For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

UND Doctor of Physical Therapy Class of 2025 begins clinical studies

Earlier this summer, 50 physical therapy students, members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Class of 2025, began the clinical studies portion of their journey to become doctors of physical therapy through the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). The students, 31 women, and 19 men, hail predominantly from North Dakota and Minnesota, and most completed their pre-PT coursework at UND.

The students received their professional white coats at the Department of Physical Therapy’s Entrance Into Professional Service Ceremony on Thursday, June 1, at the UND Memorial Union. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Dr. Renee Mabey, P.T., Ph.D., a longtime faculty at the SMHS who received her physical therapy degree from UND in 1975.

“We’re excited for this group of students,” said Cindy Flom-Meland, P.T., M.P.T., Ph.D., professor and chair of the SMHS Department of Physical Therapy. “They’re embarking on their journey into the PT profession during a time of notable transformation, and in numerous aspects they exemplify the growing diversity and interprofessional essence of our field. This ceremony underscored the significance of professionalism in clinical practice and within the physical therapy profession. It was a wonderful celebration of student accomplishments to date.”

After completing their first year of the professional component of the physical therapy curriculum, the students are required to pass an intense, comprehensive examination of their knowledge before they begin their clinical studies. The first three years of the curriculum are considered pre-physical therapy (pre-professional) work. The professional component of the DPT degree requires three academic years and two summer sessions following completion of this 90-credit pre-physical therapy program.

The clinical experiences that students are entering 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, N.D., area that UND calls home. 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.

“Students are making the transition from being a student to being a health care professional,” added Dave Relling. P.T., Ph.D., associate dean for health sciences at the SMHS. “With that transition comes a great deal of responsibility and accountability to these new professionals and to their patients. For many students, this will be the first life experience they will have had that requires such a high level of professionalism and responsibility. We have trained them well, they have worked hard, and we anticipate they will do a great job working within a comprehensive, interprofessional health-care team.”

The DPT students and their hometowns are the following:

  • Victor Dean Anselmo, Warroad, Minn.
  • Isaac Sheldon Balmer, Mora, Minn.
  • Benjamin Berdal, Fargo, N.D.
  • Sydney Marie Brininger, Detroit Lakes, Minn.
  • Minda M. Caillier, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Victor Carcoana, Fargo, N.D.
  • Austin Wesley Clemetson, Casper, Wyo.
  • Amber L. Darge, Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Ashley Davis, Eagle Butte, S.D.
  • Anna Catherine DeBilzan, Lino Lakes, Minn.
  • Jocelyn Machelle DeChene, Big Lake, Minn.
  • Emily Elias, Maple Grove, Minn.
  • Grace Ann Faiman, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Carly Rose Fornshell, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Emily Christine Frigaard, Dalton, Minn.
  • Caleb T. Fritel, Argusville, N.D.
  • Hannah Beth Haley, New Rockford, N.D.
  • Harmony C. Hennings, Jamestown, N.D.
  • Elizabeth E. Hodgson, Chinook, Mont.
  • Cade David Johnson, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Page A. Johnson, West Fargo, N.D.
  • Taylor Ann Johnson, Valley City, N.D.
  • Katelyn R. Kedrowski, Bowlus, Minn.
  • Cullen Krueger, Sauk Rapids, Minn.
  • Maria Jean Leonard, Rolette, N.D.
  • Erin Marie Leverington, Roseau, Minn.
  • Joshua Martinson, Milnor, N.D.
  • Jesse Roger Middendorf, Sauk Centre, Minn.
  • Reid Milner, Duluth, Minn.
  • Brock Michael Montgomery, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Olivia Sarah Motter, Cold Spring, Minn.
  • Derek Thomas Newberger, Fargo, N.D.
  • Alexis Margaret Nice, Ardoch, N.D.
  • Karli Jean Nielsen, Jordan, Minn.
  • Abigail Donna Nyquist, Isanti, Minn.
  • Ethan Ross Rekedal, Willmar, Minn.
  • Jordan Matthew Sailer, Minot, N.D.
  • Kylie Ann Sickels, North Pole, Alaska
  • Gracie Marie Slagter, Clara City, Minn.
  • Emily Ann Stenhjem, Fargo, N.D.
  • Katrina Raeann Sudia, Roseville, Calif.
  • Molly Marie Sundbom, Fargo, N.D.
  • Kenneth Jeffrey Sweetland, Moorhead, Minn.
  • Caleb Jerome Swenby, Fertile, Minn.
  • Austin Leo Urlaub, Devils Lake, N.D.
  • Anna Mae Walz, Rice, Minn.
  • Karlie Ann Wardner, Grafton, N.D.
  • Erin Whipple, Coppell, Texas
  • Mandy Marie Williamson, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Darrel Isaiah Wilson, Austell, Ga.