Laubenthal Scholarship Recipients

Chris Laubenthal, Clinical Department Administrator, endowed the Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship in 2011, which provides annual financial assistance to first-year doctoral students in the UI Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. We asked current and former recipients of the scholarship to tell us a little about themselves and what the scholarship has meant to them.

FellerEditGillian Feller

I am a second-year physical therapy student at the University of Iowa. I grew up in Charles City, Iowa and earned my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Wartburg College. I was drawn to the physical therapy field by the idea of working with individuals striving towards goals of improved movement and quality of life, especially those with spinal cord or other neurological injuries and diseases. The University of Iowa has given me the privilege to indulge in an evidence-based physical therapy curriculum, learn from distinguished faculty at a major medical center, engage in service and research opportunities, and participate in state and national meetings. I am grateful to have received the Louis and Dorothy Laubenthal Memorial Scholarship, as it has allowed me to partake in these experiences and build my clinical skills with less financial burden. I thank the Laubenthal family for their generous support towards not only my education but also the careers of several healthcare providers since the induction of this scholarship. After my graduation in December of 2019, I plan to work in an inpatient rehabilitation facility to serve individuals with newly diagnosed neurological complications.


JaceEditJace Modrell

I grew up in Moville, Iowa, which is a small town in northwest Iowa near Sioux City. I attended Woodbury Central High School and graduated in 2013. Following high school graduation, I attended Simpson College in Indianola, IA, and studied Athletic Training. I graduated from Simpson College with a Bachelor’s in Athletic Training in 2017.

I am a second-year physical therapy student here at the University of Iowa. I chose the University of Iowa to pursue my doctorate degree because of the program’s long-term commitment to excellence. For some time, the University of Iowa’s Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Dept has been at the forefront of moving the profession forward. The program has been one of the main leaders in both research and education. The dedication to physical therapy advancement is extremely evident, and I could not pass up an opportunity to be a part of it.

I feel that the University of Iowa has done an incredible job of preparing me for my future career as a physical therapist. Iowa’s faculty is filled with excellent educators, researchers, and clinical physical therapists that all provide unique perspectives and a well-rounded curriculum. Additionally, Iowa’s program has well-established clinical partnerships all around the country that provide students excellent opportunities to gain real world experience and knowledge before entering the field.

From the time that I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy for several reasons. I worked extremely hard to get into the doctorate of physical therapy program of my choice in order to achieve this long-standing goal. However, that higher education has not come without a cost. This scholarship has enabled me to pay off some of my student loans in order to set me up for better success in the future. It has gone directly towards helping me accomplish my ambition of receiving my doctorate degree at this great university.

I am incredibly aware of how much my various communities have done for me throughout my lifetime. In the future, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to give back in my own way through a profession dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of the individuals within the community that I serve. While I do not know the exact physical therapy setting that I wish to practice in at this point, I would love to stay in the Midwest.

I feel very honored and fortunate to be a part of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Dept here at the University of Iowa. It has been an ambition of mine for several years now. I know that this incredible opportunity for professional and personal growth would not be possible without families like yours that are willing to invest in the success of future healthcare providers. I cannot thank the Laubenthal family enough for your part in helping me accomplish my goals and greatly appreciate your support in my journey.


PaulsonEditKatie Paulson

I grew up in Solon, Iowa. Ever since a 6th-grade career fair I knew that I wanted physical therapy to be my career path. After graduating from UNI, working as an Athletic Trainer for 4 years, and having twins, I finally made it back to school to finish my education and collect the title I knew I wanted for all those years—DPT.  I chose the University of Iowa because the proximity to my family, the integration of clinicals, and the strong research foundation—among many others!

I am only halfway through my program and I already feel I have grown immensely as a professional, and with each week that passes I become more confident and excited to be a clinician. I am still navigating the different areas of physical therapy but at this time I am more drawn to outpatient neuro, outpatient orthopedics, and inpatient pediatrics.

I just want to again thank Chris for his extremely generous scholarship he continues to provide each year. This allowed me to take out less financial aid money, which is amazing. He has greatly impacted my future with his scholarship, but also with his generosity and how he continues to keep the memory of his grandparents alive. Thank you, Chris!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s