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Bill O'Dell

Chair and Professor of Physical Therapy
Office: 117A CBH 
Mail Stop: 1712 
Phone: 6618 


Degrees earmed: Doctor of Health Science Degree, University of Indianapolis; Master of Business Administration, University of Dubuque; Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis; Bachelor of Science Degree Major-Biology, Minor-chemistry- Central Michigan University.

Professional experience: Bill has been teaching at Clarke since 1997 and currently serve as chair of the department. Prior to that, he served in various staff and management positions in Dubuque and Indianapolis. He continues to practice in the clinic to maintain his skills and certification as board certified specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.

Teaching philosophy: Baseball values a 5-tool player. I encourage students to become an all-around therapist in the same way including memorization of basic science facts, critical thinking through gray areas, developing clinical skills, communicating with patients and other healthcare providers and having a caring/compassionate heart.

Clarke’s impact on Bill: Having been selected as the 2011 recipient of the BVM Core Value Award was very humbling. Community service is encouraged at Clarke and this has allowed me to participate in many charitable activities. Examples include the following: Wheels for the World, collecting wheelchairs to be refurbished to send to third world countries; Kids Against Hunger, raising money to purchase and package food to send to Haiti; Into the Streets, an event where Clarke students and faculty help out at numerous local organizations, nursing homes and group homes; Human Body Bee, each year approximately 900 fifth grade students come to Clarke to learn about the human body.

Bill’s impact on students: My greatest experience at Clarke is watching the students grow into young professionals. Watching students interact with clients at the Kehl Center in our pro-bono Health and Wellness Practicum is a true joy. Many of the clients come back year after year because of the professionalism of our students. This program allows our students to interact with clients on a weekly basis during their first year in the program. The Clarke University Physical Therapy program won a “Creative Program Award” from the Iowa Association for Lifelong Learning in 2005 for this practicum.

Bill’s favorite:

Quote – “The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.” Claude Lévi-Strauss

Place traveled – I have made a couple of medical mission trips to Haiti, working with disabled orphans, as well as people who have suffered strokes and amputations. This is an eye-opening experience that helps you appreciate all we have in the United States.

Hobby – My family and I enjoy going to a lake in Michigan in the summer to do some ATVing, fishing, relaxing and catching up with extended family.




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