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Alumnus Highlight

Patricia (Patty) Hill is a Texas State graduate, class of 2005. She grew up in Virginia, studying biology and competing as a Division One rower at the University of Virginia.  After graduating from UVA in 1997, she moved to Austin and completed a Master’s degree in Biomechanics from University of Texas at Austin.  Shortly after, she found her calling in the field of physical therapy and was accepted in the program at Texas State.  While Patty’s primary interest was in neuro, the variety of opportunities in acute care and trauma lead her to pursue employment after graduation at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin.  At Brackenridge, Patty fell in love with wound management.  She indicated “there is something about the combination of art and science that goes into the practice of wound care that is deeply satisfying, along with the ability to help people in a very tangible way.”  In 2011, Patty completed requirements for multidisciplinary board certification as a Certified Wound Specialist (CWS) from the American Board of Wound Management. Patty worked at Brackenridge for 10 years saying “working that long in a charity hospital was deeply fulfilling.”

Since graduating from Texas State, Patty has become more and more involved in various forms of teaching in wound management and general physical therapy.  She has served as a clinical instructor for Texas State physical therapy students, is a frequent guest lecturer, and has participated in the student interview process.  In April 2017, as an adjunct faculty member, Patty co-lead and instructed the department’s first group of Costa Rica study abroad students for a Spanish language emersion course. 

In May 2017, Patty participated in her first overseas volunteer experience.  Through a global volunteer program organized by the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care (AAWC) and Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO), Patty spent two weeks in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working with patients and staff at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope.  The mission of the AAWC global volunteers program is to help bring evidence-based practice to developing countries around the world.  While in Cambodia, Patty was responsible for making wound care recommendations and for providing instruction to Surgery and Medicine team members during daily rounds. She was invited to observe several surgeries and was asked to offer assistance and instruction in negative pressure wound therapy application in the operating room.  Classroom instruction was also part of the trip and she delivered several lectures on various wound care topics to both nursing staff and surgeons. 

On the weekends, there was a little time to take in some sites as well as a visit to the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital in the Kampot province, a Sihanouk sister hospital.  Patty hopes to return to Cambodia next year with a group of physicians and other wound care providers to host a series of diabetic foot clinics. 

This seems to be just the beginning of an exciting and rewarding career for Patty in the field of wound care as she works to spread her passion for practice with others both here in the United States and abroad.  Thanks Patty for letting us feature you on the department’s website, we appreciate all you do.  You are truly a ‘rising star’ of Texas State!!


Chris Baker, PT, MS, DC, DACBN, MSPT

Christopher Baker is a graduate of the Texas State University Department of Physical Therapy.  He has partnered with Texas Physical Therapy Specialists to develop physical therapy private practices with 12 locations throughout the San Antonio-Austin Corridor as well as in Tyler.  Known for teaching physical therapists all over the US, TexPTS physical therapists pride themselves in being spine experts.  Other areas of special interest include hand therapy as well as oral-maillocranial pain/ TMD.  Additional specialty services offered include aquatics with current flow systems, EMG/NCV testing, sports physical therapy and wellness/fitness assessments.  The company delivers hands-on physical therapy based on the newest research to achieve the Chris Bakerbest results for patients with bad backs, achy joints, wounded hands, and work injuries.  TexPTS's vision is to be the Best First ChoiceTM for physical therapy services in Texas, using the Newest Research to achieve the Best Results in Fewer Visits. Along the way, the TexPTS family has fun and makes friends with their patients (and their pets, their kids, their in-laws, and neighbors….) As a result of this hard work, TexPTS was voted the Best Private Physical Therapy Practice in the U.S. in 2009 by their peers in the American Physical Therapy Association.To learn more about Dr. Baker and the TexPTS family, visit their website at
A resident of the San Marcos community with his family, Dr. Baker continues to participate in the education of young college students by serving as a per course instructor for the PT 3400/5400 course offered by the Department as well as serving as a clinical instructor for the DPT students completing clinical assignments with TexPTS.


Brandi Smith-Young, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Brandi Smith-Young graduated from Texas State in 2005 with an MSPT. Prior to attending Texas State, she graduated with a degree in kinesiology from TWU. While at TWU, Brandi contributed to two gymnastics national championships. Upon completion of her masters degree, she pursued further education through the Manual Therapy Institute, completing her fellowship in manual therapy. Brandi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. She has spent the last five years in an outpatient orthopaedic setting. Her experience as a gymnast for 20 years, gymnastics coach for nine years and a former cheerleader for seven years led Brandi to start Perfect 10.0 Physical Therapy and Personal Training. Her background contributes a unique perspective to treatment of gymnastic, cheerleading, dance and related sports' injuries. Perfect 10.0 Physical Therapy and Personal Training is an all-inclusive injury care, sport-specific, strength and conditioning program designed to return athletes to their discipline, injury prevention, and enhance sports performance.

Brandi is a lifelong gymnastics enthusiast and a professional member of the USA Gymnastics. She presented at the Gymnastic Association of Texas annual conference in 2008 and 2009. She has been a guest lecturer at Texas State since 2009. Brandi lives in Austin and married her long time high school sweetheart, Stuart Young, in 2008. She credits Texas State with the knowledge, tools, and exposure to the Manual Therapy Institute to develop her clinical skills. This opportunity has allowed her to meet her lifelong dream of giving back to the sport she loves so much.

Laura Proctor

Laura Proctor graduated from Texas State University in 2007 with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy. After graduation, Laura moved to Alaska to be closer to her now husband Bill who has continued to serve in the United States Air Force. Once arriving in Anchorage, Laura obtained a license and began her search for a job. Laura now works at the largest hospital in Alaska, Providence Alaska Medical Center, a 360 bed, level II trauma center. As an acute care staff physical therapist Laura has had the opportunity to work with a variety of patients. She has worked with patients on the cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, surgical, neurological, medical, and rehabilitation floors as well as the critical care unit.
Since beginning employment in 2007, Laura has found a love for neurology as well as critical care and has had the opportunity to become a member of a TBI Taskforce put in place to develop a Traumatic Brain Injury Protocol for Providence. The protocol is being established to allow patients that have suffered a brain injury access to more treatment options and a better plan of care as resources are limited in Alaska for patients with brain injury as compared to patients in the lower 48. Laura is also working hard with her colleagues to implement a protocol in the intensive care unit that allows therapies to become involved early on in patient care to minimize length of stays and complications from prolonged bed rest as well as maximize patient outcomes.
Laura has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work in acute care and believes that the experience has allowed her to utilize an abundance of skills learned while attending Texas State. Although Laura has graduated and has been actively practicing, she feels there is always an opportunity to learn and grow as a therapist; every day can be a learning experience if you allow yourself the opportunity to listen and grow.
In her free time, Laura enjoys camping and hiking in the beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, Bill, and their two dogs, Abbie and Koda.  
Please feel free to contact Laura at

LCDR Mitchel Ideue

Mitchel Ideue graduated from Southwest Texas University (as it was known then) in 1990 with a degree in Physical Therapy. He then moved back to his beautiful home state of Hawaii, obtained licensure and purposely worked in different clinical setting to gain richer experience. His diverse experience includes serving as a team leader in traumatic brain Injury in an acute rehabilitation center, staff physical therapist with homecare service and rehabilitation manager for rehabilitation service. He spent his free time as a part-time physical therapy assistant instructor and travelled along the south pacific rim providing rehab instruction to various island nation hospitals. In 2007, Mitchel gave up his rehabilitation manager position so that he could provide physical therapy service to the wounded warriors in the U.S. Navy who fight tirelessly in the war against terrorism.

Mitchel's background in neuro-rehabilitation and management has resulted in his selection to Officer In Command of Inpatient Services at Landsthul Regional Medical Center (LRMC) Germany. LRMC is the largest American hospital outside of the United States and the primary medical treatment of casualties of U.S. operations within Europe. There are 162 beds at LRMC, with an expansion capability in excess of 310 beds. There are, on the average, 16 admissions daily, 3700 outpatient visits monthly, 510 operations monthly, and 3 births daily.

"Considering my Hawaii roots, Germany is definitely cold, but the people and landscape are lovely. The work, though, is especially and personally rewarding" says Mitchel. His department provides care to all Wounded Warriors from Iraq and Afghanistan in need of services.

Mitchel is in his second year of voluntary service and is hoping to be accepted to perform services for a third year. He is able to perform such service because his family, especially his wife Susie Ideue (who also graduated from SWT), are most supportive with his commitment to support the troops in the war effort. Susie has visited Mitchel at LRMC and observed the exceptional care provided to the wounded. Her firsthand observation of care to Wounded Warriors has resulted in offering her professional service as Trainer in Performance Improvement or any voluntary position.

While at LRMC, Mitchel has helped establish the first Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Program in Europe and worked with the Medical Department of the Navy to provide information and make recommendations to the Deputy Surgeon General to improve access and delivery of trauma care. In his free time, he goes on surfing trips. He has surfed in France, Spain, South Africa and Maldives and ridden camels in Egypt.

Contact Mitchel at

New Clinical Specialists - 2010


Texas State had five graduates recognized as new clinical specialists at the Recognition Ceremony for Clinical Specialists at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting on February 17, 2010.  We are proud to congratulate Merick Anne Stanchak, PT, MSPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Kimberly Ann Rios, PT, MSPT, OCS, Stephanie Michelle Nino, PT, MSPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, Sheri D King, PT, MSPT, OCS, and Steve Edwards, Jr, PT, BSPT, OCS.  In addition, Mary Elizabeth Parker from our faculty received her NCS and Jason Hardage received his GCS.  Congratulations to all!

Five New Clinical Specialists from Texas State Grads

At the 2009 APTA Combined Sections Meeting, five graduates from the Texas State Physical Therapy Program were honored at the Ceremony for Recognition of Clinical Specialists.  These five graduates join a number of faculty and other graduates in achieving recognition for their clinical expertise and excellence. (See article below)  They include:  Basimma Hammonds, PT, MPT, OCS; Jessica Poteet, PT, MSPT, OCS; Shanan Richard, PT, BS, OCS; Brandi Smith, PT, MSPT, OCS; and Ryan Stukel, PT, MSPT, OCS.

Texas State Faculty and Graduates Achieve Board Specialization Status

Congratulations to the five new clinical specialists - Bassima Hammonds, Jessica Poteet, Shanan Richard, Brandi Smith and Ryan Stukel.  They join faculty and other graduates in accomplishing this recognition.
    A number of graduates have achieved board certified specialist status in orthopaedics, pediatrics and sports.Jeff Cowan and Matt Parker were recognized at CSM in Nashville in 2008. Michael Benson, Brent Dunbar, Arthur Hastings, Stacy Yount, Benjamin Keene, Toko Nguyen, and James Harris were recognized in Boston in 2007 at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting. They join a number of other graduates in this accomplishment -  Steve Edwards, Ben Keene, Julie Mankinen, David Penn, and Steven Vinson. Terri Flynn is a Certified Pediatric Specialist. Certified as Sports Specialists - Kevin McHorse and Catherine Ondrusek. If we have missed anyone, let us know. This is a major clinical achievement - recognition of master clinician status through a volunteer route which requires demonstration of advanced clinical competence in the practice area as well as competence in critical inquiry, education and administration. Congratulations!
    We are proud to have on our faculty these board certified specialists -  Rob Wainner, PT, PhD, OCS, ECS; Suzanne Dougherty, PT, MSPT, SCS, ATC; Barbara Sanders, PT, PhD, SCS, Jason Hardage, PT, DScPT, NCS, and Mary Elizabeth Parker,PT,  MSPT, PCS.

Matt Parker, PT, OCS


Matt is the  Clinical Manager of Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehab at BSA Outpatient Therapy Services in Amarillo, Texas. Prior to attending physical therapy school, Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University in 1992. He graduated with the last BSPT class at Texas State in 1996. Matt’s wife, Valerie, is a speech-language pathologist, and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Zoe and Claire.

Matt has been a licensed physical therapist since March of 1997. After graduating from Texas State, Matt worked in Waco for one year before moving to Amarillo in 1998. He worked in acute care and as a skilled nursing orthopaedic therapist until moving to his outpatient position in 2000. To advance his orthopaedic skills, he has attended courses from Stanley Paris, the International Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine, and post-professional doctoral classes at Texas Tech. In 2007 he obtained his Diplomate status with the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist. His primary area of interest is lower extremity injuries and post-operative care. In his current position he is responsible for the daily clinical management and financial operations for 14 therapists and 2 nurses. Matt’s hobbies include camping, hiking, fitness, and reading.

Matt can be reached at


Kirk G Painter, PT, Cert MDT

Director of Physical Therapy & Rehab Concepts, P.C. in San Marcos, TX

Kirk was born and grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, until he went to college. He is married and has twin  boys and a daughter. He graduated at the top of his class from Texas A&I University in 1989 with a B.S. in Animal Science and from Southwest Texas State University in 1994 with a B.S. in Physical Therapy. He has been a licensed physical therapist since 1995 and the director and co-owner of the San Marcos Physical Therapy & Rehab Concepts Clinic since 1997. He is in charge of all the occupational medicine at this clinic including: WorkSteps, Work Hardening, Work Conditioning, Functional Capacity Evaluations, Post Offer Placement Exams, and Ergonomic evaluations. He is also in charge of the general operation of this clinic. Post graduate coursework completed: All five courses offered by the McKenzie Institute plus its Certification in the Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy of the Spine; Myofascial Release of the Upper Quarter; Reading-Berks Fitting Feet for Function; The Atlanta Back School course in Cumulative Trauma and Ergonomics, and he has satisfied the requirements for Functional Capacity Evaluation Seminar Certification under Keith Blankenship and also with WorkSteps. His hobbies are trail running, triathlons, adventure races, hunting, and mountain biking.

Lori Schwanz, PT, DPT, MS, ATC, LAT, PC

Lori Schwanz
Lori is the owner of Ascent Physical Therapy in Austin, Texas. Prior to attending the Physical Therapy program at Texas State, she earned a B.S. in Athletic Training and a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from California State University, Fullerton. She was a member of the Sports Medicine staff for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and worked as a Physical Therapy Assistant in Southern California. She graduated in 1998 with a MSPT from what was then Southwest Texas State University. She was the President of her class, which gave her the opportunity to participate in leadership activities on campus and within the Physical Therapy department. She received several honors, one being an outstanding student in the College of Health Professions and another was the Warren C. Smyth outstanding Texas physical therapy student awarded by the TPTA. After graduation she took a position with Rehability, a clinic in which she had completed two clinical rotations. She had the opportunity to work and learn alongside European students that were in the clinic as part of their education for the AAOMPT. After several years working for large companies, she left to start her own practice in 2000. She enjoys clinical teaching and has had the opportunity to take several Texas State students in her clinic every year. She was recently awarded the Barbara Melzer Outstanding Clinical Instructor award during the June 2010 Texas State University Physical Therapy awards ceremony. In 2008, Lori completed a DPT with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. Her scholarly work was a review of literature on unicompartmental knee replacement. It is e-published in the Journal of Orthopedics, and she presented it as a poster presentation at the 2008 annual Texas State Physical Therapy conference. She enjoys hiking, cycling, traveling and adventure vacations. In 2009 she did a hut to hut hike in the Swiss Alps, and next Spring she is planning a trek in Nepal. Congratulations to Lori on her many accomplishments.  We are proud of her as a graduate of our Physical Therapy Program. Contact Lori at or
For stories about other alumni, please visit the alumni page.


Alumnus Highlight: Benjamin Keene PT, OCS, FAAOMPT and James T. Harris PT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Staff from Austin Manual Therapy Associates

Benjamin graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1997 with a BS in Exercise and Sports Science and in 2001 with an MS in Physical Therapy. After PT school, Ben moved to Austin and began his career in Orthopedics. He completed the residency and fellowship program through the Manual Therapy Institute in 2004 and is also a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. He is currently the co-owner of Austin Manual Therapy Associates with James Harris. When not at the clinic, Ben is usually spending time with his wife Kristi as they chase after their two children Isabella and Koen.
James was born and raised in Austin TX and graduate from The University of Texas in 1987 with BS in Kinesiology/Sociology. While at UT, James played baseball and was a member of the 1983 Texas Longhorn Baseball National Champions. A career-ending shoulder injury from baseball helped James look instead to a career as a physical therapist, and he graduated from Southwest Texas State University with an MS in Physical Therapy in 2003. He completed the residency and fellowship program through the Manual Therapy Institute in 2005 and is also a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. James’ wife Maricela is the office manager and billing specialist at Austin Manual Therapy Associates. They have two sons, Jake and Matthew, who keep them busy with football games on most weekends.
Austin Manual Therapy Associates was started in 2004 based on the simple principle of treating others how we would like to be treated. As principle owners of the clinic, Ben and James strive to provide comprehensive and individualized care for each and every client at every visit. The clinic also employs several other graduates of the SWT/Texas State University PT program: these include Mary (Burnet) Moyer PT, OCS, FAAOMPT (class of 2001), Paul Pajak PT, FAAOMPT (class of 2007) and Taylor Collins PT, FAAOMPT (class of 2008).
Ben and James continue to work closely with the Manual Therapy Institute as clinical faculty and manual therapy fellowship mentors, as well as with the Texas State DPT program as clinical instructors. Their commitment to life-long learning and continued competence has led them to pursue a transitional DPT degree through Texas Tech University Health Science Center.

Contact Ben at
Contact James at

Donald Nguyen, MSPT

Donald Nguyen

Donald Nguyen became an assistant athletic trainer with The University of Texas at Austin Longhorns football team in 2010 where he coordinates rehabilitation. In this role, Nguyen oversees rehabilitation for all football student-athletes as well as provides athletic training coverage during all team activities. Prior to his appointment with the football team, he served as the Athletic Training Educational Program (ATEP) Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Athletic Trainer for Rowing for two years. As ATEP Clinical Coordinator, he assisted in coordinating Athletic Training Student rotations as well as course instruction.

Nguyen is a former Student Athletic Trainer (2000-2004) at UT and earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. He served as a Student Athletic Trainer for Football, Softball, and Baseball and was able to experience 2 Final 4's in Softball and National Runner-up at Baseball. After graduating, Nguyen returned to UT as an intern to cover Softball as Head Athletic Trainer. During his student years, he served two summer internships with the Houston Texans.

After leaving UT, Nguyen attended Texas State University, graduating in 2007 with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy. After graduation, he served as a physical therapist at Greater Austin Orthopaedics. During the PT program and while working as a PT, he also provided contract athletic training services to Austin ISD as well as the television show Friday Night Lights.

"Working at UT has allowed me to expand my clinical knowledge as well as expand my professional network. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at conferences and get published. Texas State gave me a great clinical education that I still find effective in the Athletic Training Room today." Donald Nguyen, MSPT 2007.

Kevin McHorse, PT, SCS - Outstanding Physical Therapy Alumnus

Kevin McHorse

Kevin McHorse was recognized on May 6, 2010, with the first Outstanding Physical Therapy Alumnus Award.  Kevin is a physical therapist with Central Texas Pediatrics.  He has developed a specialty practice that is unique to central Texas and to much of the country.  As one of the few specialists in sports who have concentrated in the area of pediatrics, Kevin is an active member of the APTA Sports Physical Therapy Section and is in great demand as an educator for professional development programs.  Kevin also provides guest lectures at Texas State as well as serves as a Clinical Instructor for our students.  Congratulations and Thanks Kevin!

Guest Lecturer: Trent McGinty, PT

Trent McGinty

Trent McGinty, a physical therapist from Austin, TX, presented a lecture and laboratory session for third year students on McKenzie techniques as part of our Special Topics course in April, 2012. We have been very lucky in having Trent come to campus and teach this session for us for the past few years. Trent is a long-time clinical instructor and routinely teams up with faculty to conduct student applicant interviews. Thanks, Trent, for all you do. We really appreciate your services to the Texas State DPT program and the profession!

(Posted: May 2, 2012)

New Clinical Specialists Recognized in CSM 2011

Texas State had four PT graduates recognized as new clinical specialists during the Recognition Ceremony for Clinical Specialists at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting held on February 9, 2011.  We congratulate the following individuals:

  • Cherie Havard, PT, MSPT, OCS (1998)
  • Jessica Olive, PT, MSPT, OCS (1998)
  • Chris Troyer, PT, MSPT, OCS (1998)
  • Rebecca Washkuhn, PT, MSPT, OCS (2007).

They join a growing group of clinical specialists who are graduates of the Texas State PT program.  Congratulations!  If we have missed anyone, please let us know.

(Archived: 2/14/2013)


Alumni Notes

Gaby Saldana Barron, PT (MSPT, 2002) says "I loved, loved PT school at Southwest Texas State University. It was such a good time and some of my best memories are of the fun we had in the beautiful city of San Marcos. I will never forget my professors, my clinical rotations and clinical instructors, as well as all the places we visited as part of class. I gained such a valuable source of knowledge and experience that I still draw from today. I recently switched jobs to work in pediatrics after working with adults in acute rehab for 6+ years. What helped me adapt quickly was the clinical training I had received in school. Aside from that, all you really need is a passion for what you do and a true care for your patients. I am very appreciative of the opportunity I had to attend SWT and to have the professors that I had - they were the best! A note to prospective students - 'Don't give up.' Form study groups if they work for you. Ask questions when you don't understand. And study hard. Believe me, there is light at the end of the tunnel!"


Matt Parker, PT, OCS (BSPT, 1996) writes that "the onsite clinic provided an excellent opportunity to immediately apply learned concepts, receive constructive feedback from faculty, and employ peer collaboration in decision making. It was a very valuable tool in my learning that I did not fully appreciate as a student. The faculty involvement in state and national organizations created a strong base of professionalism and pride that I participate in to this day. Take advantage of your time with the staff and respect their knowledge and network because you may never be around such a strong collection of professionals again. Eleven years after graduation, I feel like I could call on any one of them for advice, and they would not hesitate to help me out, and they have on more than one occasion. On a less tangible scale, one will be hard-pressed to find a campus and city that possess the unparalleled natural beauty of San Marcos and the surrounding region. There are ample opportunities for reflection, recreation and stress relief that all good students need to keep a semblance of balance in life while in school. " Matt is currently clinical manager for BSA Outpatient Therapy Services in Amarillo, Texas.

Vicente Rodea (BSPT, 1995) writes - "My best experience at Southwest Texas State was the availability of support staff, proximity of library, and level of education and support provided by the faculty. My advice to prospective students is to set your goals and do not stray away from the light at the end of the tunnel. It's OK to have a little fun along the way." Vicente is currently providing PRN physical therapy in South Texas.

Trent McGinty (MSPT, 2002) writes - "SWT (Texas State) was an essential part of my development as a therapist, even beyond the book knowledge. As a GA for admissions and VP of our PT Class of 2002, I learned leadership skills and networking skills that allowed me to work quickly into clinical management in my current job. I even "networked" myself into marrying a 2003 grad from the Texas State PT program." Trent also says, "The books are only a fraction of what makes a good clinician and only the foundation of a good career. A genuine, but healthy love of your patients and the people you work with is what will leave a lasting impression on them as you grow your own practice in the community." Trent is Director of Rehab, SpineAustin.