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Dr. Sherly Holt Mount Union Physical Therapy
Dr. Sherly Holt Mount Union Physical Therapy

Dr. Sheryl Holt

Associate Professor and Chair, Physical Therapy Program

I would encourage students to be part of this program for the same reason I came here, to be part of something extraordinary!


Ph.D., Rehabilitation Science, University of Kentucky
M.S., Pediatric Allied Health Science, The Ohio State University
B.S., Physical Therapy, Georgia State University

Finding My Passion 

I think physical therapy chose me. Certainly, I have tried to escape a few times into art, journalism and medical school, but in the beginning, middle and end, it was the one vocation whose invitation was most persistent. It also remained most germane to my life pursuits, aptitudes and world views. With post graduate studies and clinical applications of neurological and pediatric content, I was hooked both clinically and academically. I transitioned to academics quite late in my career, after 27 years of clinical practice, in a rather serendipitous fashion.

Favorite Part of My Job

That’s hard to say, because quite honestly, I try to be in the moment. I love my department already. I am thrilled to be here. I have been impressed with everyone I have met in Human Resources, Dean Patricia Draves, the people with whom I interviewed last year when I accepted the position and our new president and his wife, Dr. Merriman and Dr. Kelman. The interactions are energizing and affirming to me and never cease to amaze me. Typically, I have loved all three facet aspects of academic life; the research, the teaching and the service. Each of those areas invite different aspects of my person and I value that. I love students. I love being there for them and with them. I love learning more than I could possibly teach. Maybe the best way to answer this is to say, my favorite part is being part.

Proudest Professional Accomplishments

I would have to say that it is getting where I am today. It is entrusting myself to life and its learning process and investing in it. It is allowing for the sacred moments in any given work day, moments both earned and graced, in which that learning can transform me, or through me, my peers and students. My accomplishments are almost never solely my own thus, I am most proud of the circle that is becoming my circle of influence. It is through this circle that I am able to take pride in myself and my efforts every day, whether I am successful or learning from my mistakes.

Teaching Style

My teaching philosophy in limerick form:

My philosophy of teaching was birthed
Seeking tenets of merit and worth
Adding threads of my soul
To ideals I extol
Along with lessons of sorrow and mirth

In the stretch between here and a star
Between my students and me wherever we are
Is their youth and its glories
Their potentials, their stories
And their hopes they have to go far

As I teach, I affirm their dreams
Trying to bear with their infinite schemes
As a down to earth sort
That is slow to retort
I accept nothing is just what it seems

I’m aware that before I can teach,
I must learn to effectively reach
The world students know
Their highs and their lows
By practicing all that I preach

As a teacher, I still seek and find
With an open inquisitive mind
Transformed by fresh query
Stretched, sometimes weary,
Knowing success of my students is how I’m defined

And thus, my teaching philosophy
Extends a good bit beyond me
Yet bends backward to serve
The heart, soul, and nerve
Of every aspiring student PT

Mount Union Education

I have a history with Mount Union graduates. I was taught in Sebring, Ohio, by teachers who were Mount Union graduates. Some of my best Doctor of Physical Therapy students did their undergraduate work at Mount Union. From the people who I have encountered and interacted with, Mount Union has left an impression of pride.

Liberal Arts Education

I believe it creates lifelong learners who are aware of the diversity in the world around them.

Physical Therapy Major

I would encourage any prospective student interested in becoming a physical therapist to apply to Mount Union’s program because Mount Union fully supports the program and it is going to be exceptional. It has faculty who are invested in providing world class instruction and learning opportunities that are a cut above ordinary. I would encourage students to be part of this program for the same reason I came here, to be part of something extraordinary!