Terrie Enis’ college experience is quite different from most. She was married with a 2-year-old daughter when she decided to go back to college full time to earn her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, the profession's entry level degree at that time.
“I've always had an interest in health and wellness, so PT was a good fit for me,” says Enis, director of rehabilitation services at Emerson Hospital.
She took on a full course load in the late 1980s while raising her young children with the support of her husband and family.
She says: “The classes at UMass Lowell were interesting and challenging which made it all worth it. Returning to college to get my physical therapy degree was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Enis rose through the ranks of the PT field – from Emerson Hospital as a physical therapist in 1998 to her current leadership role as director of rehabilitation services. Yet she hasn’t forgotten her roots. In fact, many UMass Lowell PT graduates work at Emerson Hospital.
“We hire many PT graduates from UMass Lowell because they are well prepared in the field and have a great work ethic.”
Her advice for students is that they ‘get out of it what they put into it.’
“Once they graduate, students shouldn’t limit themselves. Being a PT is what they do, not who they are: they should bring life experiences to the field and they will grow enormously.”
At this stage of her career, Enis develops new health and wellness programs and delivers quality rehabilitation services to the community.
She offers this advice for students: “In a leadership role, you need to focus on doing what is right for the patients, staff and the hospital to continue to grow in challenging times. Personal and professional growth come from creativity, flexibility and never being afraid to ask for help.”