Dr. Kellee Harper-Hanigan Awarded APTA Minority Faculty Development of the Year Award

Dr. Kellee Harper-Hanigan Awarded APTA Minority Faculty Development of the Year Award

Kellee Harper-Hanigan, DPT, PhD (ABD), associate program director for Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) developing Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program has been awarded the Minority Faculty Development of the Year Award by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

This award recognizes professional character and academic excellence among faculty members pursuing post-professional doctoral degrees. Harper-Hanigan is helping launch the new DPT program at LMU that is now taking applications for its inaugural class with an anticipated May 2021 start date.

“In my new position as associate program director, I would like to improve diversity in physical therapy education through the hire of faculty and recruitment and enrollment of students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in health care,” said Harper-Hanigan. “To be successful in doing this, I feel as if junior faculty and students need to see someone who looks like them succeed. This award will significantly contribute to my success as an educator and ultimately affect my future mentorship of faculty and guidance of my students.”

Harper-Hanigan is a PhD candidate and is currently completing her dissertation on “The Relationship Between Non-Running Physical Activity and the Development of Running-Related Overuse Injuries” through the department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Indiana University-Bloomington. Harper-Hanigan earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. She also completed a Post-Doctoral Research Assistantship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the area of qualitative research methods and community-based participatory research focusing on improving birth outcomes for Black women in Omaha, Nebraska. Her bachelor’s degree is in biochemistry with a minor in physiological psychology from Dartmouth College.

Before coming to LMU, Harper-Hanigan was a member of the founding core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Indiana State University. She has also volunteered as a National Physical Therapy Examination item writer through the Federation for State Boards of Physical Therapy. She practiced in outpatient orthopedics and sports rehabilitation for three years prior to entering academia, and an additional eight years in an acute/intensive care setting as well as in inpatient wound care at a Level I Trauma Center. She is a board-certified geriatrics clinical specialist through the American Physical Therapy Association and wound care certified through the American Board of Wound Management. She also is a certified health care simulation educator through the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Harper-Hanigan has several peer-reviewed publications and has presented on topics including community-based participatory research, the application of epidemiological methodology in the investigation of running-related overuse injuries, and the impact of acute care simulation experiences on the clinical performance of physical therapy students.

For more information on LMU’s DPT program visit www.LMUnet.edu/dpt.

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, with an additional location at LMU-Knoxville. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians and health professionals to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7082, email [email protected], or visit us online at http://med.LMUnet.edu.




LMU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404.679.4500, for questions about the accreditation of Lincoln Memorial University.

LMU plans to offer the DPT program in May of 2021 pending approval of the SACSCOC.

*Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703.706.3245; [email protected] is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states. 

Lincoln Memorial University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program is planning to submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage, on December 1, 2020. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.

Back to previous page