Physical Therapy Graduates to Start Residency at Johns Hopkins

Physical therapy students at Lebanon Valley College study in the Arnold Health Professions Pavilion

The road to becoming a physical therapist may seem like a journey of a thousand miles, but it all begins with a single step. For two LVC alumni—Dr. R.J. Kupsho ’18, D’20 and Dr. Jonathan Harned ’18, D’20—their professional careers are just beginning with the first stop at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. 

Kupsho accepted an acute care residency position starting in August and will treat clinical patients, perform research, organize quality improvements programs, complete advanced education courses, and fill an adjunct teaching position allied with the University of Delaware. Johns Hopkins is one of just four acute care residency programs in the country.

Harned, a three-sport athlete in high school and a member of LVC’s baseball team, accepted a sports physical therapy residency after personal experiences with injuries and physical therapists who helped him return to the diamond. He will start in January and looks forward to the extensive curriculum and close-knit environment at Hopkins, along with their partnership with IMG Academy, a boarding school for student-athletes in grades 6-12 and post-graduate students. 

As they prepare for their residencies, Kupsho and Harned credit their success to the strong personal relationships they formed with their professors. 

“My professors were so much more than just teachers,” said Kupsho. “They were close friends, now colleagues, whose doors were always open and ready to prepare us for our careers. I could always tell they were truly invested in our future as therapists.”

“Every LVC faculty member creates an environment to help you be successful,” said Harned. “They push and challenge you to become the best clinician you can be. Because of them, I am prepared for the next step in my journey.”

As part of LVC’s Physical Therapy Doctoral Program, students are required to complete clinical placements that enable them to apply classroom knowledge in the field. Kupsho and Harned each completed five clinicals ranging from acute care, outpatient, home health, and a neurology specialty clinic. 

Harned completed some of his clinical assignments abroad and three in Arizona, including one with a Major League Baseball team—a dream come true for the baseball player.

“My favorite clinical was with the Cleveland Indians,” said Harned, who starred in the outfield for LVC. “I learned so much from the staff and players. It was truly an amazing experience, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”

With all this classroom knowledge, clinical placements, and research experience, Kupsho said LVC places emphasis on advancing as a healthcare professional, a lesson he intends to carry forward.

“The program encouraged me never to stop learning,” he said. “This enthusiasm for continuous professional development made me consider further education in a residency program, even right after completing a doctoral degree. I think LVC’s program also challenges and fosters critical thinking skills as a clinician, which is crucial for a successful career.” 

RJ Kupsho

Jonathan Harned


-- Parker Gallagher, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant