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WesternU MPT Instructors Honored by Students

by Rodney Tanaka

November 24, 1999

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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.””


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