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ALUMNI ACHIEVERS Four alumni who live their lives with the common thread of service — to their patients, their communities and their industries.

Upward Mobility

The Adaptive Abilities Club helps people participate in the sports they love.

More Than Words

The Speech and Hearing Clinic goes beyond expectations when treating patients.

Finding Their Place

Clinical placements are a key component of the doctoral program in physical therapy.


DEAN’S MESSAGE

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2017 edition of Health Sciences magazine. It has been an extremely busy year, and as I write this we are dashing to the end of another successful semester. Demand for our programs has hit an all-time high. To cite but a few examples, this past cycle our physician assistant studies program received nearly 1,300 applications for its class of 55, we welcomed our largest freshman class to the college (345), and our biomedical sciences major is on pace to reach 800 students (nearly 10 percent of the undergraduate student body)! In the following pages you will find stories highlighting faculty and student milestones and accomplishments, as well as those of alumni, particularly some of our younger ones. Of particular note, Dr. John Mantsch, professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded the Way Klingler Fellowship in Science to advance his studies on the neurobiology of addiction. Dr. Jennifer Evans, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, recently received the Way Klingler Young Scholar Award for her research in developing novel genetic tools to study the brain’s network controlling circadian rhythms. Additionally, two physical therapy faculty members have been awarded prestigious Fulbright Fellowship Awards. Dr. Marie Hoeger Bement, associate professor, will travel to Denmark to advance her timely and important work on non-pharmacological management of chronic pain, and Karene Boos, adjunct assistant professor, will travel of Mwanza, Tanzania, to develop a physical therapy program at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences. Considering the four previous Fulbright awards to Professor Donald Neumann, and two Fulbrights to Professor Guy Simoneau, the current total of eight awards to active members of a physical therapy program must surely represent a national record! Finally, Dr. Khadijah Makky, clinical assistant professor of biomedical sciences, and Dr. Judy Maloney, clinical associate professor of biomedical sciences, along with three colleagues from across the campus, have been awarded the Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award. This highly collaborative and innovative project will develop an educational model for faculty to utilize for work involving multidisciplinary teams. On the fundraising and investment front, we were pleased to announce a $1.5 million gift from the estate of Marquette alumnus Capt. John Orlandini in support of physical therapy education. We were also pleased to announce a $1 million gift from Dennis and Barbara Klein to advance research and innovation in understanding the underlying biology of neuropsychiatric illness. The funds will support the work of the recently formed Kubly Mental Health Research Center, which has received additional support from the JustLive organization as well as from like-minded donors. Finally, Promentis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the university’s first pharmaceutical start-up company, received $26 million in investment to take an investigational new drug into phase one and two clinical trials. The company was founded by Dr. David Baker and Dr. John Mantsch, professors in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. I also hope you will enjoy reading several of the feature stories from across the college. From the outstanding work occurring in our Speech and Hearing Clinic, to the profiles of young alums clearly making and being the difference, to the critical importance that our community partners play in clinical education within our physical therapy program, there is much to be proud of. Let me also take the opportunity to thank you, our stakeholders and benefactors, for accompanying us as we strive to advance, and live, what we have termed “The Science That Heals.”

William E. Cullinan, Ph.D. Professor and Dean, College of Health Sciences

Marquette University College of Health Sciences 1515 W. Wisconsin Ave. P.O. Box 1881 Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881 414.288.5053 marquette.edu/health-sciences /MUHealthSciences /MarquetteCHS /MarquetteCHS

Dean of the College of Health Sciences William E. Cullinan, Ph.D. Departments: Biomedical Sciences Clinical Laboratory Science Physical Therapy Athletic Training Program Exercise Science Program Physician Assistant Studies Speech Pathology and Audiology

Marquette Health Sciences is published for alumni, colleagues and friends of the college. Feedback and story ideas are appreciated. Please send them to jesse.lee@marquette.edu. Editor: Jesse Lee Creative director: Sharon Grace Art director: Lonnie Turner Editorial team: Stephen Filmanowicz, Sarah Koziol, Jennifer Russell


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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

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2 Photo Essay

4 News

Alumni Achievers

These four alumni embody the spirit of service at Marquette and the dedication to the science that heals.

10 Student Showcase — Upward Mobility Physical therapy students founded the Adaptive

Abilities Club to help people continue to participate in the sports they love.

14 Cartoon Chemistry

 Dr. Paul Gasser uses cartoons to make biochemistry lessons fun and memorable.

18 More Than Words The Speech and Hearing Clinic goes beyond expectations when treating patients.

30 Fear Factors Dr. Marieke Gilmartin uses optogenetics to study learned behaviors in the brain’s fear center.

32  Finding Their Place  Clinical placements are a key component of

the doctoral program in physical therapy.

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NEWS

AWARDS

GIFTS

GRANTS

RESEARCH

GENEROUS GIFTS PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM RECEIVES $1.45 MILLION GIFT FROM THE JOHN ORLANDINI ESTATE Captain John A. Orlandini, Bus Ad ’60, an alumnus who suffered a life-changing injury during his time in the Navy, gave an estate gift of $1.45 million to the physical therapy program. Orlandini, who passed in June 2016, hoped his gift would help students who will provide hands-on care to patients in need, especially those with spinal cord injuries.

Photo by Jesse Lee

“John’s generous gift will allow us to give aid and support to doctoral students who traditionally would not receive aid for their studies,” says Dr. Lawrence Pan, chair of the physical therapy program. “He was a great friend to the college and the program for many years, and we’re happy to help continue his legacy of generosity.”

MARQUETTE ALUMNI DENNIS AND BARBARA KLEIN DONATE $1 MILLION TO COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES The College of Health Sciences received a $1 million gift from alumni couple Dennis, Bus Ad ’73, and Barbara, Bus Ad ’72, Klein. The gift will be used to establish the Dennis and Barbara Klein Neuroscience Research Innovation Fund. The fund will support neuroscientists in the College of Health Sciences to explore new areas of study and expand existing lines of research. “It’s important to us to support the ongoing research in this college at Marquette,” Dennis Klein says. “These researchers are at the leading edge of their field, and we want to help provide them with critical resources needed to advance this important work.” “Dennis and Barbara are great friends of the college and longstanding supporters of Marquette University,” says Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “This generous gift will accelerate the pace of work of our research teams as they strive to disclose underlying causes of mental illness and devise faster-acting and more effective strategies to treat them.”

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KUBLY CENTER GIFTS COLLEGE RECEIVES $90,000 IN DONATIONS TO CHARLES E. KUBLY MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER A group of donors recently gave $90,000 to the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center in the College of Health Sciences. JustLive, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing suicide prevention education, contributed $40,000, and two other donors each provided $25,000 in support of the center. The Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center was founded in 2015 with a $5 million gift from Dr. Michael and Mrs. Billie Kubly in honor of their son, Charles, who took his own life after a long battle against the disease of depression. Ultimately, the goal is to raise a total of $10 million to support the new center, which will provide for an endowed senior professorship, funding for additional faculty and funding for cutting-edge cellular and molecular research methodologies. To learn more about the center: go.mu.edu/Kubly-Center To learn about JustLive, Inc.: justliveinc.org

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“This unique compound is one of the first attempts to treat central nervous system disorders by targeting glutamate release by astrocytes,” Baker says. “This is groundbreaking because glutamate is one of the most powerful regulators of brain function, and astrocytes are the most abundant cell in the brain.”

PROMENTIS RAISES $26 MILLION

“By targeting glutamate release in this novel way, the approach may be effective against a wide range of CNS disorders,” Mantsch adds.

Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a Milwaukee company co-founded by Drs. David Baker and John Mantsch, professors in the Biomedical Sciences Department, raised $26 million, including $17.2 million in its third round of funding. The investment will finance the second phase of clinical trials of its most promising compound targeting neuropsychiatric disorders.

“This is an important example of the return on investment in government-funded research at the university level,” says Dr. William Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences and director of the Integrative Neuroscience Research Center. “Drs. Baker and Mantsch have been funded by the NIH for more than 15 years.”

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AWARDS JEN EVANS – YOUNG SCHOLAR AWARD Dr. Jennifer Evans, assistant professor of biomedical sciences and recipient of the 2017 Way Klingler Young Scholar award, believes that collaboration and teamwork are the keys to a strong research lab. Evans, who holds a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health R01 grant to study the effects of biological rhythms on human health, works closely with colleagues in her department, including former Young Scholar award winner and assistant professor Dr. Murray Blackmore, to develop new genetic tools to study neural circuits. “This is a new and exciting direction for us,” Evans says. “We’re creating tools to target individual cells so we can better understand the role each plays in the body’s ‘clock,’ which regulates all aspects of our biological processes.” With these new tools, Evans is able to label, manipulate or even eliminate these cells in order to see effects on behavior and communication.

“This is a critical time for my research program, and it’s nice that Marquette has a mechanism like this, through which we can continue to establish progress.”

Evans says the sabbatical that accompanies the Way Klingler Young Scholar award will allow her to spend more time in her research lab. “We currently have a post-doctoral fellow, two graduate students, a technician and 10 undergraduates working in the lab,” she says. “This award will allow me to focus my time and attention on them, which in turn helps to make them self-sufficient and increase our pace of discovery.” “This is a critical time for my research program, and it’s nice that Marquette has a mechanism like this, through which we can continue to establish progress,” Evans says. “It’s really an honor.”

DRS. MAKKY, MALONEY RECEIVE WAY KLINGLER TEACHING ENHANCEMENT AWARD The Way Klingler Teaching Enhancement Award honored Dr. Khadijah Makky, clinical assistant professor of biomedical sciences, and Dr. Judy Maloney, clinical associate professor of biomedical sciences. Makky and Maloney, along with Dr. Amber Young-Brice, clinical assistant professor of nursing; Kim Jensen-Bohat, director of service learning in the Center for Teaching and Learning; and Jamie Cheatham, assistant professor of theater arts and artistic director, have developed an innovative and collaborative proposal that provides a model for faculty-centered education that can be adapted by other departments. “Long term, this project will give the participants in the community of practice an opportunity to develop a network, as well as the opportunity to work collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team in their future academic endeavors. It will also have a great impact on Marquette’s student body, especially those in the professional schools,” Makky says.

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PHYSICAL THERAPY FACULTY RECEIVE FULBRIGHT AWARDS Karene Boos, PT ’95, an adjunct assistant professor in the Physical Therapy Department, was awarded a teaching/research grant to help build a bachelor of science program in physical therapy at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania. Read more about Boos and her work in Tanzania on page 26. “This marks four Fulbright award recipients in the Physical Therapy Department at Marquette (Bement, Boos, Dr. Guy Simoneau and Dr. Don Neumann),” says Dr. William Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences. “As far as I’m aware, our program is the only one in the country to have four active faculty who have received Fulbright awards.”

“This marks four Fulbright award recipients in the Physical Therapy Department at Marquette. ... Our program is the only one in the country to have four active faculty who have received Fulbright awards.” — Dr. William Cullinan, Dean

Dr. Marie Hoeger Bement, associate professor of physical therapy, was awarded the Denmark ICT Technology and Health Award, and will travel to Denmark in the fall to study non-pharmacological chronic pain management.

DR. JOHN MANTSCH RECEIVES WAY KLINGLER FELLOWSHIP Dr. John Mantsch calls drug addiction one of the biggest medical challenges facing society today. “We are in the midst of an addiction epidemic, but we are poorly equipped to respond,” the chair and professor of biomedical sciences says. “Effective approaches for the management of addiction are lacking in part due to our limited understanding of the underlying neurobiology.” Mantsch would know. The prolific researcher and winner of a 2017 Way Klingler Fellowship, studies neuropsychiatric disease with a focus on the neurobiological underpinnings of addiction and stress-related disorders. A co-founder of Promentis Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company that originated in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Mantsch has devoted his career to solving the countless complex puzzles that exist in the human brain. Aware that his pursuits are daunting, he remains optimistic. “With recent advances in biotechnology, we are closer than ever to having the tools needed to unlock the mysteries of the human brain,” Mantsch emphasizes.

Mantsch says he will use this fellowship to acquire and develop cutting-edge technology to isolate and manipulate discrete cell populations and pathways in the brain, and to apply this technology to the study of drug addiction. “I am truly grateful for the support provided by the Way Klingler family through this award,” he says. “I am confident that the funds will allow me and my research team to make meaningful progress in understanding and developing new treatments for addiction.”

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ALUMNI AWARDS PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – ANN FARESE There are two reasons why Ann Farese, Med Tech ’74, attended Marquette: a renowned Jesuit education and a strong program in Medical Technology (now Clinical Laboratory Science). She says both contributed to her success in her life and her work. Farese, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland, began her research career more than 20 years ago in the experimental hematology department at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. She has authored 36 peer-reviewed journal articles and six book chapters.

“Our professor said to us, ‘For some of you, this may be the first class of your college career. I would say good luck, but luck really has nothing to do with it,’” Farese says. “The Medical Technology program emphasized that, in addition to learning the course material, there was a requirement for dedication, integrity and professionalism since we are responsible for providing information that directly affects patient care,” she says. “These qualities have served me well throughout my professional career.” Farese recalls a lesson she learned in her first class at Marquette that helped to shape her college experience. “Our professor said to us, ‘For some of you, this may be the first class of your college career. I would say good luck, but luck really has nothing to do with it,’” she says. “Those few words made me realize that I was responsible for my success in this scholastic endeavor. I often repeat this story to new employees when they ask me what they should do to ‘get ahead.’”

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CHS SERVICE AWARD – JEAN T. BAUMGARDNER Jean T. Baumgardner, H Sci ’09, has a passion for service and social justice that she cultivated in her time as an undergraduate in the biomedical sciences program at Marquette.

“I love working with this patient population,” she says. “I’m constantly inspired by their stories and their resilience.”

“My experiences at Marquette instilled within me a sense of social justice, faith, service and compassion that framed the lens through which I view the world and the way I seek to live out a life of service,” Baumgardner says.

After graduating, Baumgardner spent a year volunteering with Passionist Volunteers International in Talanga, Honduras, where she and her colleagues started the Comedor Infantil Talanga, a meal program and community center for impoverished children.

In her work as a family nurse practitioner for International Community Health Services in Seattle, she serves an immigrant and refugee population from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the horn of Africa.

She also founded The Solidarity Project, a nonprofit foundation that supports Honduran leaders who create positive social change for their communities. “For me, success means living life in a meaningful, just and loving manner that centers on improving oneself and one’s community while caring for all people, especially those who live in great need,” she says.

YOUNG ALUMNA OF THE YEAR – DR. JOCILYN (DELLAVA) BERGIN Dr. Jocilyn (Dellava) Bergin, H Sci ’02, Grad ’04, says Marquette’s motto of cura personalis helped to instill values in her that make her a successful person, both in her work and her family life. The biomedical sciences alumna works as a statistician for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “I like that I’m using the skills and knowledge that I gained at Marquette to help first responders nationwide,” she says. “I can’t think of a better way than helping to ensure first responders have stellar communication that will not fail in the case of a national emergency.”

In addition to her work, Bergin enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two young children. “I spend a lot of time helping with their activities and at their school,” she says. “It’s a great way to spend extra time with them, and organizations always appreciate the extra help with the little ones.” Bergin looks back on her time at Marquette fondly, and attributes the education she received as a major source of her success. “Marquette was and continues to be such a huge part of my life,” she says. “I’m honored and grateful that Marquette University believes I’m worthy of such an honor. This award motivates me to strive toward further advancing this important work.”

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STUDENT SHOWCASE

Adaptive Abilities Club members Kelly Brush and Zach Hodgson helping Matthew Knowles rock climb.

Photo by Laura Merisalo


UPWARD MOBILITY By Laura Merisalo

Kelly Brush knows some of the most important learning in her doctoral physical therapy program takes place far beyond the classroom or late-night study sessions in the library. Brush, in her fifth year of the six-year program, is president of the Adaptive Abilities Club, which brings students together to help people with disabilities rock climb, water-ski, downhill ski, scuba dive, fish, cycle and play sports such as rugby, basketball and sled hockey. During the club’s first outdoor climb this year, people confined to wheelchairs scaled cliffs at Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis. On the weekend trip, Brush says Dr. Tina Stoeckmann, the club’s faculty adviser, told her, “I’m so happy you girls are out here for the weekend helping others and really learning about these people.” The origins of the club are organic. Stoeckmann, clinical associate professor of physical therapy, says some of her students learned of her volunteer work with adaptive abilities organizations a few years ago and wanted to get involved. She invited those who expressed interest to the events, and their interest ballooned into the club.

says, as it doesn’t sponsor events but supports outside organizations. Among them are Adaptive Adventures and Diveheart, a Chicago-based adaptive scuba organization that expanded its events to Milwaukee in 2016, at Marquette’s pools, because of the club. “This was their baby. They wrote the proposal. They got the pool. And they also provided deck help,” says Sarah Repka, an adaptive scuba instructor. “The (Adaptive) Abilities Club wrote the grant to pay for us to have three hours in the water. “It’s nice to be around dedicated, good people,” Repka says. Marquette’s physical therapy program is difficult to get into and to succeed in. It has as many as

“Everyone goes home happy, you’re re-energized when you’re done, and I think that’s what pulls people in.”

“Everyone goes home happy, you’re re-energized when you’re done, and I think that’s what pulls people in,” Stoeckmann says.

1,600 applicants annually for its 65 slots, and the average ACT score is 30.6, Stoeckmann says. Once enrolled in the program, she says, students are in class about 24 hours a week, and classes with labs often have written and oral exams, which can translate to as many as nine final exams a semester.

The Adaptive Abilities Club is open to all students, not just those in the physical therapy program. It differs from other student clubs, Stoeckmann

Brush and others, however, don’t see the club as extra work. They say it is fun, stressrelieving and invigorating.

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“To get off campus, to help them get to the top of that rock-climbing wall, I come back just feeling rejuvenated and refreshed and ready to learn more,” Brush says. “I know there are people out there who really need me.” That club members are changing lives through their volunteer efforts, however, isn’t something they dwell on. Rather, what seems to resonate most is how their involvement is changing them. Zach Hodgson’s passion for skiing drew him to the club as a sophomore. “I just really wanted to share that passion with the population that we work with.” It was only a matter of time before he started volunteering at the club’s rock-climbing events twice a month at Adventure Rock in Brookfield, Wis., and fishing events in the summer. Hodgson graduated in May with a career goal different than the dream job he initially envisioned. His original plan was to pair his passion for skiing with a career that focused on helping skiers who were injured or disabled get back on the slopes. Today, because of his experiences with the club and, particularly, with Abigail and Cate Johnson — two girls whose wheelchairs don’t keep them from rock climbing, playing soccer and other sports — Hodgson has other plans.

Members of the Milwaukee Iron wheelchair rugby team scrimmage with students.

Abigail, 17, and Cate, 14, both have undiagnosed physical and developmental disabilities and are nonverbal. But they and Hodgson communicate just fine, he says. “I know the little microtones of their voice,” Hodgson says. “Everyone has their own special form of communication, and if you can learn that, you can really enhance ... (your) physical therapy practice.” Cate and Abigail’s parents, Mike and Crystal, say Hodgson and other Marquette students add brilliance to their daughters’ lives. “When (our daughters) see the energy that these Marquette students bring, it lights up their world,” Crystal says. The club, Mike says, embodies the Marquette motto: Be The Difference. “That kind of activity, that’s a differencemaker, when they’re at Marquette and beyond,” he says. But Hodgson credits the Johnson family with making

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a difference in his life. Hodgson now plans to focus his physical therapy practice on pediatrics. “Skiing will always be a part of my life, but it will not play as much of a role in my physical therapy direction,” Hodgson says. “I really want to work with families or patients who have developmental disabilities that really need that continuum of care throughout their lives, as well as the support and understanding that these children can go out and have normal lives.” Brush also plans to pursue a different path because of the club. She grew up a competitive Scottish dancer and had plenty of physical therapy experience as an injured athlete. That experience drew her into the program, to work with dancers.


Photo by Jesse Lee

Then, she joined the Adaptive Abilities Club. “I fell in love with it after the first time,” Brush says. “If you think of someone who can’t walk on their own ... to see that anything is possible, it has definitely changed me.”

year, the club earned the Rev. Robert A. Wild, S.J., Spirit of Marquette Award.

Brush now has her eye on neurologic physical therapy.

“You can learn about empathy, and learn the words, but to actually do it is totally different,” Rapacz says. “I’m making someone else’s life more fun and meaningful.”

“PT is so much more than helping athletes,” she says. “It is helping give back self-dignity and basic life skills. Physical therapy helps people live their lives.”

When she first became involved with the club, Rapacz says, “I saw it as these people are so inspirational and they are doing something great, (but) they are just living their lives.”

The club is in its third year and swiftly growing, says senior Megan Rapacz, who joined as a freshman and now is vice president. The club’s email list is about 140 students, she says, and there are up to 80 active volunteers. In its second

Rapacz says her goal is to open a day care for both children with disabilities and able-bodied children to promote at an early age an acceptance of diversity in physical abilities. Her experiences through the club helped shape her future plans. For information on how to join the Adaptive Abilities Club: go.mu.edu/Adaptive-Club

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CARTOON CHEMISTRY By Jesse Lee

There are two Paul Gassers who teach at Marquette. The first, an associate professor of biomedical sciences, is a genuinely likeable guy with humble mannerisms and a mind for neuroscience. The second is literally a cartoon — the human Gasser’s personification on paper. As he puts it, a “geeky scientist with glasses.” Gasser uses cartoons — his self-caricature is just one of his stable of regular doodles — to help students learn one of the most complex subjects they’ll have to master: biochemistry. His style is intentionally simple and sparse, allowing him to make his point in a memorable and often humorous way that doesn’t overshadow the science. “The goal is to make the material less intimidating,” Gasser says. “There are so many different ways people can connect. Maybe in a cartoon form it clicks better and helps people learn.” According to Analisa Taylor, a senior in biomedical sciences and Gasser’s student, it works. “I enjoyed Dr. Gasser’s cartoons,” Taylor says. “They are a very unique way to help students retain information.” One of Taylor’s favorite cartoons was a visual description of the first step in glycolysis. To the layperson, it’s a fairly complicated process to understand by simply reading about it: Glucose (sugar) enters the cell and is phosphorylated by an enzyme called hexokinase, which prevents it from leaving.

Photos by Jesse Lee

However, Taylor says that Gasser made it relatable through his drawings. “Dr. Gasser drew a face in an oxygen molecule of glucose, so it became a character entering a party in the cell,” she says. “As soon as it entered, it was given a balloon (phosphorylated) by another party-goer, hexokinase. As a result, it could no longer fit through the door, so it had to stay at the party. “Dr. Gasser turns molecules into characters and biochemical processes into parties, jokes and other situations,” Taylor says. “The cartoons drew our attention, made lectures more entertaining, and created fun, memorable visuals of complicated processes.”


Gasser was first exposed to cartoons as a tool to teach complex processes when he was an undergraduate. His cell-biology professor at the University of Wyoming, Dr. Robert George, used a similar technique. “He would draw cell membranes with lipids that had faces on them, things like that,” Gasser recalls. “That’s kind of where the idea started for me. I realized that it was a strong teaching tool, and when I started teaching general biology, I used those ideas and expanded on them.” After teaching thousands of undergraduates in his nearly 10 years at Marquette, Gasser says the students respond positively.

“Dr. Gasser’s use of cartoons as a teaching method illustrates how, at their heart, biochemical reactions are interactions between chemical entities with distinct chemical properties,” Cullinan said in his introduction speech. “Presenting these complex concepts in multiple ways greatly decreases intimidation of the materials and facilitates learning.” “[Winning the award] was surprising to me,” Gasser says. “You don’t start teaching to win awards, but it really feels good to be recognized at that level, especially when everyone who does this works so hard at it.”

“I hear about the cartoons a lot on my course evaluations,” he says. “My job is to teach the students, and to do that I have to keep them awake and entertained. Students tell me they remember the concepts based on the pictures. It humanizes the science.”

Gasser says that students have often remarked to him that he should make a book of his cartoons, and other students have tried to emulate his work, bringing him ideas they doodled while studying. While he is flattered by the suggestions and imitations, his main goal is to continue making biochemistry fun and accessible.

In 2016, Gasser received the Raynor Teaching Excellence Award, Marquette’s highest teaching honor. In introducing Gasser at the award dinner, Dr. William E. Cullinan, dean of the College of Health Sciences, pointed out Gasser’s use of cartoons as a popular and successful teaching method.

“I believe that no matter how resistant a student is to biochemistry, it’s possible to tap into a genuine interest in the topic and an excitement for new understanding,” he says. “Most of what I do in class is aimed at waking up the scientist in every student. Once you do this, the rest is fun.”

“The goal is to make the material less intimidating,” Gasser says. “There are so many different ways people can connect. Maybe in a cartoon form it clicks better and helps people learn.” 16 |

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MORE THAN WORDS By Paula Wheeler

James Kasper, age 3½, arches backward over a yoga ball. “Guh, guh, guh,” says the young woman at his side, stabilizing the ball as the toddler reclines. It’s a scene straight out of any community gym’s “Mommy and Me” playtime class, but this setting has a more serious focus. James is a patient at the Marquette University Speech and Hearing Clinic, working with speech pathology graduate student Samantha Godfrey. His mom is on-site, but she’s watching them from a side room, through a two-way mirror. While little James seems to enjoy lolling on the ball, Godfrey is hard at work trying to coax him to repeat the sound she’s making — a hard “G.” Later, she may have James bounce upright on the ball or lie prone on a gently swaying platform swing, all the while encouraging him to vocalize and communicate. “I teach my students, from day one, that you can’t just look at the head, neck and mouth,” says Bridget (Schuh) Valla, M.S., CCC-SLP, CJPA ’91, Grad ’92, clinical assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology. “In speech therapy, you’ve got to look at the whole body. Any physical motor impairment is going to be something we look at because it can interfere with speech and language development.” This yields a treatment approach that integrates movement — much of which might seem like play to the clinic’s youngest patients, keeping them engaged enough throughout the 45-minute therapy sessions to make measurable progress.

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Clinically creative James first came to the Marquette clinic in spring 2015. His mom, Katie Kasper, Bus ’09, says she and her husband had been searching for a place where the therapists would exercise creativity in working with their uniquely challenged son. “There is not another kid in the world like James,” Kasper explains. “In addition to having Dandy-Walker Syndrome (a congenital brain malformation that affects motor coordination), he’s visually impaired and also hearing impaired. If you think about the challenges of each of those impairments and how they are magnified when combined, it’s not a simple addition equation.” The clinic at her alma mater, and the approach of Valla and her students, impressed Kasper from the outset. While therapy sessions elsewhere saw James confined to a seat, during his very first session at Marquette, “He had the run of the room,” Kasper says. “They were letting him take the lead. They would let him move around to objects and activities and toys that interested him, and use his interests to drive the angle they took on therapy in a given moment. Seeing them meet him where he was, and use the things that were interesting to him to drive progress and the activities, is how we knew it was great fit.” Valla, who has been teaching at Marquette since 2007, explains that supporting a patient’s overall development throughout a therapy session is critical and helps improve factors related to speech production, such as cognition, muscle development and postural control. In addition to positioning James in ways that make sounds


“In speech therapy, you’ve got to look at the whole body. Any physical motor impairment is going to be something we look at because it can interfere with speech and language development.”

Photos by Jesse Lee

Bridget (Schuh) Valla

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physically easier to produce — such as on the back for “K” and “G” sounds, on the tummy for the “L” sound, and bouncing on the yoga ball for labial sounds like “B,” “P,” “M” and “W” — Valla and her students work with him on feeding and chewing. The motion of speech Even something as simple as the transition from yoga ball to feeding chair has therapeutic relevance for James. At a recent session, Valla chose to support James as he walked on a mat from the ball to his chair, rather than carrying him. “That way, I’m getting more movement from him, as well as postural control and balance,” she says. “This provides a base of stability prior to feeding, to get that trunk a little bit more active before we work on the mouth.” Once in the chair, James is presented with small pieces of a cookie. Godfrey and another student gently encourage him: “Mmmmm!,” they say,

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exaggeratedly bringing their own molars together in demonstration. “Chew, chew, chew!” But, as Valla explains, James sucks food because his chew pattern is not developed. While James is eating, one of the students wipes his mouth from side to side. Valla, watching through the mirror, is on her feet. “I have to go tell them not to wipe his mouth,” she explains, “because it’s disorganizing to the motor patterns.” The work with chewing and biting helps improve mouth motor control in a way that also impacts vocalization and pronunciation. Kasper says a different therapy provider had told her they didn’t think James’ feeding issues could be addressed. “We didn’t buy that, and we took that report to Bridget and the students, and they’ve been working slowly but surely with him on accepting solid foods,” Kasper says. “Sure enough, now he will eat a cookie or a cracker. He’s making progress. The concept of ‘There’s nothing that can be done,’ is absolutely wrong, and the clinic has showed us that.”


Communicating collaboration Good communication with specialists from other disciplines who may be working with her patients is a key priority for Valla. She knew, for example, that James was working on walking with his physical therapist and that informed her choice to help him walk from ball to chair. “I wanted to make sure I was supporting his development in an interdisciplinary way,” she explains. The collaboration promotes professional understanding of other fields that impact the patient, and Valla has introduced it clinically to her students since she began at Marquette. Continuity is key Continuity with the families of pediatric patients is another component that can have a major impact on speech therapy. For James and many of Valla’s other patients, that can take the form of practicing much more than speech sounds at home.

For example, the family installed a platform swing in their basement when they saw James enjoying using that tool in the clinic. When he’s happy during therapy, Kasper says, he’s more motivated to work on his communication skills. Overall, Kasper is thrilled with James’ progress. She appreciates that the clinic focuses on developing James’ overall communication skills and development, not simply producing speech. “When we first brought James to the clinic, we weren’t sure if he could understand anything we were saying to him,” she says. “Now, it’s pretty clear that he can understand just about everything, and his receptive language continues to grow every single day. His reciprocal communication, listening and responding have come such a long way, and we couldn’t be happier.”

“Everything James does in the speech clinic is a homework assignment,” Kasper says. “He’s in there twice a week, which is a pretty high frequency of therapy for a child, but for him to really master skills, he needs to practice all the time. When we see things working in the therapy environment, we try to replicate them at home.”

To learn more about the clinic, which is open to the public: go.mu.edu/Speech-Hearing

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ALUMNI ACHIEVERS By Jesse Lee

Alumni of the College of Health Sciences go on to do great things, and often, the common thread is that of service — to their patients, their communities, their industries. The four alumni profiled here are no exception to that rule, but each is exceptional in the way they embody the Ignatian principal of cura personalis. Each of these four alumni — Michael Clark, Monica Edwards, Karene Boos and Carleen Freesmeier — lives his or her life based on the four pillars of excellence, faith, leadership and service. Their stories are inspirational and aspirational.

CALLED TO SERVE. At 10 years old, Michael Clark, M.D., HSci ‘02, knew his calling was to help people. His grandfather was on the planning committee for the Special Olympics, and Clark was right by his side, handing out awards to the participants, including his aunt, who played softball, track, basketball, bocce and bowling in the Special Olympics games. “I would go to support my aunt and help my grandpa, and because I liked being able to give back in that way,” Clark says. Clark also knew from a young age that he wanted to be a doctor, and as a native of Cudahy, Wis., he knew Marquette’s reputation in higher education, so it was a great fit. “I loved that the biomedical sciences curriculum was humanfocused, so I knew I’d at least have that background heading to medical school,” Clark says. Clark was a teaching assistant in the anatomy courses and the gross anatomy lab, which he says prepared him well for medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

To learn more about Special Olympics Wisconsin: specialolympicswisconsin.org

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“When I got to med school, because I had done so much anatomy, and because I had taught people, it was much easier to understand because I had that experience,” Clark says. Now, in addition to his work as an emergency medicine physician at Ministry Saint Clare’s Hospital, part of Ascension, in Weston, Wis., and ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Neenah, Wis., Clark is a state and regional adviser for the Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Program. “We prepare for all hazards — things like evacuations, mass-casualty incidents and more — to make sure our hospitals, EMS, public health agencies and other partner organizations are prepared,” Clark says. Clark has also come full-circle with the Special Olympics — he is the medical director and has served on the board of directors for Special Olympics Wisconsin. His wife, Nicole, a nurse at Ministry Saint Clare’s, volunteers with him. “People with intellectual disabilities are actually underserved when it comes to health care, and the Special Olympics is the largest health care provider for that population,” Clark says. In addition to staffing specific state Special Olympics events, Clark enjoys his role as team physician for Team Wisconsin for the National Games every four years, which includes traveling with the team and providing general care. “I’m able to provide overall care, whether it’s with medicine, nutrition, different ailments,” he says. “When the athletes are out of their normal routines, it’s important that they have someone there who can help out and be an ally to them.”


Michael Clark

Photos by Jesse Lee

“People with intellectual disabilities are actually underserved when it comes to health care, and the Special Olympics is the largest health care provider for that population.�

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Monica Edwards 24 |

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THE 13TH CHILD. As the youngest of 13 children, Monica (Krcmarik) Edwards, HSci ‘06, understood the importance of education at an early age. “Our parents told us, if you want to go to a private school, you have to earn a scholarship,” Edwards says. Her sister, Sarah, who is two years older than Monica, received the Raynor Scholarship at Marquette. “It was a full-ride scholarship, and I thought, how wonderful!” Edwards says. “I went to visit her and fell in love with the campus. I knew I was headed into medicine, and I knew that the programs at Marquette were strong. So I applied and also received the Raynor Scholarship. It was a deal I couldn’t turn down.”

internal medicine residency. She has been at Loyola Medicine for the past three years, where she works as an attending physician in internal medicine and an assistant professor.

“You really get to build strong relationships — I’ve known some of my patients for years, and they’ve become like family to me.” “I grew up in Riverside, (Ill.), and I actually started my medical career as a candy striper at this very hospital in high school, so I’ve come full circle,” she says.

Edwards knew even in high school that she wanted to be a doctor. She initially went into biomedical engineering, but knew early on that it wasn’t the fit she was looking for.

Edwards chose internal medicine because of her interest in problem-solving and diagnosis, but she really loves being able to work with people and to provide care to them.

“I actually met with my engineering adviser who put me in touch with Dr. (William) Cullinan (dean of the College of Health Sciences),” Edwards says. “I switched into the College of Health Sciences and never looked back.”

“You really get to build strong relationships — I’ve known some of my patients for years, and they’ve become like family to me,” she says. “I care about them as individuals, and that can become lost in many other fields of medicine.”

Edwards says it was a fortuitous encounter because it formed the basis of her philosophy of serving and educating others.

Edwards also fulfills her love for service through her teaching. She is the director of the prevention and screening vertical curriculum; she is the assistant clerkship director — which means she has an opportunity to work with each third-year medical student as they rotate through the medical clerkship — and she gives five lectures annually through the medical school, all in addition to her role as a clinical rotation and resident preceptor.

“I helped train other students in Dr. Cullinan’s neuroscience lab, and I worked as a teaching assistant in the gross anatomy lab,” she says. “That experience was invaluable. To have that opportunity as an undergrad was outstanding.” She also founded the Biomedical Sciences Student Association, a student-run organization that is still active to this day. After Marquette, Edwards went to medical school at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, where she also did her

“I never considered private practice because I’ve always been a teacher at heart. I think it’s a beautiful way to share the skills and knowledge you’ve earned with others,” she says.

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I’M IN TANZANIA, WHY AREN’T YOU? It sounds like the plot of a bad horror movie: Tanzanian witch doctors hunting children with albinism, dismembering them and selling their body parts as good-luck charms to politicians and business owners. Sadly, this horror is all-too real. For physical therapy alumna Karene (Fisher) Boos, PT ‘95, and her family — her husband, Eric, Grad ‘96, and their four children — saving these Tanzanian children has become their life’s mission. Karene and Eric met at Marquette; she was a lifeguard at the Helfaer Recreation Center; he was her lifeguarding supervisor. During their first date at Angelo’s pizza, Karene recalls something Eric said to her that set the course for their future. “He said, ‘The only thing that matters between now and the day you die is what you’ve done to help others,’” she says. “It’s

been the basis of our marriage and our family.” As a physical therapy student, Karene had another experience that helped shape her commitment to serving others. “Thanks to my professor, Dennis Sobush, I had the opportunity to do some pool therapy and rehab with Father John Raynor,” Boos recalls. “I spent a lot of time with him, both in the pool and visiting his office, and he was very influential on me, especially in terms of Catholicism and what it means to be Catholic.” During her clinicals prior to her graduation, Karene’s then-fiancé Eric, at the time a doctoral candidate in philosophy, received a postcard from a past professor that read, “I’m in Tanzania, why aren’t you?” “We had to get a map out to see where Tanzania was, but I said, ‘yeah, we’re going,’” Boos says. She graduated in May, then she and Eric married in July, and three days after the wedding she took the physical therapy board exam, and the very next day they left for Tanzania. On their initial trip, Karene and Eric worked at a seminary, helping teach and develop programming. The first trip lasted a year, after which they returned and both enrolled in law school at University of Wisconsin— Madison. They balanced work, school and family, with three of their four children being born during their time in law school.

Karene Boos

“Eric and I would literally meet at the door of the law school and


“We learned that these witch doctors think of people with albinism as demons, and believe killing them and using their body parts in potions and as charms will bring good luck.” exchange children, so we could juggle our schedules,” Boos says. Upon completion of their degrees, Eric received a Fulbright scholarship, which took the family back to Tanzania. “The kids were 5, 4, and 18 months. Our family and friends were freaking out a bit that we were all going, but our statement to them was that anything can happen anywhere; we’re not going to live in a bubble,” Boos says. “We took precautions as well. Malaria is a big risk in Tanzania — Eric and I had both had it — so we gave the prophylactic medicine to the kids, hidden in chocolate syrup. “But for us, it was the life we wanted to live, this mission. The kids were, of course, going to be included in that, and we weren’t afraid to expose them to that mission and to give them a global perspective.” The family continued to travel to Tanzania, helping any way they could, from fundraising for orphanages to building radio towers to providing physical therapy treatments and equipment designs.

“We were doing all these different fundraising trips, but it was while Eric was teaching in Tanzania that a student said, ‘Professor, you talk about human rights, but don’t you know what’s happening to our albino population?’ That’s when we learned about the issue facing the albino population in Tanzania,” Boos says. They had seen people with albinism — a condition in which there is very little or no pigment in the skin, hair and eyes — but they had no idea of the atrocities being committed against them. “We learned that these witch doctors think of people with albinism as demons, and believe killing them and using their body parts in potions and as charms will bring good luck,” Boos says. “For example, at the gold mines, they have a superstition that if they bring an albino leg outside the mine, their results will be better. We knew we had to do something.”

from their early days in Tanzania. Sister Helena had the same mission to save children with albinism. Working with her, they formed a nonprofit organization to establish a foundation called ZeruZeru Simama Sasa, which translates to “Albinos Stand Up Now.” The initial orphanage housed 12 children. It now houses 60. Karene and Eric continue to raise funds for needs like a dormitory, a new well and security. However, one of the biggest advantages of the foundation is advocacy. “Sister Helena has done so much to help the children gain acceptance,” Boos says. “The kids go to school, they participate in the community. Part of her mission is to show that these are normal children; they’re not to be treated differently.” Because of their advocacy, there is now more awareness and more response. “About a year and a half ago, the government did a roundup of witch doctors, and people are now being prosecuted when they are caught,” Boos says. “But the mutilations still happen and still need to be talked about.” Boos says the orphanage could house 100 kids at the current site, but the goal — short of completely eradicating the issue — is to educate and train those in the orphanage so they can come back and help other children with albinism.

To learn more or donate to ZeruZeru, visit savethealbinochildren.org.

They reached out to Sister Helena Ntambulwa, a friend they knew

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OPTIONS NOT NECESSARY. Carleen (Stransky) Freesmeier, HSci ‘03, Grad ‘05, from McFarland, Wis., knew she wanted to be a physician assistant, and that weighed heavily on her decision for college. She visited Marquette and immediately fell in love with it and with the professional reputation of the physician assistant studies program. “I told my parents I was going to Marquette, and they said I had to have other options,” Freesmeier says. “I told them, ‘No I don’t because I’m going to Marquette.’” Freesmeier immediately threw herself into campus life, taking advantage of every opportunity Marquette had to offer, including becoming a resident assistant in her sophomore year. “I felt very comfortable very quickly at Marquette. It’s just such a culture of family,” she says. Family is very important to Freesmeier. She and her husband, Tom, have three boys, and she knew that juggling a medical practice and having time for them could be tricky. “Being a PA was a great fit for me because I knew I could do most everything a physician does, but

with the flexibility to move around in specialties and also the flexibility of schedule,” she says. Freesmeier’s specialty of choice is emergency medicine because she wants to be able to care for people in a wide variety of critical situations. She’s practiced for the past 12 years at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill., part of the Infinity HealthCare network. SwedishAmerican has the second-busiest emergency room in the state of Illinois. “People trust you when they’re at their most vulnerable and scared point in their life. To be able to help people in a situation like that is just so fulfilling,” she says. “In the same day, you get to see people across life’s spectrum. You may have someone who lost a child, someone who needs immediate care, someone who is finding out they’re pregnant. There’s nowhere else you can help people across that spectrum in the course of a day.”

As the lead advancedpractice provider at SwedishAmerican, Freesmeier also acts as a preceptor for students from a variety of PA programs. “I love to teach, and I knew I wanted to do this, even as a student,” she says. “I think a good clinical experience is one of the most important parts of training.” Freesmeier has a notable list of accomplishments, especially for a young professional: She won the Illinois Physician Assistant of the Year award in 2015; she was the first PA and first non-physician to be nominated and elected (and then re-elected) to the board of directors at Infinity HealthCare; and she helped create the hospital’s first clinical decision unit, which is designed to keep patients out of the inpatient side of the hospital by providing faster access to care. “I never thought I’d want to be on the administration side of medicine, but I think it’s a Marquette value of always wanting to do more,” she says. “I can take care of patients, but if I see a problem with the system I want to help fix it.”

“I love to teach, and I knew I wanted to do this, even as a student,” Freesmeier says. “I think a good clinical experience is one of the most important parts of training.”

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Carleen Freesmeier

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Illustration by Christiane Grauert


FEAR FACTORS By Jesse Lee

The snap of a nearby twig on a solitary forest hike is enough to put anyone on high alert. Our brains go into modes of fear and preparation because we recognize that an unexpected sound can often be followed by danger. The sound itself is not dangerous, of course, and the danger — a predator, for example — may not present itself for some time afterward, if at all, but our brains still associate the sound with the potential consequence. We assume these reactions to be natural and instinctive, but according to Dr. Marieke Gilmartin, they’re actually a learned behavior, crucial for human adaptation to our world. Gilmartin, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, received an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how such associations are created and retained, specifically when there is a gap in time between the cue and the consequence. “In most responses of this kind, sensory cues and outcomes happen at the same time,” Gilmartin says. “We see a red-hot stove burner, we touch it and we immediately get a burn. That teaches us that stoves can be hot and potentially dangerous. But we still don’t know how the brain puts together cues and outcomes that are separated by a length of time.” In her lab, Gilmartin uses a conditioning technique similar to one made famous by Ivan Pavlov and his dogs in order to test her learned-behavior hypothesis that there are two additional brain structures involved in this learning process, beyond the amygdala or “fear center.” A specific tone is followed by a light shock administered to the subject. The delay between tone and shock is only seconds, but it’s long enough to initiate a brain response that differs from the immediate form of conditioning. Eventually, the subjects associate the tone with the shock the same way we associate a snapping twig with danger.

“We expect to see activity in the amygdala, since it is where the brain processes fear,” Gilmartin says. But in their experiments, her team found that the prefrontal cortex, “the thinking brain,” was activated. And in longer intervals between cue and outcome, so was the hippocampus, which helps process emotions and memories. This activity in these additional brain structures suggests a fundamental process for learning how to predict behavior amid certain cues — it’s a preparatory state in which the brain is actively learning that a cue leads to an outcome. In this case, a tone leads to a shock. Gilmartin says that in this temporal gap conditioning, all three brain structures prove essential. “If we shut down any one of the three structures — the amygdala, hippocampus or prefrontal cortex — during the cue and outcome phase, we observe that the behavior is not learned,” she says. “Only when all three are working together do we see memory retention.” In order to observe these processes and shut down structures as needed, Gilmartin uses a technique for manipulating neuronal activity called optogenetics. Optogenetics is a cutting-edge technology that lets scientists manipulate brain cell activity in real time using light. It has roots in genetics, biology and engineering, and it gives researchers unprecedented control over the brain, allowing them to “turn on” or “turn off” specific sets of neurons, which allows them to study complex behaviors at the cellular level. “First, we package a light-sensitive gene inside a virus and prepare it to be delivered into the brain,” Gilmartin says. “The neuron then receives the gene and transports the resulting channel protein to the cell membrane.” According to Gilmartin, if there is no light, the channel stays closed, but if a pulse of blue light is delivered to the brain tissue — via a laser connected to a fiber optic implant — then the channel opens. This open/close mechanism works much like a light switch, but one so sensitive that she can control neuronal activity to the millisecond — the same time scale in which neurons communicate with each other. In addition to her NSF grant, Gilmartin also received $225,000 in funding from the Whitehall Foundation, and a smaller Marquette Research Project Grant. All three grants will help her lab focus on how the brain regulates emotional learning, which is expected to have implications for disorders including addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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FINDING THEIR PLACE

Lauren Broniarczyk

By Rich Rovito

Hometown Indianapolis, Indiana

Most Recent Rotation

After extensive classroom work and intense studying on her path to a career as a physical therapist, Lauren Broniarczyk was eager to put her skills into practice in a real-world clinical setting.

Johnson City Medical Center

“It’s what we’ve been working for,” Broniarczyk says. “The classroom can only teach you so much. I feel like this is a great way to integrate everything we’ve learned.” Broniarczyk, an Indianapolis native who graduated in May from the physical therapy program, has tirelessly practiced treatment techniques on her classmates, but working with actual patients takes the training to a higher level, she says. During the spring semester, she embarked on an internship at Johnson City Medical Center, a Level-I trauma facility in Tennessee, giving her experience in an acute-care setting. Broniarczyk also has had internships at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., and Kindred Healthcare in Indianapolis. These clinical settings have provided Broniarczyk with crucial hands-on experience and a clear idea of what her focus will be as a physical therapist. Raised in a military family, her goal is to land a job at a large military medical center. Working closely with amputees as they adjusted to their prosthetics during one of her internships proved to be her “a-ha” moment. “I want to work with veterans to get them back to their new normal,” Broniarczyk exclaims. Clinical placements are a highly important part of a physical therapy student’s education, says Dr. Lawrence Pan, professor and chair of Marquette’s Department of Physical Therapy since 1996. “It’s putting their hands on patients,” Pan says. “It’s not only a way to show the technical skills they’ve learned, it’s about

Photos by Jesse Lee

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“Marquette course work prepares you with the knowledge and tools you need to succeed, but clinical rotations give you the opportunity to apply and perfect them to a setting and population that can’t be replicated in the classroom.”

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Priscilla John Hometown Glenview, Illinois

Most Recent Rotation Waukesha Memorial Hospital

“I love how you can learn something from each internship and from different clinical instructors. There are so many techniques you can use to improve a patient’s life, and I love the variety and flexibility of this profession.”

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communication and professionalism and other soft skills.”

our clinical education program,” Parker says.

The clinical experience also allows students to identify areas of strength and weakness, and the opportunity to develop a plan with their clinical instructor that will allow them to develop into a better clinician, Pan adds.

Although many clinical sites are in the Milwaukee area, students participate in internships throughout the country.

Internships are especially important because physical therapy is an “actionbased process,” says Dr. Danille Parker, co-director of clinical education and a clinical associate professor in the Physical Therapy Department. A network of clinical sites across all 50 states provides essential opportunities for physical therapy students, she points out. “To be able to go out and actually practice on patients that have a particular disorder or deficit is extremely valuable,” Parker says. Students have 32 weeks of internships that are integrated with classroom work within the six-year doctoral physical therapy program. “Our students get an opportunity to go out on internships pretty much throughout the entire physical therapy program, not just at the end,” says Parker. Marquette has a database of more than 650 potential sites for physical therapy internships. Among them is Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, which has a longstanding relationship with Marquette and in 1955 became its first clinical site. Froedtert Hospital and the Ascension health care system also provide key locations for physical therapy internships. “They’ve all been very helpful in providing us internships and very supportive of our efforts to grow

“We tell students early on that there is a traveling component with the internships,” Parker notes.

2006 graduate of Marquette’s physical therapy program. Venture began with a clinic on the island of Maui, with plans to open a second facility there this year. Venture also started the first-ever physical therapy clinic on the remote island of Lanai, the smallest publicly accessible inhabited island in the Hawaiian Island chain that has a mere 3,100 inhabitants. Anderson travels to the Lanai clinic by ferry at least twice per week. The internships at Venture expose students to life in Hawaii and the array of cultural differences from the mainland, Anderson notes. It also provides Anderson a chance to recruit Marquette students for permanent jobs.

Corrie Gustin Hometown Crystal Lake, Illinois

Most Recent Rotation Waukesha Memorial Hospital – Outpatient Physical Therapy

“It’s very hard to hire out here. People come here with a dream of rainbows and after six months or so, they might leave,” Anderson says. “The internship shows what it’s like to have a real career here, and interns are more likely to stay because they already know what they are getting into.” Students get a wide range of experience with patients, particularly in Lanai, due to the dearth of physical therapy services.

“The Milwaukee area just isn’t big enough to support our entire class size and the number of other physical therapy schools around the area. The advantage is that it gives our students the ability to see physical therapy in multiple locations in the United States.”

“There are no shoulder specialists around here,” Anderson says, speaking by telephone from his Lanai clinic. “So you have to be good at whatever condition walks through the door.”

The facilities benefit as well, with many of the students involved in internships eventually taking permanent jobs at the various sites.

“I have gotten things like preserves from some patients,” Anderson recalls. “Some of the Tongan families here will feed you like you have never been fed before. That’s how they thank you.”

One of the more unique clinical locations is Venture Physical Therapy in Hawaii, founded and operated by San Francisco-native Dr. Ted Anderson, a

In some cases, Anderson lets patients pay part of their bill or copayments through a barter system.

Anderson’s clinical experience included a stint at VA Palo Alto Health Care System.

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Laura Kempf Hometown Arlington Heights, Illinois

Most Recent Rotation Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: Greenfield Sports Medicine “It really helped me,” he recalls. “I think I struggled a lot with the classroom work, but I was shocked at how much I had absorbed.” Parker, who traveled to Maui last summer to conduct a continuing education course for physical therapists in Hawaii, says Anderson has been “one of our strongest supporters in terms of clinical education.” “He’s willing to take students, whenever. We will have a student going there this summer,” Parker says. The Physical Therapy Department is considering revamping the process it uses to assign students to clinical sites, leaving it largely up to current students to decide their future course. The department traditionally has conducted a “draft day,” in which students manually select their internship locations based on an assigned, random ranking.

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An alternate system, called EXXAT, has been developed that uses a database to organize all of the internships and provides students and administrators with cloud access to a variety of information, including maps of clinical sites and what each has to offer. Students can view what internships are available during the time frame they need and rank them in order.

an opportunity to teach with me in my neuro rehab course,” Stoeckmann says.

“It allows increased knowledge before selecting a site,” Parker says. “Once everybody has their wish list in, we run an algorithm to determine where students are placed.”

“We lead in care in spinal cord and poly trauma that the private sector doesn’t see,” notes Wenninger, a 1980 graduate of Marquette’s physical therapy program whose daughter Franceska is a current physical therapy student at his alma mater.

Beyond internships, physical therapy students also have an opportunity to take part in residency programs following graduation from Marquette. The university launched a yearlong neurological residency program nearly a decade ago in conjunction with the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center. The residency program is open to licensed physical therapists seeking advanced-level training and mentoring to become specialists in a particular field in physical therapy, says Dr. Tina Stoeckmann, clinical associate professor at Marquette and neurologic residency program coordinator. Stoeckmann partnered with the VA to develop the neurologic residency program, which was officially credentialed by the American Physical Therapy Association in 2010. “The VA is a very desirable location. It has a very stable staff and excellent mentors,” Stoeckmann says. The Clement J. Zablocki VA is a center of excellence for spinal cord injuries. “Those applying for our residency may want to work with veterans, and maybe one of the draws is that they want extra spinal cord experience. They also have

marquette university college of health sciences magazine 2017

The residency program “provides an in-depth intensity of care in a specialty area,” says Bill Wenninger, a planning specialist for rehabilitation and prosthetic services for the VA’s central office in Washington, D.C.

Residents also are able to sit for their board examination earlier than normal. “We can prepare them in a year for what would normally take three years,” Wenninger says.

Rodrigo Caballero Hometown Arlington Heights, Illinois

Most Recent Rotation Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center


Zach Vandenberg Hometown Neenah, Wisconsin

Most Recent Rotation Marquette Physical Therapy Clinic

“Clinical internships are where everything you learn in the classroom comes alive. Every day brings new challenges, but it is such a special feeling to be able to improve another person’s quality of life with my hands and education. I particularly enjoyed working at my last rotation | |37 time because I had multiple supportive therapists that shared clinical pearls. I also had adequate to really get to know my patients and make individualized plans to help them achieve their goals.” marquette university college of health sciences magazine 2017 xxxxxxxxxx

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Marquette University P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881 USA Marquette University P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881 USA

GETTING TO THE HEART OF MENTAL ILLNESS. Nearly 44 million adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a given year. Through the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center, Marquette’s College of Health Sciences is working to advance the discovery of better medications for depression and related mental illnesses, and remove the stigma that can be a barrier to care. We use science and compassion to get to the heart of mental illness. But there is a great deal of work to do to understand and treat these illnesses. With your help, we will Be The Difference for the millions who struggle with mental illness. To help support research in the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center, contact Kathleen Ludington at 414.288.1410 or visit marquette.edu/giveonline.

College Health Sciences Magazine 2017  

College Health Sciences Magazine 2017

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