Apr 27 2020

Ryan, Hannah

Published by

UNC DPT Portfolio

Professional Goal Statement

Upon completion of the DPT program at UNC Chapel Hill, I hope to obtain a job in an outpatient clinic. Initially, I would like to develop my skills as a generalist. However, I have developed a passion for treating individuals with neurological diagnoses and hope to eventually accept employment in an outpatient neuro clinic. I will strive to provide evidence-based, patient-centered care during my time as a clinician. I plan to give back to future students and develop my teaching skills as a clinical instructor. After a few years of practice, I plan to pursue a PhD in the field of neurorehabilitation. A PhD and faculty position provide the opportunity to participate in research and dissemination of knowledge related to neurorehabilitation to optimize outcomes for patients.

Career Plan

  • Past accomplishments
    • May 2016: Bachelor of Science in Biology and Minor in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill
    • August 2017: Enrollment into Class of 2020 UNC Chapel Hill DPT Program
      • Clinical Affiliations
        • Clinical Rotation I (8 weeks): Novant at Forsyth Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC—Acute Care in Neuro ICU and Neuro Step Down Units
        • Clinical Rotation II (8 weeks): Southeastern Physical Therapy in Virginia Beach, VA—Outpatient Orthopedics
        • Clinical Rotation III (8 weeks): Total Rehabilitation Inc. in Chapel Hill, NC—Early Intervention
        • Clinical Rotation IV (8 weeks): Bodies in Balance in Wilmington, NC—Outpatient Ortho/Neuro
      • Future Plans
        • Sit for National Physical Therapy Examination (July 2020)
        • Graduate with Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UNC Chapel Hill (August 2020)
        • Accept job in outpatient neurological/orthopedic clinic in North Carolina (August-September 2020)
        • Become Certified Clinical Instructor (2023)
        • Begin PhD with a focus on Neurological Rehabilitation (2025)
        • Graduate with PhD (2029)
        • Begin Postdoctoral Fellowship (2029)
        • Accept a position as a faculty member of DPT Program (2030-2031)


  • Strengths
    • Time management
    • Empathy and ability to connect with patients
    • Professionalism
    • Motivation to remain involved in research
  • Areas for further development
    • Confidence with clinical skills especially for complex neurological and orthopedic conditions
    • Understanding of billing/insurance regulations and how to keep up with changes
    • Efficiency of clinical reasoning

Special Areas of Interest

  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Research


  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam in July 2020
  • Graduate from UNC Chapel Hill DPT program in August 2020
  • Accept a position in outpatient neurological/orthopedic clinic by September 2020
  • Become Certified Clinical Instructor by 2023
  • Begin PhD by 2025
  • Begin Postdoctoral Fellowship by 2029
  • Begin position as faculty member involved with research, teaching, and patient care by 2030-2031
  • Remain involved with the APTA and advocacy throughout career

Strategies for Success

  • Maintain APTA involvement and advocacy
  • Stay up to date on research
  • Maintain connections with colleagues


  • Research Elective under the direction of Dr. Jessica Cassidy and Dr. Michael Lewek
  • Advanced Orthopedic Assessment and Intervention

Extracurricular involvement

  • Beyond Clinic Walls (August 2016-May 2017)
  • Student Health Action Coalition (August 2016-December 2019)
  • Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Aquatic Program (December 2016-January 2020)
  • Conference Attendance
    • North Carolina Student Conclave (2018)
    • National Student Conclave (2018)
    • North Carolina Physical Therapy Association Conference (2018)
    • Combined Sections Meeting (2019, 2020)

Product Examples

Community Resource Guide for Older Adults (PHYT 736)

I created this resource guide for my clinical rotation at Southeastern Physical Therapy in Virginia Beach. I provided a copy to several patients in search of community resources during my rotation.

Annual Exam Assignment (PHYT 824)

The Annual Exam assignment involved designing an annual exam for a patient population that could benefit from a check-in visit once a year. I chose to develop an annual exam for individuals with chronic stroke.

Priming Project Manuscript

This paper titled, Effects of Movement-based and Cognitive Priming on Brain function, was part of my capstone project completed alongside my classmate, Katie Fabian. To see the entire capstone project, visit https://dptcapstone.web.unc.edu/category/capstone-projects-2020/ryan-hannah/.

Platform Presentation CSM 2020

I presented this presentation at the 2020 Combined Sections Meeting in Denver in a platform session for the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy. This presentation included the findings reported in manuscript written with the guidance and support of Dr. Michael Lewek. The manuscript is titled, Improving Spatiotemporal Gait Asymmetry has Limited Functional Benefit for Individuals Post-Stroke. See the July 2020 issue of the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy to read this manuscript.

Reflective Statement

As I look back on my time in this program, I think of all of the opportunities and mentorship that were available. I am deeply appreciative for the experiences I have had in this program that have all involved mentorship by individuals who were passionate about helping students learn and grow. Consistent volunteering at an aquatic program since my first year has provided the opportunity to learn more about facilitation of aquatic exercise and the profound benefits of the water for individuals with neurological diagnoses. I am grateful for the guidance I received from the incredible school physical therapists during my time at the aquatic program.

Another experience that has contributed to profound growth is my involvement with research under the direction of Dr. Michael Lewek and Dr. Jessica Cassidy. Under the guidance of Dr. Lewek, I had the opportunity to learn the process of writing a manuscript and presenting the results at a national conference. With the guidance of both Dr. Lewek and Dr. Cassidy, I had the opportunity to gain an appreciation for a large portion of the research process from IRB submission to the completion of the manuscript. Both experiences confirmed by passion for pursuing a career in research in the field of neurorehabilitation.

I have had countless other experiences that have shaped my career path in a positive way since the start of this program. I hope to use what I have learned to improve the lives of the patients I interact with going forward, and I hope to one day be a mentor for future students.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Ryan, Hannah”

  1.   Michael Lewekon 01 Jul 2020 at 8:40 am

    It has been such a pleasure to work with you over the past 3 years. I am so immensely proud of your achievements. You have gained experience in so many areas and you are so well prepared to be a leader in our field. I wish you the best and am honored to have had the opportunity to work with you.


  2.   Jessica Cassidyon 01 Jul 2020 at 11:36 am


    Congratulations on a stellar portfolio and impressive graduate career at UNC. To echo Mike’s sentiments, it has been an honor working with you over this past year and watching you grow in multiple arenas. Please keep in touch…if you ever want to talk PhD plans, let me know. 🙂

    Take care,



  3.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jul 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Hannah: Great job on your portfolio. So nice to see more of your work together here. Good luck to you! I know you will do great! Lisa


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply