“I thought it was a mistake,” exclaimed Dr. Teresa Briedwell, associate teaching professor, associate department chair and director of admissions and academic affairs in the School of Health Professions’ (SHP) physical therapy department. “I saw my name on the letter, but I still thought it was a mistake.”
It was no mistake. Briedwell, who was unaware that a nomination had been submitted on her behalf, was indeed selected as the recipient of Saint Louis University’s (SLU) 2015 Florence Kendall Award. The selection committee received Teresa’s nomination by way of a video and letter from SHP’s Physical Therapy (PT) Class of 2017. “The submission requirements did not call for a video,” Teresa noted. “The students told the committee, ‘Even if you can’t accept the video, please watch it in addition to reading our letter, to see why we believe Teresa Briedwell deserves the Florence Kendall Award.’” With the help of a few PT faculty members, the students compiled the supporting documents unbeknownst to Briedwell.
The Florence Kendall Award is an honor given to “an individual who, like Florence Kendall, displays a commitment to the physical therapy profession and exudes the notable characteristics she possessed such as being passionate, knowledgeable, innovative, as well as motivating and mentoring others.”
On September 27, at the historic St. Francis Xavier College Church on SLU’s campus, Briedwell was presented with an engraved glass clock during SLU’s Doisy College of Health Sciences’ White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony is an induction of first year physical therapy students into the program. SLU’s physical therapy & athletic training department also had Teresa’s name inscribed on a plaque among former Florence Kendall Award winners. “I’m reminded of what an incredible profession I have the privilege to be a part of and the outstanding mentors we have within physical therapy who continue to keep Florence Kendall’s spirit alive through this award,” Teresa said.
Dr. Teresa Briedwell’s connection to the Florence Kendall Award goes deeper than the creative submission by thoughtful physical therapy students. Briedwell incorporates Florence Kendall’s, “Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain” into her class curriculum and shares with the students her high regard for Kendall’s knowledge of, passion for, and contributions to the physical therapy profession. Because of this affinity, upon hearing of Saint Louis University’s call for 2015 Florence Kendall Award nominations, the students eagerly submitted Teresa’s name.
The PT Class of 2017 presented Teresa Briedwell with the video and letter that was submitted with the 2015 Florence Kendall Award nomination packet. Teresa said, “It’s an incredible honor to receive an award in the name of someone whom you highly regard. I’m forever grateful to my students who took time to submit the nomination.”
Briedwell considers it a privilege to be a physical therapist and wear the many hats that she does within the physical therapy department at the School of Health Professions. “We have amazing students who make my job an absolute joy,” Teresa reflects. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the success of my students and making them as passionate about my profession as I am.”