A message from Elizabeth M. Petty, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
I am delighted to announce that Susan (Sue) Wenker, PT, PhD, GCS-Emeritus, has accepted our offer to become the next UWSMPH Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Director effective May 8, 2022. She succeeds Dr. Lisa Steinkamp who is retiring after 25 years as director. In this role, Sue will provide expert leadership, vision, and oversight to maintain the high quality of education in the DPT program.
Dr. Wenker is an Assistant Professor (CHS) in the UW–Madison Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She earned her BS at UW-La Crosse and her Masters and PhD degrees at UW–Madison through the School of Education. She joined our faculty in 2005 as Director, Clinical Education/Associate Faculty, University of Wisconsin Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, as well as a Faculty Associate in the SMPH Office of Academic Affairs. Since 2017, she has been an Assistant Professor (CHS), Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Office of Academic Affairs. From 1989, she has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, and the American Physical Therapy Association-Wisconsin/Southwest District, and since 2022, the National Academy of Practice. Sue has numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations on curriculum, assessment, aging, DEI, patient-centered care, interprofessional collaboration, and other proximate topics.
This year, Dr. Wenker will be presenting at national and international conferences, as well as our SMPH Medical Education Day. Sue currently teaches six courses, mentors a PT student annually, and has a research project with the National Academy of Practice. Her department and school service includes participation in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Admissions Committee, Medical Education Day Planning Committee, Center for Aging Research and Education (School of Nursing), UW–Madison Teaching Academy, Physical Therapy Curricular Committee, Member Education and Professional Development subcommittees for the UW–Madison Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (CIPE), and the CIPE Co-coordinator of the Healthy Aging Initiatives. She chairs the American Physical Therapy Association – Academy of Geriatrics First Biennial Conference, qualified as an Intercultural Development Inventory Administrator, was re-elected as the Director of Education for the American Physical Therapy Association, starts her second term as a Director of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy Board of Directors, Co-chairs the UW–Madison Teaching Academy, and is a MEDiC Faculty Leader.
Along with numerous published articles, presentations, research, and teaching, Dr. Wenker has received multiple well-deserved awards for her exceptional teaching, mentoring, and service. In 2020, she was recognized by the American Physical Therapy Association Academy of Geriatrics with the Distinguished Educator Award, as well as their highest honor, the Academy of Geriatrics Joan Mills Service award. In 2021 she was the recipient of the school’s Dean’s Teaching Award, and this year has been nominated for Fellow of the National Academy of Practice. Dr. Wenker is eminently qualified to continue the excellence in our DPT education.
I want to thank the Search and Screen Committee Co-Chairs, Chris Hooper-Lane and Vera Tsenkova, the Committee members, and the many learners, faculty, and staff throughout Academic Affairs for their time and commitment in helping to identify the best candidate for this position.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wenker to her new role and thanking Dr. Steinkamp for her many years of outstanding service and exemplary leadership. I know Dr. Wenker will carry on the tradition of excellence in Physical Therapy as she works with faculty, staff, and learners within the DPT program and beyond to provide extraordinary educational experiences for learners!
Elizabeth M. Petty, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Medical Director, Genetic Counselor Program
Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health