Students in the Master of Physical Therapy (MPT) program at Western
University of Health Sciences (WesternU) have honored a faculty member who
they consider to be particularly outstanding for the second consecutive
year. They have also honored a clinician.
The honorees were Nancy Bjerke, instructor of physical therapy, and Dayle
Chakerian Armstrong, a part-time faculty member and clinician. The two
were recognized at a reception held by the students earlier this month.
“”They both have extensive clinical backgrounds, are student advocates and
truly display a love for teaching,”” said Neeka Minor, MPT Class of 2000
president. “”They have impacted our lives as students and impacted our
careers at WesternU; they inspire us and make us crave to learn more.””
Bjerke has taught at WesternU for three years, and also received the
Outstanding Faculty Member award from the physical therapy students last
year. She said that she enjoys teaching all of her classes because her
students are strongly bound together, interesting, smart, supportive of
each other and fun to be around.
“”My students are terrific, and it feels great to be honored by them,””
Bjerke said. “”They are honest and constructive, and they provide feedback
to me that is useful, mature, and thought out thoroughly. These students
make teaching the most rewarding experience I have had.””
Armstrong has been working part time at WesternU since 1993 and also has a
private physical therapy practice where she specializes in neurological
disorders. Although she has received awards from her peers in the physical
therapy profession, this marks the first time she has been honored by her
“”It is very meaningful to be recognized by students,”” Armstrong said. “”The
thing I love most about working with WesternU students is their motivation
to learn and their obvious dedication to their future profession; their
interest in physical therapy makes it fun to teach them.””
Armstrong said that her approach in the classroom is to give many clinical
examples of each theory she presents, so that students can immediately
relate the material they’re learning in a hands-on way.
The selection of someone for the Outstanding Faculty Member and
Outstanding Clinician awards is done by a ballot vote by all the second-
year MPT students.
“”We hold this event to let them know that they have made a difference,””
said Minor. “”We are proud to have them as instructors and want them to
know that we truly appreciate the sacrifices they make.””