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Jennifer Mai

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Office: 112 CBH 
Mail Stop: 1712 
Phone: 8168 


Degrees earned: PhD, Nova Southeastern University; DPT, Clarke; MHS (Master of Health Science with Emphasis on Neuromuscular Rehabilitation), University of Indianapolis; BSPT – Bradley University.

Professional experience: Jennifer has been teaching at Clarke since 2004. She teaches the Adult Neuromuscular sequence, Cardiopulmonary PT, and Research courses. She also works at UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital in the inpatient and acute rehabilitation areas to maintain her board certification. She is a neurological certified specialist and writes items for the NCS board examination. Jennifer is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Iowa Physical Therapy Association and a member of the Neurology, Geriatrics, Education and Acute Care Sections of the APTA. She has published several articles, presented research at the state and national level, and reviewed textbooks.

Teaching philosophy: My goal is that graduating DPT students will be well rounded in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Physical therapists need to be able to critically think and problem solve quickly. As such, I expect graduates use these skills to be able to accurately examine patients, complete differential diagnoses, develop problem lists, as well as create and implement plans of care that are appropriate, yet challenging, functional and interesting to the patients they serve. In order to achieve these goals, I believe that students must practice using their skills in class as well as in the clinic.  By having lab-based courses, the students are able to interact with one another and learn in a “hands-on” manner to reinforce ideas presented in lecture. I expect that students are able to integrate information from across the curriculum into each course because this is the expectation in the clinic. I am able to relate new concepts in one course to concepts previously learned in other courses. In the classroom, I aim to have students take an active role in the learning process, to foster an eagerness for learning, and to create a successful learning environment. 

Clarke’s impact on Jennifer: I am amazed by the amount of service students and faculty are involved with on and off campus. My favorite activity is NeuroEx, where patients with neurological disorders work with our DPT students as part of our Neuromuscular sequence.

Jennifer’s impact on students: I have had new graduates send me messages thanking me for challenging them in the classroom. They have told me that it was hard work and they didn’t necessarily like it at the time, but easily transitioned to working with neurological patients and knew far more than they thought they did. Hearing that former students are receiving superior reviews from their employers in their first year is also very rewarding.

Jennifer’s favorite:

Movie – Notting Hill

Book – My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

Quote – "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt

Class in college – Neurological Physical Therapy

Place traveled – Hawaii

Hobby – Attending sporting events, reading, volunteering through church and school events

  • Support Clarke - Spring
  • Arts at Clarke 2016
  • Transfer Fall 2015