Growing up, Lisa Bierdeman was always passionate about helping people, especially when it came to health and wellness. “I felt I had a calling to help others better themselves and live healthy lives,” she said.
After high school, Bierdeman studied biology at Roberts Wesleyan
College with plans of attending medical school. However, after
playing three years of college volleyball, she realized a different
career path was evolving.
“In my eyes, it’s almost like an art to sculpt your
body so that it can perform properly during a sporting event or
even during activities of daily living,” she explained.
“I also saw so many injuries and knew I wanted to help those
who are suffering and so I decided that the best career path for me
would be physical therapy.
“My dad earned his doctorate in inorganic chemistry from
UB so I looked into their undergraduate programs knowing that they
had excellent graduate programs,” said Bierdeman. “The
physical therapy program is nationally ranked and they have great
facilities to accommodate learning. Also, when I was looking into
how I was going to transfer my credits, professors were always
willing to help.”
UB’s Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program begins with
prerequisite coursework in the exercise science BS program. The
coursework provides a solid understanding of movement and exercise
in healthy populations. The three-year, graduate professional DPT
program that follows focuses heavily on clinical populations and
teaching the assessment and treatment of individuals with a variety
Bierdeman began the graduate portion of the DPT program in fall
“I am really enjoying how the DPT program is set up so
that we work together as a class to be successful,” she said.
“On day one we talked about how this is a team effort and
every day we are encouraged to strive to be the best therapy
students we can be. I also love that physical therapy is heavily
evidence-based, and it’s great to be at a university with so
much of that research going on right here.
“Foundations of Physical Therapy with Dr. Personius is by far my favorite class
since we are already learning skills that will help us be better
clinicians when we step into the clinic,” said Bierdeman.
“And the lab portion gives us the opportunity to
practice with classmates.
“It’s also great to look forward to the 52 weeks that we will spend in the clinic over the next three years. I know we will be so incredibly prepared for our careers once we graduate.”