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Jessie Ball Lecture speaker tells DPT students to set high goals and maintain high standards to achieve them

John Childs, DPT, Ph.D., MBA, was the featured speaker at the 2017 Jessie Ball Lecture and Doctor of Physical Therapy Pinning Ceremony Oct. 5 at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Childs, who is chief executive officer of Evidence in Motion and a partner in Confluent Health, had multiple pieces of advice for the 59 first-year students in the class of 2020 who took the class oath and received their student pins during the ceremony in Battenfeld Auditorium. The pinning ceremony traditionally takes place after the DPT students have completed their first semester and marks the beginning of their physical therapy education.

Childs had four key takeaways for the students as they start their careers in physical therapy. First, conventional wisdom is often wrong, so don't be afraid to stand out. Next, never sit still or you risk losing your purpose or passion. Third, always be willing to learn. Finally, find a mentor and ask how you can support them.

"In your toughest times, you are really going to be challenged to keep going," he said. "Set high standards for yourself and very high standards to achieve those goals."

The Jessie Ball Lecture honors Ball, who joined the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science faculty in 1960 as an assistant professor and served as interim chair of the department from 1979 to 1981. A beloved and respected faculty member, Ball retired in 1988. During her 28 years at KU Medical Center, Ball received the Chancellor's Teaching Award and the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award. In 1994, she was honored as the Distinguished Alumna by the KU School of Allied Health. She is remembered fondly by a legion of physical therapists who learned under her mentorship.


  • Beverly Drake Fellowship Awards: Troy Smith, class of 2019, and Mallory Thompson, class of 2020.
  • Penny Cohn Scholarship: Jordan Bosch, Katie Kempf, Alyssa Parrish, and Lindy Sasse, all class of 2019. 
  • MS STEP UP Scholars: Stacy Coffyn, Katelyn Jarvis, Samantha Keeling, and Alex Wileman.
  • KU Clinical Instructor of the Year: Amy Nichols
  • Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant: Mohammed Alshehri .
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant: Abdulfattah Alqahtani.
  • Bittel Family Scholarship Awardee: Mohammed Alshehri and Abdulfattah Alqahtani
  • Lou Loescher-Junge Professional Development Award for a PhD student: Melike Kahya. 
  • Lou Loescher-Junge Professional Development Award for a DPT student: Alicen Whitaker, class of 2019

Class of 2020
Arana Gustavo, Jordan Barr, Jena Brophy, Jacob Campbell, Laura Cleland-Leighton, Stacy Coffyn, Jacquelyne Cutler, Kara Decker, Megan Domann, Brooke Douglas, Andrew Doyle, Katie Finley, Mackenzie Freeman, Lydia Gibson, Kale Greiner, Justin Hahn, Matt Halas, Tanner Hampton, Miki Hays, Madeline Hughes-Zahner, Jenelle Hunnicutt, Katelyn Jarvis, Samantha Keeling, Sameia Kendall, Rachel Kimmich, Lisa Landis, Zach Loesch, Matthew McKenna, Marissa Montgomery, Bayli Palmer, Harrison Petrik, Olivia Pierce, Tyler Posch, Daniel Rebeck, Andrea Rock, Sara Rholman, Madison Schadler, Choise Seasholtz, Samuel Shepherd, Lillie Siegrist, Savannah Skoch, Cody Sliva, Skylar Smith, Kailey Spero, Jesica Steele, Michael Steinbacher, Robert Stickler, Shannon Strecker, Micah Swank, Alyssa Talbott, Sarah Thies, Mallory Thompson, Tanner Tripp, Timothy Turner, Rowan Turner, Kelsey Wade, Nicole Weaver, Alexandra Wileman, Brittany Ziegler.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018