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USD's Physical Therapy Department Names Dr. Patti Berg-Poppe as Chair

Patti Berg-Poppe Dr. Patti Berg-Poppe, PT, PhD., was named chair of the Physical Therapy Department at the University of South Dakota.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Physical Therapy Department at the University of South Dakota has named Dr. Patti Berg-Poppe, PT, Ph.D., as chair of the department.

Dr. Berg-Poppe joined USD in 2006 as a faculty member within the physical therapy department. She serves in leadership roles at national and state levels, including as the South Dakota chapter representative for the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) House of Delegates, and on the Item Writing Task Force for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Berg-Poppe has also served the South Dakota Special Olympics for more than 10 years. She describes her most meaningful service as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children.

Dr. Berg-Poppe earned a Masters in Physical Therapy (MPT) degree from the University of Iowa in 2001, and completed her Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology in Education from the University of South Dakota in 2014. She also earned an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Kentucky. Her undergraduate degree is from Augustana University. Dr. Berg-Poppe has worked in multiple pediatric care settings including hospitals, ambulatory clinics, schools, homes, and aquatic practice environments as a Certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist.

USD’s Physical Therapy department offers a doctorate degree in physical therapy. The program prepares scholars and practitioners, and boasts a 100 percent job placement.


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News