Dewald, who holds a clinical doctorate in physical therapy and a B.S. in psychology, both from USD, received the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) Excellence in Education Award at the AASPT’s Awards Ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts in February.

Humbled by the recognition, Dewald said, “I am very lucky to have a position that allows me the freedom to chase excellence and satisfy my enthusiasm for sports physical therapy. My goal is to plant seeds that will continue to advance this amazing profession, a profession that is more of a passion for those within it, than a job.”

The AASPT presents the award annually to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions in sports physical therapy education through excellence in academic teaching and shows leadership and dedication in physical therapy.

Dewald was nominated for the award by his USD colleague, Jed Droge, PT, DPT. “Matt possesses a talent for creating an inclusive and dynamic learning environment that fosters intellectual growth and critical thinking,” Droge explained. “His dedication to nurturing the next generation of sports physical therapists is evident in his tireless commitment to mentorship and role modeling. His work has not only advanced the knowledge base of sports physical therapy but has also directly influenced clinical practice, benefiting patients and practitioners alike.” 

In addition to his position as assistant professor, Dewald is also director of the Sanford Health and University of South Dakota Sports Residency at USD and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Sciences, also at USD.

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