Friday, December 9, 2016

SLU DPT Student Grows Entrepreneurship Skills with Multiple Contests

Pitch Competitions Lead to Challenges and Growth
By: Dharti Shah (SLU DPT Class of 2017)

I entered a contest called SLU Pure Idea Generator back in September. This is hosted through the Center for Entrepreneurship. To enter, competitors had to tweet a solution to this scenario: "Pokemon Go combined augmented reality & geolocation to create the hottest game of the summer. Combining 2 technologies, what would you create to make the next big thing?"

The contest received over 150 submissions. And from those submissions, 24 participants were selected to compete. I was actually chosen as an alternate initially! When another participant dropped out of the competition, I was asked to be a finalist! The competition drew competitors from all around the Midwest, including schools such as: Iowa State University, Milliken University, and Purdue University.
Rooftop of the City Museum
On October 2nd, 2016, the 24 competitors gathered at City Museum’s rooftop. Our challenge was to come up with a solution to a prompt while taking a 20-minute ride on Big Eli, a 30 ft tall ferris wheel on top of the building. At the end of the 20 minutes, competitors would pitch their solution in one minute to a panel of judges. The competitors were allowed to bring a “brainstorm buddy” with them to bounce ideas with. I actually didn’t end up having a brainstorm buddy, I felt like given the time constraints, it might be difficult to come up with an idea that was mutually agreed upon. Dr. Mike Markee from the Athletic Training Program showed his support at the competition and came to cheer me on! It was through Dr. Markee’s class that I was told about the contest to begin with.

The prompt we were given as we walked onto the Ferris Wheel asked us to come up with an incentive program to attract and retain more students in the St. Louis area. The solution I came up with was a program called Mission STL: Sustainability. Training. Leadership. This program would allow students to be matched with the city’s best educators, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, and lawyers—any area of interest that the student wanted! They would complete a one-year intensive program for intensive skills and leadership training specific to that field of interest under the mentorship of their advisor. By generating exposure to their fields and becoming more integrated in those professional networks, students could create leadership opportunities to further their growth. As students graduate the program, it would be required that they commit to being a mentor in St. Louis for one year to future students. This pay it forward philosophy best sums up it’s potential to be a sustainable program and give students opportunities of a lifetime. Pictured below is me brainstorming while on the Ferris Wheel—it went so fast!
Dharti Shah
To my utter shock, I was announced as the first place winner of this competition! I was awarded $500 and an all-expense paid trip to the National Conference for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO) in Tampa, Florida at the end of October! I was so humbled and honored to be given that opportunity. I looked into the conference and discovered that they were hosting an Elevator Pitch competition, so I thought, “Why not?”, and entered! 

There were over 250 proposals received for the CEO Elevator Pitch contest. I was among 61 students chosen to compete! I created a hypothetical product called EchoMicro, which was an audio amplification product. I came to find out that many of my competitors had real businesses that were generating revenue or ideas that were in very late stages of development, it was so intimidating! The contest was split into 6 heats, there were 3 heats for a track that was for ideas and non-revenue generating businesses, and 3 heats for established products/businesses that were generating revenue. I was in the first track. There were 12 other participants in my heat. Two of those 10 competitors would move onto the next round, semifinals! To my surprise, I was chosen from that group to move on! It was really encouraging to have so much feedback and the support of the SLU students that were there attending the conference. 

The semifinals comprised of 12 individuals, 6 from each of the aforementioned tracks. While I did not move onto the final round, it was so incredible to be among this group and at this level of the competition. I learned a lot from the conference itself, and it was a great networking opportunity to meet students from other universities and entrepreneurs that have found huge success. I was connected with a lot of people who could have a huge impact on my life and be great resources down the road!

In early November, I heard about SLU’s 5th Annual Real Elevator Pitch Competition. I decided to put myself out there and just go for it again! They were accepting 30 second videos that pitched products/companies that were in one of two tracks: Nonprofit/Social Impact and For Profit. I entered submissions for both tracks—my for profit idea was the same product, EchoMicro, that I pitched at the conference in Tampa and my nonprofit/social impact idea was for a hypothetical health and wellness app called All is WELLness. I found out that All is WELLness was accepted, and once again opportunity knocked!
5th Annual Real Elevator Pitch Competition
On December 4th, 2016, 24 competitors came to the Metropolitan building in downtown St. Louis in which we would pitch our idea 12 separate times in real elevators. There were 3 banks of elevators, all of which operated at different speeds. The total length for the rides was about 40-45 seconds, this was consistent for all the banks of elevators. 

How the competition was set up was that there was were about 30 judges total they would be split into the 12 elevators. Each judge was given 8 business cards total. They were instructed that they could offer 6 business cards to any of the competitors immediately after hearing their pitch. The last 2 business cards could be handed out at the end of the round after they had the opportunity to listen to all 12 pitches in that track. There were no stipulations on how many cards the judges could hand out per competitor. The top three competitors in each track with the most business cards would then do one final pitch to two VIP judges in a Tesla ride around the block.

The competitors were split into their different tracks, and began this fast paced process! The 12 competitors in my track each took 12 elevator rides and did 12 pitches in the matter of 15 minutes. In each elevator were 1-2 judges who were deciding if our pitches would “WOW” them in a real life setting. This was a tough process, it went so fast! If you had any mis-steps with your pitch, you couldn’t dwell on it, because immediately when the elevator doors opened you had to step into the next elevator and start fresh to a new set of judges. I happened to be put in the bank of elevators that went the fastest in my first round, my ears popped on every ride and I couldn’t even hear what I was saying! The final two banks were must easier after that. 

After the 12 pitches in the elevators and after the judges had the opportunity to hand out their final two cards, we gave over the business cards we collected for them to be counted. If I had to throw out a number, I think I collected about 17 business cards total. 
Left to right: Dharti Shah, Erin Dabbs, & Caleigh Bemont
They announced the top 3 in alphabetical order, and again to my disbelief, I was in that top 3! I was joined by Caleigh Bemont from the University of Iowa (right) and Erin Dabbs (center) from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. We each took our Tesla rides individually and gave our pitches one last time. The VIP judges had a combined net worth of 1.4 billion dollars. This ride around the block was a little longer, so the judges had the opportunity to ask us questions for clarification. After listening to all three pitches, they determined the ranking for the prizes. This happened for the top 3 competitors in both tracks.

I ended up taking 2nd place in the Nonprofit/Social Impact track! I was awarded $1,500! What I was even more excited to see was that 5 of the 6 winners (top 3 from each track) were women! 

All in all, this semester has been one of challenges and growth, but I’m happy that I found the courage to put myself out there! These opportunities have opened a lot of doors and have really helped me develop professionally in so many ways. I viewed these opportunities as a way from me to work on my communication skills and presence while speaking to others. The thing that I will take away from these contests was the opportunity to learn and have fun—and that to me is more valuable than any money!

You can learn more about these events on the website for the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Friday, November 18, 2016

SLU DPT PYIII Students Kid Around During Pediatric Seminar

Pediatric Seminar - Annual Baby Lab
Primary Instructor: Mary Jo Davenport, PhD, PT

Students enjoyed the opportunity to examine many different questions about how infants and young children of various ages develop, learn, and master gross and fine motor skills.  As each child engaged in various play and movement activities the students analyzed, compared, and discussed how children move at various ages.  This was a also great opportunity for students to compare social, and language skills among infants and toddlers of various ages. This lab was made possible with the help of faculty and staff who generously volunteered their adorable children for participation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Turkey Bowl 2016

Congratulations to the PY 3's for winning Turkey Bowl 2016!  

Thank you to Dalton, Mike, Emma and Jen for planning the event.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall 2016 Interprofessional Geriatric Case Competition

Congratulations to Andi Bixby, Geriatric Seminar student (SLU DPT Class of 2017), for winning 2nd place with their team at the Geriatric Case Competition!

Dr. Hawthorne was a coach and Dr. Jill Fitzgerald was one of twelve judges for this event.

Of the eight Geriatric Seminar students participating in the twelve team event, four of them won awards. Andi Bixby, Katie Chitkowski, Kristen Parek, Michele Waggoner, Annie Fordonski, Elise Rohan, Laken Raithel, & Veronica Gall were the PYIII Geriatric Seminar students at the event.

Presentations were held on Thursday October 27, 2016; 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm in the Learning Resource Center. The award ceremony was held on Thursday, November 3, 2016; 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm in the Allied Health Multi-Purpose Room.

Each of the students had to:
  • Collaborate with a team of 4-5 health professions students and a faculty mentor on a geriatric-based case focused on creation of a discharge care plan for an older patient with multiple, chronic health challenges
  • Create innovative 20-minute electronic case presentation
  • Compete against other teams for the opportunity to win cash prizes
​SLU PT Faculty Members Kelly Hawthorne PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA and Jill Fitzgerald PT, DPT, GCS, CSCS, CEEAA are both part of this HRSA grant.

For more information and a look at the winning case presentations, visit the Case Competition webpage.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP28716 Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program for $843,079.  This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SLU PT Faculty Member Shares Personal Stories About Confidence

SLU PT Faculty Member Dr. Lisa Dorsey was the keynote speaker for the Lean In St. Louis Event. 
Excerpt from the Saint Louis University's Women's Commission Newsletter

Women's Commission partnered with Lean In St. Louis to host a "Confidence in Motion" event and kick off a new year-long series of meetings in which women of the St. Louis community can explore together ways to have confidence in personal and professional settings.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Lisa Dorsey, who shared a personal narrative about developing confidence, surrounding herself with a team of supporters, and the role of mentorship in her life.
To find out more information on the Lean In STL chapter or how to get involved, please visit

Dr. Dorsey earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy and a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Louis University, a PhD in Educational Policy and Administration in Higher Education from the University of Minnesota and a Women and Power: Leadership in the New World Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.  During her tenure at Saint Louis University she has served as the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, Associate Vice President of Undergraduate Education, the Dean for the Doisy College of Health Sciences, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Associate Dean for Graduate Education for the Doisy College of Health Sciences, and Director of the Program in Health Sciences.
She has completed a number of research and scholarship projects exploring physical therapy intervention for neurological impairment, higher education organizational structure and student persistence, and student success models in physical therapy education. She is engaged in the profession of physical therapy at the national level as the Chair for the ACAPT Task Force on Graduate Outcomes, in higher education as an accreditation reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and serves her local community as the Secretary for the Board of Education in the Mehlville School District.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

SLU PT Faculty Members Have Memorable Weekend at the 2016 Education Leadership Conference

Dr. Tricia Austin, Dr. Carol Beckel, Dr. Chris Sebelski, and Dr. Jenny Heckert attended the Education Leadership Conference 2016 October 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ. This conference is sponsored by the APTA Education Section and the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT). The conference is geared for the development of academic and clinical faculty toward the advancement of physical therapy education.

Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS during her Response to Keynote Address: Ignite Session #1: Faculty Perspective Speaker.
Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS presenting a Platform Session on research completed with Dr. Kim Levenhagen, PT, DPT, WCC on "Fostering Excellence in Interprofessional Communication and Clinical Reasoning Utilizing High Fidelity Human Simulation."
"Fostering Excellence in Interprofessional Communication and Clinical Reasoning Utilizing High Fidelity Human Simulation." - a Platform Session on research completed by Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS, CSCS with Dr. Kim Levenhagen, PT, DPT, WCC.
Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PHD, OCS, CSCS presenting her Poster on "Perceptions of Leader Self-Efficacy of Physical Therapists from Academic and Clinical Education".

Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PHD, OCS, CSCS presenting her Poster on "Perceptions of Leader Self-Efficacy of Physical Therapists from Academic and Clinical Education". 
Dr. Chris Sebelski, PT, DPT, PHD, OCS, CSCS presenting her Poster on "Influencing Student Self-Efficacy in Communication and Clinical Reasoning through a High Fidelity Human Simulation Experience for a Complex Acute Care Environment."
Dr. Carol Beckel, PT, PhD participated in the annual Oxford Debate titled: Pre-Student Volunteer Hours: To Be or Not To Be; That is the Question. This is a satirical avenue for the discussion of a contemporary topic challenging physical therapy education programs. During the debate, Dr. Beckel played the role of "Marty McFly" from Back to the Future as her team defended the elimination of pre-admission volunteer hours. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

SLU DPT Students Horse Around During Pediatric Seminar

SLU DPT Student Field Experience Spotlight - TREE House of Greater St. Louis

by Catherine Zaegel, DPT Class of 2017

The Pediatric Seminar class in the Physical Therapy program had the opportunity to meet and learn more about “TREE House of Greater St. Louis.” This company provides equine assisted therapy, or Hippotherapy, and have a staff that includes PT, OT, and speech. 

It was really interesting to learn about the entire process of their operation including the analysis necessary to even match the right horse to the patient. Not only do these therapists need to do movement and postural analysis on the patient, but they also must watch the horses posture to watch for fatigue, stride length, etc. 

The company runs camps and is always looking for more volunteers to help with these therapy sessions. At the end of the tour and presentation we got the chance to ride the horse and practice the contact guard positions around the horse to protect the patient. We loved meeting the company and working with the horses “Java” and “Bug”! 

Students in the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy participate in offsite experiences to enhance their knowledge and skills in various specialty PT practice areas.  This blog post details a student's reflection on their experience.

Scottsdale Clinics Provide Therapy from Multiple Disciplines

Scottsdale - Day 3 of Clinical Site Visits in the Southwest
by Carol Beckel, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education

I drove from Holbrook down to two clinical sites in Scottsdale, AZ. The drive was amazing as it wound through several National Parks in Arizona. 
Physiotherapy Associates (soon to change the name to Select Physical Therapy) provides excellent orthopedic care for a wide range of patients but primarily focuses on sport-specific injuries/return to game rehab. 
HealthSouth Rehabilitation - Scottsdale is a free-standing inpatient facility for patients requiring intensive rehabilitation from multiple disciplines for a variety of condition. The facility also provided outpatient services for both patients d/c from the site and others from the community. This particular site offers an aquatic therapy pool available for all patients treated at the site.
Carol Beckel, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education for the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy is documenting her site visits on the way to the 2016 Education Leadership Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona from October 7-9. This is part 3 of a series of blog posts from Dr. Beckel. Read part 1 here

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Navajo Nation Offers Ideal Clinical Sites for DPT Students

Navajo Nation Clinical Sites Offer Excellent Opportunities
by Carol Beckel, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education

Today I traveled from Albuquerque, NM to Holbrook AZ by way of two visits to facilities in the Navajo Nation.
Northern Navajo Medical Clinic provides both acute and outpatient services in Shiprock, NM.
The Four Corners Medical Clinic in Red Mesa, AZ provides outpatient services.
Students are encouraged to consider these sites by opportunities to work with excellent clinicians as well and providing free-housing for students.
Along the way I visited the Four Corners Monument (possibly the first DCE to be in 4 states at once!). I ended my day by briefly visiting the Painted Desert in the Petrified Forest National Park.

Tomorrow I head to Phoenix for the final 3 site visits!

Carol Beckel, PT, PhD, Director of Clinical Education for the Saint Louis University Program in Physical Therapy is documenting her site visits on the way to the 2016 Education Leadership Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona from October 7-9. This is part 2 of a series of blog posts from Dr. Beckel. Read part 1 here