Western University of Health Sciences’ own Marijean Piorkowski, a
doctoral candidate in the College of Allied Health Professions’ Doctor of
Physical Therapy (DPT) program and longtime faculty member at Cerritos
Community College, was recently honored as Teacher of the Year by the
California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability (CAPED).
Presented annually, the award is given to an outstanding
instructor who recognizes their responsibility for the education of all
learners and has made extraordinary efforts to meet the academic needs of
students with disabilities in the classroom through the use of innovative
instructional techniques and accommodations.
As department chair of Cerritos College’s Physical Therapist
Assistant program and chair of the college’s Curriculum Committee,
Piorkowski has been instrumental in ensuring that classroom instruction
is attentive to the needs of disability students in all courses,
particularly distance education. Because of her work, all new distance
education classes at the community college must address the accessibility
issue for students with disabilities.
Prior to entering Western University’s DPT program (which confers
doctorate degrees to licensed physical therapists and students seeking
their first professional degree) in January 2003, Piorkowski had been
considering a transitional doctorate program that would accommodate her
full-time work schedule. She practices physical therapy at both Torrance
Memorial and Long Beach Memorial Hospitals. “”Western’s transitional DPT
program with its distance education base and its convenient Southern
California location is perfect for my schedule and learning style,”” she
said. “”I have thoroughly enjoyed the classes and I appreciate the
excellent faculty of the program.””
“”The Teacher of the Year award Marijean received demonstrates
the caliber of student in our DPT program,”” commented Dr. Donna Redman-
Bentley, chair of the physical therapy department in the College of
Allied Health Professions.