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Dean Oppenheimer Announces Appointment of New Department Chair

Dr. Cathy Peterson, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy has stepped down from her position as chair. She will be on Sabbatical beginning August 1, 2011. This will be a year-long sabbatical which includes six months in Africa, both teaching at the Malawi College of Medicine and researching neurodegenerative disease. At the request of Dr. Peterson, she will return next Fall in the capacity of Associate Professor and remain a department faculty member.

During her years as Chair she has accomplished much: the development of a longitudinal plan, response to the interim report for the accreditation body, hiring of several excellent faculty members and also implemented an Alumni Board. Based on all the above, she have strengthened the numbers and quality of students in the program, achieved high levels of Board passage rates and enjoyed the highest applicant pool in the last decade. As a result of all efforts, she has led the department in successfully conducting a self-study and receiving a ten year reaccreditation for the department.

During her tenure as department chair, the faculty have enhanced their research efforts and on a routine basis, the department faculty have won awards as one of the best research papers in the state for their publications.

"We wish Cathy well during her sabbatical year and look forward to her return as a full time faculty member in her department," said Dean Oppenheimer.

After consulting with the department's faculty and staff Dean Oppenheimer is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Christine Wilson. Dr. Wilson joined Pacific in 2003 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008. Dr. Wilson holds her PhD. in Physiology from McGill University, a Master's in Motor Learning from Columbia University, and her BS in Physical Therapy from SUNY Downstate.

Her experience in physical therapist education is extensive. Before coming to Pacific eight years ago, she served as an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University for six years after having served for four years as an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Wilson as the new Department Chair.