Students in field

Finlandia hires new PTA Program Director

July 30, 2021

Finlandia University has recently hired Melanie Thurmond as its College of Health Sciences Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program Director and Assistant Instructor.

Thurmond (’06) attained an associate’s degree from Finlandia’s PTA program and a bachelor’s degree from DeVry University in Finance. In addition, Thurmond holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Findlay, an opportunity provided by Finlandia’s graduate pathway toward the DPT program. Practicing as a PTA for nine years and as a DPT for six, Thurmond also has experience as a clinical instructor.

“I have had experience in every setting of Physical Therapy. As a PTA, I spent most of my time working in outpatient clinics and being the Director of Rehab at Skilled Nursing Facilities. Once earning my Doctorate in Physical Therapy we relocated to Nevada. Here I worked in outpatient, inpatient, SNF, and the schools. While at this clinic I spent a great deal of extra time specializing in Women’s Health and started up a Women’s Health program at the outpatient clinic.”

Excited to rejoin her alma mater, the roots of where her strong career began, Thurmond has the opportunity to provide both professional and vocational education to Finlandia’s students.

“Finlandia’s PTA program jump started my career. I left here and was prepared for my first job as a PTA and excelled in the field. I want to be part of that for other students and give back to the University that did so much for me.”

Thurmond and her husband have an 18-month-old daughter and are expecting another daughter soon. Thurmond’s family is very active as they enjoy running, biking, playing tennis and doing CrossFit. The former Finlandia basketball player also shared her family’s love for the sport. Having coached together for the past six years, most recently for a women’s varsity team, the Thurmond family is looking forward to the possibilities of coaching again.

“I’m sure you will see us get involved in basketball soon in the area as we can’t stay away from it long.”

Thurmond can be found in her office, room 302, in the Hirvonen College of Health Sciences building. The easiest way to reach her is by email at melanie.thurmond@finlandia.edu.


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