research expertise to the injury prevention discussion.”

UE Students Win the Innovative Design Competition

Posted: October 23, 2013

Physical therapy student Annie Wooten, one of five UE students, brings home first place honors in the LTU “Innovation Encounter” competition.

A UE inter-disciplinary team of five students brought home first place honors in the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) “Innovation Encounter” competition held on October 18-19 in Southfield, Michigan. The UE team included students from engineering, business and physical therapy.
This is the second year in a row that UE multi-disciplinary students have brought home first place in this contest
Students on the UE team included Vaughn Ahlf (Mechanical Engineering), Jawad AlDhalemi (Computer Engineering), Laura Best (Mechanical Engineering), Andrey Biryuchinskiy (Finance and Economics), and Annie Wooten (Physical Therapy). The UE team was coached by Dr. Immanuel Selvaraj, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering from the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
In this competition, teams were challenged with creating a business level solution for a real-world client (Reverie) problem statement in a two day event. The event engaged students from eight universities in both competition and the appreciation of the skills learned during their academic careers. The competition included educational components, networking opportunities, and valuable feedback. The LTU “Innovation Encounter” provided students the opportunity to work on a real-world problem that required teamwork, business planning, critical thinking, and innovation.
The eight universities that competed in this competition are Gonzaga University, Ohio Northern University, Lawrence Technological University, Villanova University, Saint Louis University, Kettering University, Widener University and University of Evansville.

Ace CARE – Community Action through Rehabilitation and Education

Posted: October 22, 2013

After a year of planning, Ace CARE has officially begun operations on the University of Evansville campus.

 Ace CARE is a pro-bono physical therapy clinic run by Doctor of Physical Therapy students. Previously established at ECHO Community Health Care, Ace CARE provides physical therapy services to uninsured and underinsured patients of the Tri-state.  While ECHO is no longer able to accommodate physical therapy services at their downtown facility, they have continued their partnership with UE by providing physician referrals to the on-campus facility. 
Ace CARE is a collaborative effort among first, second, and third year DPT students who work as a treatment team to establish a diagnosis and appropriate plan of care for each patient.  Students also have the opportunity to seek guidance from a volunteer, licensed physical therapist, who oversees the daily operations.  Ace CARE provides a unique opportunity for DPT students to expand their cultural awareness and professional skills while providing critical healthcare services to a vulnerable population.  Ace CARE also helps to further develop interpersonal relationships between students and local physical therapy providers. 
Ace CARE is currently operating out of Wallace Graves Hall, room 104 from 3:30-5:30 on Tuesday afternoons. Students are able to accommodate four patients during this time.  Each patient undergoes an initial evaluation and is then scheduled for follow-up appointments as necessary.  After each visit, patients are provided with a new home exercise program to further enhance their progress.
The need for physical therapy services is extremely evident, as Ace CARE has a waiting list of eighteen patients.  In the future, Ace CARE hopes to expand its services to two days a week in an attempt to accommodate a higher volume of patients.  With the help of faculty, students, local physical therapists, and ECHO Community Health Care, Ace CARE aims to provide quality pro bono physical therapy services to as many patients as possible within the Tri-state area.

UE to Host Manual Physical Therapy Residency Program

Posted: April 25, 2013

In partnership with the Ola Grimsby Institute, the University of Evansville is proud to announce that it will host an orthopedic manual physical therapy residency program, beginning this fall.

The 15-month program, credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association, is geared toward licensed physical therapists who work in outpatient facilities. Participants will meet one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) per month for classroom instruction and lab experiences.

“We’re very excited to offer this opportunity for physical therapists in our area to expand their skills and integrate orthopedic manual physical therapy into their clinical practice,” said Shala Cunningham, assistant professor of physical therapy at UE, coordinator of the residency program, and an instructor with the Ola Grimsby Institute. “This program is based on current research, thorough clinical education, and extensive teaching experience, all in light of current healthcare reforms and evidence-based procedures.”

Enrollment opens in May, and applications are due August 1; classes begin in September. To obtain an application, e-mail

For questions about the residency at the University of Evansville, please contact Shala Cunningham at

The Ola Grimsby Institute, based in Taylorsville, Utah, is a world-class consortium of physical therapists and physicians providing continuing education, certification programs, and doctoral degrees to physical therapists, manual therapists, and practitioners in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

UE's Phil Plisky Featured in National Healthcare Magazine

Posted: March 22, 2013

Phil Plisky, assistant professor of physical therapy, is featured in the March 2013 issue of NEWS-Line, a publication that reaches thousands of healthcare professionals and students nationwide.

In the magazine's interview, published in a question-and-answer format, Plisky discusses his research on injury prevention, the University of Evansville's Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and current topics of importance in the field of physical therapy. Read the full interview online here.

NEWS-Line publishes print and online news magazines, as well as weekly e-mail newsletters, providing news, information and career opportunities for health care professionals in an easy-to-read, non-clinical format. The company reaches thousands of licensed professionals and students at their homes, schools, or healthcare facilities around the country.