Medical Facilities of America (MFA) is dedicated to our students’ success and wants to highlight students for their efforts. The MFA Student Standout for the month of September is Ashley Bird.
Name: Ashley Bird
Hometown: El Centro, California
Undergraduate degree and school: BA in English, Tabor College
What sparked your interest in physical therapy?
I started my college career as a pre-nursing major. A year into school, I realized that nursing wasn’t for me. Instead, I finished with an English degree because I enjoyed reading and analyzing literature. When I graduated, I got a job working as a special education paraeducator, and my favorite things to do with my kindergarten and 1st grade students were physical and occupational therapy exercises. I was transferred to work for the occupational therapist, and we worked closely with the district’s PT. I ultimately decided that my goals and desires for helping others reach their full potential aligned best with PT.
What’s the most exciting part of the DPT program?
I really enjoy the experience as a whole. The professors are wonderful and caring. PT school is the most difficult pursuit I’ve ever committed to, but the professors make the heavy content enjoyable and easier to learn. The students in all three cohorts are mind-blowingly supportive and encouraging to each other, as well as challenging me to be the best person I can be. The facility itself is conducive to the best opportunities for learning.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I would really like to do research on how PT can facilitate psychological healing in veterans and active-duty military that are diagnosed with PTSD when combined with counseling and/or research on how PT can facilitate academic development in children who are developmentally or cognitively delayed.
What are some of your hobbies?
I really enjoy reading Harry Potter and books that are somehow related to PT but aren’t textbooks. Currently, I am making my way through “The Evil Hours” by David J. Morris—a book about PTSD, courtesy of Dr. Blair. I highly recommend it! I also enjoy quilting, watching Netflix and football, hanging out with my friends and family, listening to Noah Herrin and Ravi Zacharias podcasts, and dreaming about the next time I get to eat at In-N-Out in San Diego after a great day at the beach.
What is your favorite quote?
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic: capable of inflicting injury or remedying it.” Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [film])
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have a really cool God-story about how I ended up at the University of Lynchburg’s DPT program. It’s a bit too long to type here, but I’m always open to sharing if anyone asks!