Greetings alumni, clinical partners, future students, and friends,
I am delighted to be writing this message to you from my new position as Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Texas State University. We bid a fond farewell to Dr. Barbara Sanders in May 2021, who has retired after 30+ years at Texas State University. We miss her daily and know she is enjoying spending time with her grandson and family in Kentucky. Barb left us on a high note, and we are thrilled to be back in the classroom, clinic, and research lab doing what we do best – preparing students to be outstanding clinicians, improving the ability of our patients to move, and contributing to the scientific basis of our profession. While we are still managing the consequences and reality of the pandemic, our students continue to progress through the curriculum, and we are living with the protective measures that have become familiar.
I have a few updates to share – we are preparing for our once a decade accreditation visit and will welcome our site visitors virtually in early October. We look forward to their feedback and assessment of our program. We bid farewell to two faculty this year and are searching for several new faculty to round out our team. Dr. Scott Shaffer and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Parker have moved on to other opportunities and we thank them for their contributions to our program and wish them the best. Our students are running a new initiative connected to our program – the Community Access Clinic (CAC) – in partnership with the faculty and local clinicians who provide supervision of pro bono patient care on Tuesday evenings in Willow Hall in Round Rock. If you are interested in volunteering in the CAC, please let us know, we would love to get you involved. (Please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
A change in the department chair presents an opportunity to review our culture, strategic plan, and operations, and we started that process at our department retreat in August. I am spending time visiting with our clinical partners to solicit their feedback and input to inform our planning. I would welcome feedback and input from our alumni and friends as well. The university will be conducting both strategic planning and the search for a new President in 2022, and we look forward to aligning our plans with these efforts. In my public interview for chair when presenting my vision for the department, I indicated my commitment to excellence and inclusion. Our commitment to excellence and inclusion will enable us to reach our full potential and for us to be a true place of belonging where every member of our community feels seen, heard and valued. I hope each of you will join us on this journey – stay tuned for more information about our priorities.
We are extremely proud of our students and alumni and the work that you do daily to contribute to transforming society to optimize movement to improve the human experience. Please keep in touch and stop by to visit when you are in town – we would love to see you and learn how and what you are doing.
All the best,
Janet Bezner, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA
Professor and Chair