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Ethan Launstein ’24 (DPT) Discovers Passion for Learning, Service in Krannert School of Physical Therapy

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Congratulations to the University of Indianapolis Class of 2024! We asked our newest alumni to share their UIndy experience and their post-graduation plans. Meet Ethan Launstein, who recently received his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)!

Why did you choose to pursue your doctoral degree in physical therapy?

Since middle school, I’ve spent time at work with my mom (an occupational therapist) and knew this was the field for me. I enjoy that we can help people learn how to live and function better and use exercise as medicine to promote wellness. Physical therapy is a valuable field across the lifespan, and there are so many areas of practice that I could never get bored in this career.

Why did you choose UIndy?

One of my best friends from undergrad was studying in UIndy’s DPT program and I was very impressed with the facility and community. Throughout the application and interview process, the faculty and staff were very welcoming and made UIndy feel like home right away. They made me feel comfortable and valued as an individual, and I could tell the Krannert School of Physical Therapy was filled with passionate experts.

Are you a part of any extracurriculars on or off campus? If so, what are they, and what is your role?

Throughout my time at UIndy, I volunteered at the IU Student Outreach Clinic as a student physical therapist, where we were able to assist members of the community as an interdisciplinary team and interact with students across the cohorts and PTA program. I was also able to attend classes and assist with labs as a graduate assistant for the PTA program and got to learn even more about our great profession through that experience.

Are there any faculty or staff members who have significantly impacted your time at UIndy? If so, who are they, and how did they influence you?

Every faculty and staff member in the DPT program has significantly impacted my time here. I have to mention Dr. Paul “Paulie” Salamh, Dr. Kathy Martin, Franci Dilk, and Kristen Arnes.

I’ve spent countless afternoons in Paulie’s office chatting about anything and everything, and he has been an exceptional mentor in all things school-related and the bigger picture. He makes sure to do a fantastic job not only educating students but ensuring their well-being.

Kathy helps make sure the transition to grad school is smooth for first-year students, but her guidance doesn’t stop there. From the first day, she was someone I could count on to push me to be my best and get outside of my comfort zone because she was always there to make sure I didn’t fall too far.

Franci and Kristen kept the supply of candy flowing and were a steady “mom” presence every day, from best to worst. We couldn’t have better cheerleaders in our corner.

Words are not enough to express my gratitude and love for these people and all the other members of the KSPT family.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be participating in the Sports Physical Therapy Residency Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where I will have the opportunity to work with pediatric athletes, provide athletic coverage at Thomas More University, and assist in the University of Cincinnati DPT program while being mentored and educated further in the world of sports medicine.

How did your degree program prepare you for your next steps?

The DPT program at UIndy helped ensure I had a strong base of academic knowledge that I was able to apply across the years in the program and throughout a variety of clinical experiences. Apart from developing great clinicians, the program makes sure to instill a sense of service and duty in its students, and we are focused on treating patients as individuals as opposed to focusing only on their injuries and deficits. Through the program I have gained a desire to continue learning and growing every day of my career.

What is one of your favorite memories from your time at UIndy?

One of my favorite memories would have to be helping out with PTA practical exams at the end of finals week with the other graduate assistants. We were all so tired at that point in the week, but we knew we had made it through another semester together and got to spend the night interacting with the PTA students and faculty and celebrating their successes along with ours.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Work hard, go to class, and take care of yourself! Performing well in school is important, but it’s more about what you learn and the experiences you have. Time flies, so soak it in. Enjoy each day (even the hard ones), and go for it!