Commencement 2021

Emeriti Faculty

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S. Juanita Robel, P.T., M.H.S., CLT

S. Juanita Robel, P.T., M.H.S., CLT

Associate Professor Emerita of Physical Therapy


In her 35 years as a physical therapist and educator, S. Juanita Robel, P.T., M.H.S., CLT, taught hundreds of students, treated myriad patients, played key roles in revamping and updating curriculum, and served on committees at Des Moines University and in her profession. Colleagues valued her innovative approaches in curriculum development, instruction and use of technology; students gained excellent clinical reasoning and decision-making skills thanks to her outstanding teaching and insistence on asking her favorite question, “Why?”

Her love of her profession and desire to ensure it was in good hands fueled her motivation to teach.

Ms. Robel joined the University as a physical therapy instructor in 1989, the year before the program graduated its very first class. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1993 and associate professor in 2000. In 2002, after the Commission on Accreditation for Physical Therapy Education discontinued accreditation for bachelor’s programs in physical therapy, she played the lead role in revising the DMU program’s curriculum, which allowed the University to become one of the first institutions to transition to a doctoral program.

The DMU Faculty Welfare Committee honored her with its Outstanding Teacher Award in 2015.

Ms. Robel was a leader in the Iowa Physical Therapy Association, Southwest District. She led continuing medical education and faculty development sessions on topics ranging from lymphedema to optimal uses of technology and other instructional delivery methods to educate future health professionals.

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