Blog

Meet Skylar Shumate

May 15th, 2020

Meet Skylar Shumate, the Research Coordinator at the Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation.

Background:

I am originally from Colorado, but fell in love with Boston after watching my mom run the Boston Marathon. I am currently enrolled in the six-year combined Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy program here at BU. Having finished my undergraduate course work one year ahead of schedule, I was able to take a gap year and work at the CNR full time this year as Research Coordinator for the WHIP PD research study. I will be returning to school this summer to continue working toward my DPT.

What brought you to the Center for Neurorehabilitation?

During my freshmen year at Boston University I was selected as a Sargent College Dean’s Scholar. This award provides a funded research opportunity to select Sargent College freshmen and pairs award recipients with a faculty mentor conducting research in the student’s field of interest. Given my interest in physical therapy and exercise research I was paired with Dr. Ellis. PhD, PT, NCS and have been contributing to Parkinson’s Disease research at the CNR ever since.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my job is building relationships with our patients throughout their year in the WHIP PD research study. It is incredible to not only watch our participants grow more active, but also seeing them become more confident in their own abilities.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about empowering patients to positively impact their own health and providing the tools to do so. Few things are more rewarding than experiencing the benefits of your own dedication.

 When you are not working/in class, what do you like to do during your free-time?

I love a good hands-on project whether its putting together a photo album, making cutting boards or trying out a new recipe. I also enjoy skiing and running with family and friends or reading a good book out on the deck.

How are you staying active during this time?

I have been running through my neighborhood and on nearby trails. If the weather is bad or I want to mix it up I will do an online exercise or yoga video in my living room.

Meet Tami (Rork) DeAngelis

May 4th, 2020

Meet Tami (Rork) DeAngelis, PT, DPT a Physical Therapist at the Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation.

Background: 

I moved to Boston from CT to go to BU for my Master’s in Physical therapy in 2001 and have been in the area ever since. I have been a PT for 18 years, the last 14 of those have been here at BU!

What brought you to the Center for Neurorehabilitation?

Dr Terry Ellis! I was working at a rehab hospital with a Movement Disorders Team and she suggested I apply to a position at BU. It was a great decision.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my job is having the opportunity to make someone’s day-to-day life a little easier. I enjoy teaching patients that a small change to the way they are walking or standing up from a chair can have a big impact on their overall well-being.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about providing evidence based skilled therapy to people with PD and about participating in educating people around the country with PD about the research supporting exercise interventions.

 When you are not working, what do you like to do during your free-time?

I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do, I enjoy reading, taking an exercise class and entertaining (during non-social distancing times).

How are you staying active during this time?

I have 3 daughters and a dog to help keep me active. We take a lot of scooter rides, bikes rides and long walks through the woods. We’ve also been doing some online yoga classes together.

Meet Tim Nordahl

April 24th, 2020

Meet Tim Nordahl, PT, DPT a Clinical Research Physical Therapist at the Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation.

Background: 

My dad was in the army so we moved around a lot growing up (i.e., I can’t really say I’m from any one particular place). I went to BU for my undergrad degree and my PT degree, and wound up staying in Boston ever since.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

 First and foremost, I love working with our clients. It’s so rewarding to meet them and learn about their different backgrounds and life experiences, and to see what types of goals that they have. To then help put together an individualized treatment plan, then watching that plan like this come together is deeply rewarding! Secondly, I’m also deeply fortunate to work in the CNR where we conduct research to help improve management of PD for future generations.

What brought you to the Center for Neurorehabilitation?

I was really draw to the CNR because of the innovative nature of our work. It’s so unique to work in a PT clinic situated in a research center with multiple studies ongoing at any one time!

What are you passionate about?

I am really passionate about patient centered care- I really like emphasizing a personalized approach to my work.

When you are not working, what do you like to do during your free-time?

I like to dabble in a lot of different things, so it kind of depends on the month! That being said, it’s safe to say that I always love cooking, traveling, and listening to music.

How are you staying active during this time?

I’m lucky to live near a state park so I have done quite a bit of trail running and weights workouts in my garage- we’re all figuring this thing out together!

 

Meet Teresa Baker

April 17th, 2020

Meet Teresa Baker, PT, DPT a Physical Therapist at the Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation.

Background: 
I am a Physical Therapist interested in helping people who have neurological conditions, especially people who are having issues with walking and balance.  

What brought you to the Center for Neurorehabilitation?

The chance to work with the team at BU and be part of the research and clinical care. The most rewarding part of my work is working with the patients from the Center for Neurorehabilitation, figuring out what is a helpful exercise program for someone and seeing how much better they feel!    

What are you passionate about?

Helping people stay strong and active. 

When you are not working, what do you like to do during your free-time?

I love yoga and travel.

How are you staying active during this time?

I am taking online exercise classes,  I like it more than I thought!

Meet Cristina Colón-Semenza

April 16th, 2020

Meet Cristina Colón-Semenza, PT, MPT, PhD a Research Scientist at the Boston University Center for Neurorehabilitation.

Background: 
During my undergraduate studies I majored in Exercise Science and minored in Spanish at Rutgers College. During this time, while volunteering at a rehabilitation hospital, I learned about the powerful impact of physical therapy services for individuals recovering from brain injuries. I continued my studies at the University of Delaware where I received my Master’s degree in Physical Therapy. I have had the opportunity to work with individuals recovering from strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson Disease, to name a few, during many years of clinical practice. I most recently worked clinically at Nayden Rehabilitation Clinic at the University of Connecticut working with individuals with neurological disorders.

What brought you to the Center for Neurorehabilitation?

I returned to graduate school after 15 years of clinical practice to study with Dr. Ellis and the faculty in the PhD in Rehabilitation Science program at Boston University. I graduated from the program in September of 2019. I now work as a Research Scientist at the Center.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about bringing physical therapy services to everyone! I have worked in migrant farm worker clinics, homeless shelters and remote areas of Mexico to bring physical therapy services to those who might not otherwise have access. My future research goal is to determine strategies to increase the use of exercise and physical activity for the management of neurological disorders in underserved populations.

When you are not working, what do you like to do during your free-time?

I enjoy practicing yoga, running with friends, skiing, hiking and traveling with my husband and sons. I travel frequently to NY & NJ to visit with my large extended family. I also volunteer as a board member for the Connecticut chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association and for the American Physical Therapy Association, Connecticut, as the co-chair of the Neurologic Physical Therapy Special Interest Group.

How are you staying active during this time?

I am enjoying more hikes in the woods and walks in my neighborhood with my family, Zoom yoga classes, AND we just rescued a puppy from a shelter and she is keeping us moving! We named her Moxie, which means the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.