Van Lanzendorfer, ’18, always wanted to help people, but he wasn’t certain about what he wanted to study until his girlfriend, now his wife, showed him the physical therapist assistant program at the Mount.

“I signed up right away,” Van said.

Now, as a stretch therapist and trainer at Revival Fitness and Rehab in Altoona, PA, Van says he uses the knowledge he gained at MAC every day. He works with clients of all ages to help them grow and achieve their goals while bridging the gap between physical therapy and day-to-day exercise. He also performs fascial stretch therapy, an effective way of stretching to help his patients move and feel better.

“I may not have the traditional job that most PTAs get when they graduate and pass the PTA boards,” Van said. “But the job I do requires detailed understanding of anatomy, muscle anatomy, and therapeutic exercise, along with many other things I learned from MAC.”

His favorite part about studying at Mount Aloysius was the comradery in the physical therapist assistant program. Between his professors and his friends, he had the support he needed to thrive and succeed in his studies. His professors took the time to make sure he and his classmates understood the material, and they cared about their students doing well.

“Everyone becomes friends and wants each other to succeed,” he said.

Studying to become a physical therapist assistant can be challenging, but Van says it’s equally as rewarding.

“You’ll be helping people at their most vulnerable times,” he said. “Helping people achieve their goals, whether it is getting the game-winning touchdown or standing up out of a wheelchair for the first time in 10 years… these moments in your career will make the studying and sacrifice worthwhile.”