Sawyer Karen

Dr. Karen Sawyer

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy (CV)

Karen L. Sawyer, PT, DPT, MA, holds a half-time Assistant Professor position in Physical Therapy, where she has worked since 1994. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, a Master of Science in physical therapy from Duke University, a master’s degree in counseling from Biblical Seminary, and a post-professional DPT degree from Arcadia University. 

Her areas of expertise include evaluation and intervention for adults and children with cerebrovascular accidents, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and other neuromuscular disorders. In addition to her extensive clinical experience, she is NDT certified in adult brain injury. Karen began an international initiative with one student traveling with her to St. Elizabeth Parish, Jamaica, in 1996 and this has expanded to include Guatemala and Peru. The number of students participating in these experiences has increased from one student in 1996 to ~67% of the graduating class (36 students in the Class of 2012). 

Dr. Sawyer has shared her expertise in clinical education and experiential learning in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at regional and national meetings. She has written and received private foundation funding to support international student experiences annually for the past 9 years.

Publications and Presentations

  • Sawyer, KL.  (2009).  "Providing Physical Therapy Services to Uninsured:  The Value from an Academic Perspective."  Presented at APTA Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.
  • Sawyer, KL.  (2006).  "Developing International Physical Therapy Service Opportunities for Students."  Presented at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association, San Diego, CA. 
  • Sawyer KL, Lopopolo R, (2004). "Perceived Impact on Physical Therapist Students of an International Pro Bono Clinical Education Experience in a Developing Country," Journal of Physical Therapy Education, vol.18 (2).
  • Sawyer KL, Cipriany-Dacko LM. (1999). "A Counseling Model: Identifying & Resolving Student Performance Issues During Clinical Education," Physical Therapy, vol.79 (5), Abstracts S6.
  • Cipriany-Dacko LM, Sawyer KL, Madden MJ: (1996). "Student Self-confidence and Clinical Performance: A Case Study," Journal of Physical Therapy Education (abstract), volume 10 (1).
  • Behrman AL, Sawyer KL, Tomlinson SS. (1993). "'I Want to Walk': An Approach to Physical Therapy Management of the Individual With an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury," Neurology Report, volume 17, number 2, pp. 7-12.

Recent Support

Drayer Institute of Physical Therapy, Magistro Family Foundation, Rotary International.


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