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​Meet Our Newest Faculty and Staff!


Kayla Laperriere | Human Resources and Finance Coordinator

Where were you before University of Colorado Physical Therapy (CU PT)? Dawn.png

I was the HR manager at Interim HealthCare in Colorado Springs for 3 years. 

What attracted you to CU PT?

My family and I were looking to move to Denver to be closer to my mother. I was hoping to stay both in the HR and Medical field. When I saw this position I thought it would give me an opportunity to learn new things and also bring my knowledge to CU PT. 

What is your favorite thing to do in Colorado?

I am not your typical Colordoan, I like to stay indoors and play board games with my husband and friends.

With the 70th Anniversary approaching, what do you see as the future of CU PT?

From what I have seen in the short time I have been with the program; the faculty, students and alumni are going to continue to push the program to grow and be one of the best PT programs in the nation.


Dawn Magnusson, PT, PhD | Assistant Professor

Where were you before University of Colorado Physical Therapy (CU PT)? Dawn.png

I worked for over a decade as a pediatric PT, primarily in early intervention, before returning to UW-Madison to pursue my PhD in Population Health Sciences. Following graduation, and prior to joining the CU faculty, I completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics (with a focus on health disparities research) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. 

 What attracted you to CU PT?

During my interviews I had the opportunity to meet with program faculty and folks from across campus; everyone I met was incredibly welcoming and generous with their time. Given the abundance of resources (as well as sunny days and mountain views), and CU’s reputation for excellence in research, innovation, learning and community engagement, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that I had been offered this position. 

Tell us more about your research

My research broadly explores the mechanisms underlying health disparities, and seeks to inform the development of innovative, community-based solutions that advance health equity for underserved populations of children with developmental delay or disability. For more information on my research please visit our website.

With the 70th Anniversary approaching, what do you see as the future of CU PT?

I think the future is bright! Although I have only been on campus for a few months, the level of dedication among students, faculty, staff, and alumni toward the profession, our clients, and our community is truly amazing. As a profession, we are well-positioned to shift some of our attention toward improving population health, preventing chronic disease and lowering medical expenditures, while continuing to provide exceptional care for individual clients.

What is your favorite thing to do in Colorado? 

We love to explore! Whether it’s finding a new biking or hiking trail, visiting a new brewery, or trying a new restaurant, we are continually amazed by everything the state has to offer!