Archived PTA Newsletters

PTA Newsletter: Fall 2020
PTA Newsletter: Spring 2020
PTA Newsletter: September 2019
PTA Newsletter: May 2019
PTA Newsletter: August 2018
PTA Newsletter: May 2018
PTA Newsletter: Spring 2018
PTA Newsletter: Fall 2017

Clarkson College Program News

Physical Therapist Assistant

March 2021

Congratulations to the students in the AS PTA transfer option who graduated in December 2020. We wish you the best in your future PTA careers!

A Message from Jessica Niemann, PTA, M.Ed., Director of PTA

Our students, faculty and clinical partners adapted quickly to the pandemic allowing our Associate's and Bachelor's degree PTA students to stay on track for graduation in December 2020. Graduates walked across the stage during a unique graduation celebration with individual slots where they received their diploma from the College President. We wish them well in their new careers!

The program strives to prepare graduates to perform their best academically and clinically. We are excited to announce that the ultimate board pass rates for the December 2019 and August 2020 graduate were 100%. Visit our Program Outcomes for more information.

This is an exciting year for the program. To begin with, our program’s 10-year reaccreditation is coming in May 2021. Site reviewers will talk with students, graduates, faculty and clinical partners virtually through Zoom and, once travel is safe, a site reviewer will visit campus.

Additionally, the transfer program option has been approved by CAPTE to change from a fully on-campus program to an online program with on-campus skills weekends. This change is based on feedback indicating a need for more flexibility and better access for students living in rural areas. Visit the PTA Program Degree Overview for more information.

Continuing Education Opportunities 

We are excited to offer an in-person HawkGrips Level 1: IASTM Fundamentals continuing education course in April. Click on the link below for more information and to register.  

Discount codes:

  • $325 for Clarkson College faculty/alumni/affiliates with discount code CC325
  • $299 for students with discount code STUDENT2021

Community Service and Events

Special Olympics Nebraska: On October 24, 2020 more than half of our new PTA students volunteered and participated in the Young Athletes Sports Exhibition through the Special Olympics. Students were responsible for facilitating various stations such as soccer, t-ball, football, bowling, tumbling and obstacle course activities. 

Throughout the fall semester, students volunteered for the Young Athletes adapted tumbling classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Students worked with a PT from Pediatric Therapy Center (PTC) and assisted in guiding participants through tumbling style activities.

PTA 5K: The PTA 5K was held October 27 to celebrate wellness and National Physical Therapy Month in October. This event was offered in conjunction with PTA 215, as the students learned and applied their knowledge toward cardiovascular exercise and adaptions that occur both acutely and overtime with exercise.

Fall On-Campus Experience: We got the pleasure of watching our second graduating BSPTA students walk across the stage following their On-Campus Experience (OCE) in early December 2020. The fall OCE was held both on campus and virtually, and the graduating baccalaureates shared their poster presentations following a semester of hard work while they wrapped up their degrees.

Abboud Earns APTA Nebraska 2020 PTA Clinical Excellence Award 

Karen Abboud was the recipient of the 2020 PTA Clinical Excellence Award for the APTA Nebraska Chapter. Karen was presented the award by APTA Nebraska President and designated Executive Committee members on December 10, 2020. The PTA Clinical Excellence Award recognizes a PTA who is well-respected by his/her peers, is active in district or state activities, and demonstrates contribution to physical therapy through education, management, patient care, or research.

Karen served on the APTE Nebraska Executive Committee as the PTA Caucus Representative for 10 years and continues to serve on various committees, has presented at regional and national physical therapy conferences, is a certified lymphedema therapist, and serves as the Director of Clinical Education.


CI Spotlight

We would like to recognize the following PTs and PTAs who served in the role of Clinical Instructor in fall 2020 and/or in January 2021. Thank you for your service to the profession by providing quality educational experiences in the clinical setting!

Kinsey Nixon- Bay, PTA
Kim Hahn, PT
Molly Redden, PT
Mandy Heithold, PTA
Corrina Steckelberg, PTA
Megan Snoozy, PT
Gina Vanderheiden, PT, DPT
Dustin Logeman, PT
Cheri Taylor, PTA
Suzanne Goshorn, PTA

Michelle Mulligan, PTA
Stacey Thompson, PTA
Tracy Eisenmann, PTA
Lance Angelle, PT, DPT
Dennis Hopp, PT
Paige Lager, PT
Tom Niemann, DPT
Josh Schmoldt, PTA
Brian Brunken, PT
Richard Thom, PT
Cassandra Bloom, PTA

Erica Fry, PTA
April Leusink, PTA
Gregg Schlueter, PT, DPT
Shayne Vaught, PTA
Travis Eichenberger, PT, DPT
Kara Goodrich, PTA
Paige Ahlers, PT, DPT
Cortney Kelley, PTA
Kirk Laughlin, PT
Tricia Hedglin, PTA

What Students Are Saying About Their CIs 

“My CI was adamant about educating patients about the
importance of physical therapy. I regularly had opportunities to
take the lead and become comfortable in the clinic setting.”

“My CI made a point to get to know me and made
sure all my questions were answered.”

“In between patients, my CI would let me practice manual skills on her
and gave me feedback on pressure and alternative hand placements.”

“My CI went above and beyond for her patients. 
She even picked up a cane for a patient!”

“I liked that my CI quizzed me and then turned it into
a lesson related to a patient on our schedule that day.”

“My CI was very proactive in sending me resources
before my rotation in a specialty setting.”

My CI is dedicated to providing highly skilled care and continues
to research new interventions that may benefit her patients.”

“My CI is a role model to me and creates
trust and rapport with her patients.”

“My CI was patient, friendly and had a
great knowledge of orthopedics.”

Professional & Clinical Program Updates

Legislative Day

On February 9, 2021 PTA students and faculty participated in the APTA Nebraska 2021 Virtual Legislative Day. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we were unable to travel to the state capital for the annual Legislative Day Breakfast, but there were approximately 180 Association members and students who attended virtually. The event included interactions with state senators and learning about current legislative issues and advocacy efforts, which included the Helmet Repeal Bill (LB 581), Telehealth Changes (LB 400), MPPR Prohibition for Medicaid (LB 100), and the Athletic Trainer Bill (LB 436).

100 years of APTA

2021 marks the centennial anniversary of the APTA! Throughout the year, APTA and chapters across the country will be hosting various events in celebration of 100 years of the APTA. On January 15, 2021, a virtual Centennial celebration was held in which each state provided a brief history about their state and Association. Be part of the Centennial celebration by uploading a photo to a virtual mosaic matrix at

Library Access

A benefit of being a clinical partner of the Clarkson College PTA program is access to our Library databases, including rehabilitation and physical therapy-related journals and a webpage designed specifically for our clinical faculty that provides access to a variety of Library services and resources. Click on the following link to access our PTA Clinical Instructor Library Page.

All users are currently required to log in using a selected username and password. If you do not have an account and would like access, click on the link above and request access online by providing your name and affiliated organization and contact information. If you have questions, please contact Karen Abboud at

PTA E-Newsletter 
The Clarkson College PTA department communicates with its clinical coordinators and community partners three times annually through this e-newsletter. Feel free to forward this e-newsletter to any colleagues, facilities or staff members to share PTA program and profession updates.

Clinical Education Team
Karen Abboud, PTA, MHA, CLT, Associate Professor & DCE   email
Kimberly Grimes, PTA, B.S., CKTP, Instructor   email
Jessica Niemann, PTA, B.S., Director   email
Greta Schoneman, PTA, B.S., Instructor   email