Angel Holland, DPT, Ed.D., Named Chair of UAMS Department of Physical Therapy

By David Wise

Holland succeeds John Jefferson, Ph.D., PT, who led the establishment of the department and the development of the program. Having served as chair and program director since September 2013, Jefferson requested to return to faculty status to have more time to dedicate to his teaching and research.

“Dr Holland and I drew up the first draft of this new program at Penguin Ed’s BBQ in 2014,” Jefferson said, “and she has been an integral part of all of our curricular changes since then. I know she will remain true to the unique features of our program while leading us through continued growth.”

A tenured associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Holland also served as associate program director and associate director of interprofessional education for the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology, Master of Science in physical therapy, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Education. She joined the faculty in June 2014, a little over a year before the physical therapy program matriculated their first class in August 2015. She was highly involved in the development of the program, including its unique systems-based, flipped classroom curriculum and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. She served as the program’s director of clinical education until assuming the position of associate program director in 2018.

Holland has been a physical therapist for 23 years and holds certifications by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a geriatric clinical specialist and by the American Physical Therapy Association as a credentialed clinical instructor. She has 12 peer-reviewed publications in professional journals, 22 peer-reviewed scientific and professional presentations, three funded grant projects as primary investigator, and three grant projects as co-investigator or site coordinator.

“Congratulations to Dr. Holland on her new administrative appointment,” said Susan Long, Ed.D., dean of the College of Health Professions. “She has proven herself as an innovative and dedicated leader, and I know she will continue to thrive in her new role.

“And many thanks to Dr. Jefferson, who built our PT program — and its accompanying outpatient therapy clinic — from the ground up. Under his leadership, the Doctor of Physical Therapy program has an amazing group of accomplished and talented faculty who excel in teaching, scholarship and service, as well as a unique curriculum that has produced amazing outcomes and has graduated six cohorts of dynamic physical therapists.”

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.