Faculty Spotlight: Liana Wooten

"If I can get even one student to have that 'aha' moment or to connect with me as a mentor in a way that makes their professional path meaningful, that makes me one happy educator."
Headshot image of Liana Wooten

Meet Liana Wooten, PT, DPT, PhD, CSCS, assistant professor and director of admissions in the Tufts DPT Atlanta program. Inspired by personal experiences as a competitive soccer player, Wooten found purpose in helping others through physical therapy. Discover Wooten's dedication to clinical exercise, applied physiology, and shaping those crucial 'aha' moments for students. 

"Learning should be fun, be inquisitive, ask a ton of questions. When school gets tough, remember how phenomenal the human body is and be thankful that we have a chance to work with it on a daily basis!"

What courses do you teach? 

"Foundational sciences courses mostly, for example Anatomy and Physiology, these are my loves. I also help with courses such as Evidence Based Practice and Prevention and Population Health."

Why did you choose to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy? 

"I played soccer competitively for about 20 years of my life. I tore my ACL a few times and while that experience was tough, I loved my PT and she sparked the interest in me to help others in the way she helped me. I also have always loved both science and teaching from a young age."

What are your areas of research and why did you pick them? 

"Clinical exercise and applied physiology. I have always loved foundational sciences. I geek out on structure, function, processes, and mechanisms within the body. I always marvel at how many things have to go right in order for us to be healthy throughout the lifespan! I also very much enjoy PT education research and blending that with physiology if I can."

What accomplishments are you most proud of? 

"The big picture. When I was in high school, I would not have guessed I’d have accomplished all that I have and be where I am today. Additionally, if I can get even one student to have that 'aha' moment or to connect with me as a mentor in a way that makes their professional path meaningful, that makes me one happy educator."

Why did you choose to teach at Tufts? 

"For many reasons! The great reputation, the team I knew I’d be working with, the chance to have flexibility in my lifestyle so that I could spend more time with my love Nike (my dog 😊). Having the four programs, I recognized the opportunity to work with more colleagues than in a singular program situation. I also recognized the unique opportunity that Tufts has in being innovative and leaders in DPT education."

What is a piece of advice you would like to share with Tufts DPT students? 

"Learning should be fun, be inquisitive, ask a ton of questions. When school gets tough, remember how phenomenal the human body is and be thankful that we have a chance to work with it on a daily basis!"

 

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