Faculty Resident Elizabeth FonkenJul 12, 2021
The University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Fonken, PT, DPT as the first resident of the Faculty Residency Program. The program received notice of candidacy in January 2021.
Fonken began her residency early May and will continue until December 2022, working closely with Program Coordinator and mentor Associate Professor Dana Judd, PT, DPT, PhD. She is an alumna of the program, Class of 2016, and was previously a practitioner at Denver Health. In a previous alumni profile, Fonken had expressed a desire to get into academics.
Professor Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, who led the effort of establishing the residency, noted, “We are excited to have Elizabeth join us, as she brings her experience as an acute care and neurologic physical therapist, as well as her interest and passion for teaching to the program.
The mission of the Faculty Residency Program is to develop capable faculty who are prepared to engage in innovative education by providing a curriculum and mentored experience that supports excellence in the preparation of future healthcare providers and participation in academia. Fonken will be a member of the CU PT faculty and participate in learning about the elements of teaching, scholarship, service, and governance of higher education institutions to be prepared to assume a role as faculty in a DPT program. There are currently only two other non-clinical Faculty Residency programs accredited in physical therapist education nationally.
Fonken noted, “I am honored to be a part of this residency. I am gaining insight into the academic world that I have always been curious about while getting mentored by the people I have looked up to throughout my career. It is truly an incredible opportunity.”
Fonken will learn about curriculum development, instructional design, course management and will have the opportunity to teach in several courses throughout the curriculum. Additionally, she will participate in the 18-month long School of Medicine Academy of Medical Educators Teaching Scholars program, designed to develop teaching and learning skills.
“She had already been assisting in multiple courses as a lab instructor over the past several years, and now she will be immersed in all aspects of academic physical therapy education,” said Rapport. “We look forward to having her in the program and watching her knowledge and skills as a PT educator grow.”
“There are a lot of reasons to be excited as we provide this new offering,” said Program Director Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, FGSA. “Leveraging the expertise of our faculty to help us advance post-professional education will be a great way to demonstrate our expertise as a program and contribute to the profession.”
The Faculty Residency Program is designed to significantly advance preparation of the physical therapist as a highly qualified educator and productive scholar. Potential as a future leader in physical therapist education is developed through multiple teaching experiences, structured mentorship opportunities, and mentored educational scholarship throughout the program. The program also offers access to the resources of the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program on the Anschutz Medical Campus.