Friday, June 29, 2012

Looking for a Good Summer Book?

Looking for a good book for this summer? Here is a compilation of some books that the Program in Physical Therapy faculty and staff have been opening so far this summer:

Kim Levenhagen:

The Hunger Games  - a trilogy
 Fun read and does not require a lot of thought process.  Plus my kids and their friends were reading them so we had an impromptu book club by the pool.

Mary Ann Bindbeutel:

Defending Jacob William Landay
Interesting portrait of a family in crisis when the fourteen year old son is accused of murder.   Slow starter but once I got into it I enjoyed it.

The story  of Louie Zamperini - a track and field star of the 1930's, who participated in the Berlin Olympics, was shot down over the ocean in WWII,  adrift in the Pacific for over a month,  captured by the Japanese, held as a POW, finally makes it back to face even more obstacles.  Great story, I was blown away by what this man endured and overcame.

Jessica Moscato:

Business Analytics
I'm sure this will not be popular and I do not enjoy it one bit.  

Kate Lochhead:

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Won the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, which isn’t something I would normally pick up. Sometimes hard to get through, but extremely thought provoking. Makes you examine the ordinary and see it for how extraordinary it is.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Physical Therapy Photography Contest

A picture is worth a million words...or $500!

Interested in both physical therapy and photography? Maybe you should check out the APTA's photo contest! The winner takes home $500.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Carol Beckel’s Cycling for Change Journey

Read current assistant professor and director of clinical education, Carol Beckel’s reflection from her Cycling for Change 2012 journey.

This year the participants of Cycling for Change rode 7 days (from June 3rd to June 9th), leaving from Kansas City and moving through Butler, Nevada and into Joplin. This year C4C was made up of 13 cyclists, 6 support members, and 130 volunteers bused in from Kansas City to work on 5 different projects initiated by Catholic Charities in Southern Missouri. While in Southern Missouri on Wednesday the groups volunteered in various ways. Carol’s group organized and unpacked donations at the Catholic Charities warehouse. Other volunteers worked on cleanup projects, prepared space for a retaining wall, watered the 161 trees in Centennial Park that commemorate those Joplin residents killed in the tornado, and caulked windows in renovated homes. The ride picked up again on Thursday, moving through Stockton, Holden, and then returning to Kansas City on June 9th.  Carol completed the journey with an impressive 440 miles in total. She also completed a “century” – 100 miles in one day on June 8th.

What IS Cycling for Change

What is Cycling for Change? I’m often asked this question by those who are new to C4C. I also hear this question raised by the cyclist and volunteers involved with C4C rides. I don’t know that I had a really good answer to this question before participating as a cyclist, but I think I finally know myself.

The “fast” answer is that C4C is an event developed through Catholic Charities of Kansas City – St. Joseph to engage people in discussions about poverty in America and what each of us can do to help our neighbors. It strives to support the work of Catholic Charities to help those living below the poverty line. I thought I knew what poverty looked like prior to the ride, but I was not fully informed.

Living in an urban area, I thought that was where poverty lived, but now I know that poverty lives in all corners of my state. I learned about poverty in rural Missouri by visiting 5 different cities I've never been to even though I am a “lifer” in this state. Poverty takes many different shapes and it lives in every corner of this country. Poverty can be a long-term situation or it can enter your life quickly, as quickly a tornado strips you of all you own.


After multiple visits to a developing country, I thought I knew what poverty looked like in other countries. As I pedaled down roads now bypassed by faster highways, I witnessed housing similar to those in developing countries. I saw the faces of families on the very edge doing all they can to survive each day. The face of poverty is not that different regardless of nationality or language.

I thought I knew what it took to be Catholic in a city full of multiple parishes and amidst various controversies. I found that to be truly Catholic means welcoming strangers into your community with food and shelter even when you are a very small group yourself. I witnessed 5 small communities of Catholics who held tightly to their faith with both hands while extending those same hands to those in need - even when that might be a group of hungry bicyclists.

Cycling resides in both isolation and community. You ride on for miles along back roads and never see anyone. No safety net. No immediate help. Alone. But then on the horizon you see your team mates, a car with water and food, or even just a small town at the side of the road. Respite. It is not lost on me how fortunate I was to know my next helping hand was a short 10 miles down the road. If only this was true for the more than 40 million Americans living below the poverty line. The stretch between helping hands can be so much longer than just a few miles.

So, what is Cycling for Change? “Cycling” is just the mode of transportation. "For" reflects the inclusivity of both the team members and all those in the communities we visited. But, "Change" is the key. I am changed because of what I saw, the stories I heard, and the time I had on my bike to contemplate, reflect and pray. My participation in Cycling for Change changed me. Now I go forward to share how I was changed and to encourage those around me work toward the changes necessary to significantly reduce poverty in America. Our neighbors are counting on us.

For more information on this event, go to “”.

Submitted by Carol Beckel
The Joplin warehouse team from day 4

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yesterday was the first day of summer – we hope you are enjoying yours!


Congratulations to those in the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy community who have recently been certified as clinical specialists or have been re-certified!

A warm congratulations to alumni Anny (Lucier) Bierman for her Sports Clinical Specialization, to alumni Katy (Born) Fronczak for her Pediatric Clinical Specialization, to alumni and lab assistant Janelle Burge for her Neurological Clinical Specialization, to current associate professor Elaine Wilder for her certification as a Neuro-Developmental Treatment Specialist in Pediatrics and Adult Hemiplegia, to current assistant professor Chris Sebelski for her re-certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, and to current assistant professor Ann Hayes for her re-certification as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


If you haven’t seen the previous posts, we have been featuring the study abroad experiences of PT students to answer some common questions. Many people want to know if it’s possible to study abroad in the Program in Physical Therapy at Saint Louis University (yes), where you could go (almost anywhere! Saint Louis University has loads of sites to choose from), if you will be able to experience a lot of the culture (yes again), etc. Read Michael’s question & answer article to find out what it would be like to be a PT student in Rome.

Why did you choose the study abroad site that you did?
I chose to study in Rome, Italy at the John Felice Rome Center because of the fact that it was ROME.  I could not think of a better city or any other city in Europe that has more history and culture then Rome does. There is always something to do in Rome for any type of person such as the Churches filled with thousands of years of history and art, museums, amazing food and wine, calico (soccer), fun nightlife, very old structures, and my personal favorite: Gelato.  Another reason why I was interested in Rome is because it is located in the heart of Italy where there are tons of other wonderful places to visit. 

Were you excited to study abroad? Nervous? Both?
Even though I was very excited study in a city like Rome, I was also nervous at first as well.  I did not know much Italian at all and I also did not have a ton of my friends coming with me either.  So with going to a foreign city, not knowing the language and leaving my close friends back at SLU I was a little nervous.  However, none of this stopped me from having the best semester of my life. 

How did you relate to the culture at your site? What was your experience with the natives?
I found out quickly that just because I couldn’t speak Italian didn’t mean that I could not communicate with Italians.  Many Italians speak English and for those that do not you learn how to talk with your hands.  One thing that I discovered about the Italian culture is that they love to talk with their hands.  Now, I had heard about this before going over to Rome, but I did not realize how much it can be used to help you communicate - or how distracting it could be at times.  Italians are very emotional people and they express all their emotions 24/7, which was something that I had to adjust to at first but learned to appreciate.

Can you describe any monuments, buildings, museums, etc. particular to your study abroad site that had a large impact on you?
If you didn’t know already, Rome has a lot of sites to see that are all very impressive.  However, my favorite site in Rome is not as well known as the Coliseum or Pantheon.  The coolest thing I was able to do in Rome was go on the Scavi tour.  The Scavi is the catacombs (network of graves) that St. Peter’s Basilica is built on.  In Rome there are tons of ancient catacombs underground containing art and structures that are thousands of years old.  What makes the Scavi so unique was that it is where St. Peter was buried and I was actually able to see what historians believe to be his bones.  On top of that I was able to see some of the first Christian art in this underground world below St. Peter’s Basilica. 

What were your experiences with food like? Did you find something that you could never get used to? Did you find something that you loved?
Rome has a lot of sites that make it a great city to study in, but the thing that makes it even better is the food, particularly gelato.  Gelato is an Italian version of ice cream that is unreal.  What makes this delicious creation so unreal is the amount of flavor it contains and how odd the flavors can be at times.  One time I had a Raspberry and Thyme flavor, which was very good even though it sounds weird.  The good gelato places always use the freshest ingredients, causing the flavors to always change and taste fantastic.  While in Rome I went by the philosophy of, “A Gelato a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.”  And it did. 

What was taking classes in a foreign place like?
Rome is a wonderful city (if I haven’t made that clear yet), but what made my study abroad experience in that wonderful city so special was the John Felice Rome Center.  That was my home as well as 120 other students’ home for the semester.  It is an awesome place that takes you on student trips all over Europe, provides you with information about what to do in Rome and offers one of a kind classes.  One of my favorite and most unique classes was titled Art in Rome.  This is an onsite class in which one morning every week our class of 20 people would go to a place in Rome and our teacher would teach us about it.  It was great to actually see the things I was learning about and get knowledge on places like the Coliseum, Roman Forum, and the Vatican from a professor who has been in Italy for 40 years.  It really allowed me to see more of the city that I might not have been able to see on my own. 

So if you are interested in studying abroad at a place that will let you truly experience the culture of one of the greatest cities in the world I would definitely recommend studying abroad in Rome for a semester.  It will be one of the best life experiences you will ever have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cervicogenic Dizziness: An Evidence-based Competency Course

Cervicogenic Dizziness: An Evidence-based Competency Course - September 14-16, 2012

A Continuing Education Course on Saint Louis University’s campus featuring speaker Rob Landel

There will be a continuing education course offered on site here at Saint Louis University on Cervicogenic Dizziness. The course includes presenter Rob Landel from the University of Southern California who is a nationally and internationally known speaker on the topic of Cervicogenic Dizziness.

This course is intended for physical therapists with experience managing patients with dizziness who wish to improve their skill in differential diagnosis, manual examination and treatment of those patients whose dizziness has a cervicogenic component. The emphasis of this course will be on evidence-based practice, acquiring examination and treatment skills in lab sessions, and testing for competency in these skills.
For costs and other information please visit:


For further questions contact Chris Sebelski at 314-977-8724.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Amy Bourne in Budapest


Read about Amy Bourne’s experience as a SLU PT student studying abroad in Budapest to get an idea of what this unique study abroad opportunity is like. Discover interesting cultural norms, learn about the gorgeous monuments of Budapest, and become acquainted with kurtoskalacs.

I chose to go to Budapest because it was different from where everyone else from SLU was going and I wanted a unique experience. It was nice because I was still able to visit friends studying abroad in other countries. I was nervous about going because I didn't know how to speak Hungarian, nor did I know anyone else going to Budapest, but the program was fantastic and I had a Hungarian student as a mentor. I still keep in touch with her. The people there were very nice and helpful. It was different though because it isn't rude to stare, so at first it was weird to me that people just kept looking at me on the subway! Classes were interesting, and there were cool ones to choose from. I took a class about the history of Eastern Europe through film. 

There was a lot to see. Budapest Castle was beautiful (Katy Perry filmed her music video for Fireworks there). The Parliament building was also amazing.  Near where I lived were foreign embassies, an island in the middle of the Danube river that had a running path around it, Heroes Square (a park with monuments for Hungary’s passed Kings and rulers), a secret police jail that was turned into a Communism museum, and a Turkish bathhouse (which was fantastic, especially in the winter… huge outdoor hot tubs). We found a lot of really cool bars, clubs, and wineries as well. The food was good, too. They cook with a lot of paprika. This thing called kurtoskalacs was my favorite. It’s this kind of sweet bread rolled and baked over a fire at fairs and festivals and it’s covered in a glaze, cinnamon, sugar, or chocolate. 

I highly recommend the Budapest program for studying abroad. There are so many people there available to help you with anything. There are two study abroad programs using the school in Budapest, one is for Americans and the other is for Europeans students, but they mix quite a bit so you are able to meet people from so many other countries. It was really a unique experience. 

Win the PT Related Word of the Week!

It’s that time again. Time for you to win a car window cling on from the PT Related Word of the Week!

In case you didn’t see last Friday’s post, here’s how the PT Related Word of the Week goes: every Friday this summer we will post a PT Related Word on the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy Facebook page. The first person to respond back (on the Facebook page) with a correct definition of the word and an explanation for how the word relates to Physical Therapy will win. If the sheer joy of competition isn’t enough for you, keep in mind that today’s winner takes home (or is mailed, etc.) a Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy car window cling on!

But wait! There's more! This week you will also be the winner of a Walk MS T shirt (available in M, L, & XL)!
No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds. And so, the much anticipated PT Related Word of the Week is…patella.  

The word of the week will always be chosen by a Program in Physical Therapy faculty member. This week’s PT Related Word of the Week is brought to you by Joanne Wagner. To go to the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy Facebook page visit

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The opportunity to study abroad inside of a 6 year freshman entry DPT Program is certainly unique. Even more so is the opportunity to pick any site that Saint Louis University has to offer.

So where should you go if you were to study abroad as a PT student? We interviewed several PT students who have studied abroad to give you an idea of where you can go and to show that student’s experience. The first student to be interviewed was Mark Luegering, who studied in Australia.

Why did you choose your site?
I chose Bond Uni (aka University, but everyone calls it Uni down there) in Australia because I was fortunate enough to travel abroad with some of my high school classmates 5 years prior.  Since I had the opportunity to experience the rich culture in Europe, I then decided that Australia could produce new challenges and experiences for me so I had to go there.  Also, lots of sun and beaches did not hurt the prospect of studying in Australia any.

What did you anticipate? Were you nervous? Excited?  I anticipated very little to be quite honest.  I did not have to worry about a language barrier and I also had 6-8 friends study with me so I knew I could count on them in tough situations.  I was nervous about juggling school and traveling/sightseeing.  I was excited about traveling and being in a completely opposite part of the globe.  I was also excited about experiencing the Australian culture and way of life.

What surprised you the most about your experience? What about the other culture surprised or shocked you?  What surprised me most was how large the country/continent really is.  I booked a 3 month train ticket for unlimited travel along the eastern coast (all the major cities), but was not very happy when my first trip was 12 hours (Sydney to Melbourne).  Seeing as the trip from Bond Uni (where you study) to Sydney was 12 hours, Sydney to Melbourne was 12 hours I made a 24 hour trip 3 times, a 12 hour trip 6 times, and multiple short hour trips up to Brisbane over the course of my stay.  Completely worth it in the end, but the lack of sleep was a bit of a surprise and damper initially.

What did you see (monuments, historical sites, palaces, etc.) that impressed you the most?  Great Barrier Reef (Cairns), Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge (climbed it), Rod Laver Arena (Melbourne), lots of kangaroos and wallabies (Kangaroo Island).  It was lots of fun, but not nearly as full of a rich culture and rich history as most of Europe is so it depends on your reason for choosing the experience.

Can you describe some of the food that you loved best? Any food experiences that didn’t go as planned/well? Kangaroo, crocodile, and eel were the most exotic things I ate (all pretty good - kangaroo was the best, tasted like venison).  French fries were the best I have ever had, seriously, no joke. I fell in love with Thai food in Australia.  The seafood was really good - the best was by the beach at small dive shops, maybe because we were super hungry though.  All Asian cuisine was fantastic (Australia had lots of Asian immigrants in the 1900’s).

Did you make friends with some of the people native to that site? What was that experience like? Did they make you notice things about your own culture that surprised you?  Bond Uni has a very diverse campus with about 50% enrollment being exchange students.  No lifelong friends were made, but I did meet and hang out with lots of Australians and Europeans and really enjoyed the experience.  I can’t remember too many specifics from our interactions.

How were your classes? Did you have the opportunity to take a class that fit into the culture of that site (such as art history of Spain, etc.)?  I loved my classes.  Australian history was a little boring because they really don’t have much of one since they have only been a nation since 1901 I believe.  I took a photography class for my fine arts credit – it was probably the best choice I made while I was there. I got amazing pictures everywhere including the Great Barrier Reef (I’ll attach one so you all can see). 

Would you recommend that other PT students study abroad? Would you recommend your site to them?  Definitely study abroad as a PT student.  The curriculum is very tough, so taking that semester off and enjoying yourself is a great treat.  I have some good friends in PT school that stayed that also loved it though, were able to get more involved on campus and such.  It comes down to personal preference, but I definitely recommend it to all students.  Bond Uni was a lot of fun so I totally recommend it to anyone.
  -Mark Luegering


Monday, June 11, 2012

Mark Reinking and Irma Ruebling at the APTA Annual Conference and Exposition - Mark Reinking Recieves the Dorothy E. Baethke - Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching

Mark Reinking, current Chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, and Irma Ruebling, Chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training from 1977 to 2006, at the APTA Annual Conference and Exposition, June 7th 2012 in Tampa, Florida. At this event Mark Reinking was the recipient of the APTA Dorothy E. Baethke – Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching.

Friday, June 8, 2012

PT Students Tweeting in Class...

Yes, they were encouraged to Tweet! See photos below of PT students using Twitter in class with Chris Sebelski and Barb Yemm to instantaneously give feedback to fellow classmates. Twitter also provides the opportunity to have such feedback documented.

PT Related Word of the Week Competition!

Make sure to visit the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy Facebook Page to participate in our summer 2012 PT Related Word of the Week competition!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Heart

Ever wondered why the symbol of the heart ♥ looks nothing like a real human heart? Students in Gross Anatomy this summer were wondering too. One theory is that the symbol originated from the silhouette of two swans.