Apr 20 2017

Risen, Jessie

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Professional Goal Statement

My professional goals in entering the UNC-Chapel Hill tDPT program is to gain additional knowledge and experience necessary to transition into an active role in the realm of physical therapy academia as well as take on more of a leadership role in my current practice setting.  I also hope to gain the ability to discern between the various levels of available evidence and research to support and further develop my clinical practice skills in the pediatric population.  Finally, my goal is to bridge my love for teaching on a one on one basis as a clinical instructor to the classroom environment.

Career Plan

Throughout my 15year career, I have developed a love of teaching in the aspects of patient education as well as my role as a clinical instructor.  My goal was to transition this love of teaching into the PT/PTA classroom.  I decided that the UNC tDPT was a great fit for me and my family in order to achieve the education to bridge the gap between my roles as teacher in a clinical setting to the classroom setting.  The journey continues:

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Learning Objectives

  1. Gain current knowledge and ability to apply up to date evidence based practice in my current job setting on a variety of developmental disabilities throughout the lifespan in the electives course Child/Family Assessment and Intervention PHYT880.
  2. Utilize information gained from the Topics in Health Promotion and Wellness PHYT 824 course to: a) expand my role as a physical therapist in the community, b) identify and address potential barriers to healthy behaviors specifically in the pediatric population, c) provide attainable resources and programs for pediatric patients and families from a diverse socioeconomic background.
  3. Gain the skills necessary to develop and implement a teaching plan/experience specifically in the area of pediatric physical therapy to a group of entry level DPT students based on the knowledge gained from summer course, Education in Physical Therapy Seminar PHYT 830.

Product Examples

A common thread throughout my tDPT course work has always been focused on finding additional leisure and community activities to encourage physical activity and social integration for children with and without disabilities.  Early in the program in our Health and Wellness course, I was able to address the topic of the role of the physical therapist in promoting health and wellness in order to address child related chronic health issues.  RISENJ_Assignment2

In one of my elective courses, Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention, I was able to explore the use of dance therapy as an alternative treatment option and leisure time activity for children with a variety of disabilities.  It can be accessed through my neurospecialtopics website:  https://neurospecialtopics.web.unc.edu/dance-pediatrics/

For our Evidence Based Practice II course, I was able to address the topic of hippotherapy as alternative leisure activity for children specifically diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  This was a great experience that resulted in my ability to critically appraise the current evidence available on the specific topic of hippotherapy as an adjunct intervention in order for me to make appropriate recommendations to my patient population. Risen_Assignment5CAT

One of my most memorable moments in the tDPT program was my opportunity to participate in a UNC onsite lecture and lab regarding the administration of the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2nd Edition test, as part of my summer course Education in Physical Therapy Seminar.  This experience helped to solidify my intentions to teach.  I hope to be able to return to campus again as a guest lecturer.  Due to the size of this power point presentation, I have provided a student version without videos as well as separate video/patient example for viewing:

Peabody Developmental Motor Scales-2 Student Edition


Finally, I was able to incorporate the themes of my previous projects into my capstone project that focused on the role of the school based physical therapist in promoting physical activity and social inclusion for children with disabilities and their non-disabled peers.  https://dptcapstone.web.unc.edu/category/current-students-spring-of-2017/transitional-students-current-students-spring-of-2017/risen-jessie/


My family has always been a priority to me.  My family is Turkish-Armenian and emigrated from Turkey to Germany where I was born.  My parents, myself and my 3 older sisters, then immigrated to the United States when I was just 11months old.  My parents really set an example to me that anything is possible!  They moved to a country where they didn’t speak the language and were able to establish themselves with their own alterations and tailoring business.  They became successful while chasing the “American Dream.” Therefore, I have strived to set that example for my children too.  We have every tool and advantage compared to what my parents came here with (a family of 6 and only 4 suitcases to our names), to do anything that we want to with our lives.  I was determined to do just that as I succeeded in school to pursue a profession in physical therapy.  My path to earning my degree in physical therapy has been a long and complicated one that has led me to pursue my tDPT from UNC.  During the pursuit of master’s degree in physical therapy, my father passed away my first year.  My mother was then diagnosed with terminal cancer during my last semester. These life experiences have shaped who I am and what my priorities are.  As a mother myself now, balancing my family and my career continues to be a priority and the tDPT program allowed me to continue to maintain this balance along with unwavering and loving support of my husband.  I am so grateful for my family and the life experiences that have shaped who I am today.  I plan to accomplish the career goals that I have set forth but the greatest accomplishment in my life will be to set a good example for my family and children that anything is possible with faith, determination, and hard work.

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A photo from our local newspaper interviewing my family when we first moved to the United States in 1977.  I’m the curly headed baby on my dad’s lap.

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