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Katie Fandrey: New faculty Q&A

Aug. 30, 2022

Assistant Teaching Professor, Physical Therapy

What classes are you teaching this semester?   

This semester, I will be a lab assistant for Physical Therapy Case Management: Geriatrics/Orthopedics. In addition to teaching, I am serving as the assistant director of clinical education [in the Department of Physical Therapy]. In this role, I will be helping to place students in their clinical internships, [helping] teach Introduction to Clinical Education to first-year students and acting as a clinical instructor in PhysZou.  

What do you love about teaching? What are you most looking forward to this semester? 

I love working with students who are passionate about learning. It gives me energy, fosters my own passion and challenges me to learn more to better support them. I also love watching students gain confidence in their own knowledge and skills. All physical therapy students are exceptional learners; they would not have gotten this far if they were not. However, many of them don’t know how exceptional they are. I am most looking forward to seeing students develop knowledge and skills, gain confidence and find their place in the physical therapy world! 

Tell us a little about yourself. What is your background? 

I grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri. I was a three-sport athlete at Helias High School. After high school, I played softball and earned my B.S. in Exercise Science at Truman State University. After graduation, I married the love of my life and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be closer to his family. I earned my Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Minnesota. At first, I thought I wanted to do sports medicine because of my background in athletics. However, I had an excellent teacher who showed me the love, joy and huge impact that I could have in the world of geriatrics. So, after graduation I completed a geriatric residency at the University of Minnesota.  

I have spent most of my career in nursing homes, but I have also done some work in home health and hospital-based physical therapy. This is my first full-time academic position. Prior to this position, I facilitated the Mizzou PT department as a tutor for the spring semester Case Management course and acted as a dedicated clinical instructor.  

What brought you to your field? To Mizzou? 

I pretty much always knew that I wanted to be a physical therapist. In school, I was fascinated by biology, anatomy, physiology, health and psychology, so I knew I was destined for a health care field. Because of my background in athletics and my passion for movement, physical therapy seemed like a great fit.  

Throughout my career as a physical therapist, clinical instructor and tutor, I started to realize that I was pretty good at teaching — teaching my patients, co-workers and students. I also realized that I loved doing it! When this position opened up, I knew I had to seize the opportunity. The faculty and staff here at Mizzou are phenomenal, and I am so excited to learn and grow with them.  

When you are not teaching, what are you up to? 

I have a two-year-old son, and one of my favorite things to do is show him the wonders of the world! As a family of three, we love to travel, hike, eat out at cool restaurants, go on bike rides and watch Disney movies! 

What is a fact about you that your students might not expect? 

My husband and I are minimalistic. We don’t like having stuff! We both prefer to gather knowledge, experiences and memories rather than trinkets. The only kinds of trinkets that I really like are pictures of family/friends/experiences and artwork with positive sayings. These are the kinds of things that fill my heart with joy, so I keep them around. 

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Katie Fandrey

Katie Fandrey

Assistant Teaching Professor