Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD

APTA is pleased to recognize Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley with the Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Faculty Member.

Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD, has excelled as an educator, researcher, and faculty member, and was promoted to associate professor at the University of Colorado after just four years on the faculty.

Presently associate professor for the physical therapy program at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, Stevens-Lapsley has also served as an associate investigator at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, and physical therapist for Select Medical Outpatient Physical Therapy and Oak Hammock Continuous Retirement Community Clinics. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Florida and holds a PhD in biomechanics and movement science and MS in physical therapy from the University of Delaware, and a BA in biology from the University of Virginia.

With a background in translational studies of muscle physiology through both animal and human studies, Stevens-Lapsley was well-prepared to join the Program in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado. Her primary responsibilities include both teaching and research; she has continued to apply her training and background in muscle physiology to the classroom in various capacities. Stevens-Lapsley created two new required courses for the DPT program: Applied Exercise Science, which integrates exercise science with clinical realities; and the last in a 4-course series on Scientific Inquiry, where she provides students with unique opportunities to integrate evidence with clinical practice, especially as it relates to applied exercise physiology. In these courses, she challenges students to develop critical thinking and professionalism while providing them with guidance and support. Her teaching evaluations reflect the students’ appreciation for the high standards she sets in the classroom, the clarity of her communication, and her efforts to integrate materials across courses.

A member of APTA since 1997, Stevens-Lapsley currently serves on the Nominating Committee, and as co-chair of the Research Committee for the Colorado Chapter. She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals, and Arthritis Foundation. Within her community, Stevens-Lapsley serves as program director for the Nicaragua Physical Therapy Outreach through Health Volunteers Overseas, coordinating volunteers for overseas assignments to provide instruction to professors and local clinicians in Managua.


This award results from the cumulative efforts of many individuals to whom I am indebted, some of whom deserve specific mention. My mentors at the University of Delaware (Lynn Snyder-Mackler and Stuart Binder-MacLeod) and University of Florida (Krista Vandenborne) who provided tremendous mentorship and opportunities to grow professionally early in my career, as did the Foundation for Physical Therapy. I am also indebted to Ryan Mizner for extraordinary insights into clinical questions, Steve George for teaching and research acumen, Katy Rudolph for serving as an extraordinary role model, Gwen Creel for reminding me of life balance, Scott Stackhouse for challenging established paradigms, Margaret Schenkman for providing support and guidance to successfully apply years of training, and Wendy Kohrt for serving as an invaluable role model for mentoring excellence with impeccable scientific insights. Most importantly, I thank my family, without whom I could have never achieved many personal and professional goals.

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