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Idaho State University
Darin Jernigan MS, DPT, WEMT Director Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Darin Jernigan MS, DPT, WEMT

Director Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Office: Owen-Redfield Complex 242

208- 282-4815

Professional Work Experience

  • Physical Therapist – 26 years
  • Seasonal Climbing Ranger Grand Teton National Park – 19 years
  • Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) – 18 years
  • Instructor, College of Technology PTA Program – 14 years

Career Highlights

  • Practiced Physical Therapy in 10 states
  • Completed a 30 day mountain patrol on Mt McKinley AK. stationed at the 14,000’ camp performing Search & Rescue for the National Park Service
  • Was awarded “Employee of the Year” for a fortune 500 rehabilitation company in the 1990’s
  • Graduated 14 PTA classes, and roughly 225 PTA graduates!

One of my Favorite Professional Experiences…

During my professional career, one of the most gratifying things I have experienced is being the recipient of the College of Technology (COT) Outstanding Achievement Award.  This award is based on the perceptions of students, fellow faculty, and administrators.  As a result of the award, I was asked to be one of the speakers for the 2012 COT graduation ceremony, which I must admit was an incredible honor and privilege.  It was apparent to me at that time that I had found my professional calling as a facilitator/mentor/synergist for my community, colleagues, and students.

Darin Jernigan Director Physical Therapist Assistant Program Rock Climbing

As an undergraduate student at ISU, I was greatly influenced by a professor in the Biology Department, Dr. Alex Urfer.  He was able to entice me to learn for the sake of learning itself.  He helped to guide me into a field of study that allowed me to become “internally motivated."  As an instructor, I aim to get students self-motivated to learn as well. I believe that self-motivation is best taught through the commitment, enthusiasm, and knowledge that teachers demonstrate to their students in the classroom and in life. 

There is also an intangible aspect to being a leader, or teacher, in enabling students to open their minds to the possibility of alternative truths, realities, and values.  I strive to have my students understand how limited we are as human beings by our own personal experience and how our personal experience has shaped our perception of the world in which we live.  I challenge my students to take off their “masks” and look at the world from a different perspective.  We inherently have a screen, or mask, that makes it difficult for us to see the world differently than being defined by our own experiences.  I hope to teach my students that they have the ability to accept and change their perspective on how they view others and the world in which they live.

My goal as an instructor is to have every one of my students have positive feelings about their experience in the PTA program and the classes I teach.  Following is a comment a student made about me in a previous course evaluation that concerned what they liked about the class: “The professor and his passion for Physical Therapy. Darin had the enthusiasm to be able to get all of us so excited for learning. He is the best professor that I have ever had.”  I hope you can say the same thing about me too, someday…


Angie Lippiello MHE, PTA Clinical Instructor  Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Angie Lippiello MHE, PTA

Clinical Instructor Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Office: Owen-Redfield Complex


Professional Work Experience

•    Physical Therapist Assistant – 15 years
•    RehabAuthority
•    Functional Pathways at the Idaho State Veterans Home
•    Idaho State University, College of Technology PTA Program – 9 years
•    Clinical Instructor
•    Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education

Career Highlights

•    Idaho State University Alumni
•    B.S. Biology
•    A.A.S. Physical Therapist Assistant
•    MHE Master of Health Education
•    Member of the American Physical Therapy Association
•    Outstanding Physical Therapist Assistant Student 2003
•    Member of the Idaho Physical Therapy Association
•    Nominating Committee member 2010-2013
•    Nominating Committee Chair 2013
•    APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor        

My Favorite Professional Experiences

I enjoy sharing my passion of physical therapy with others and hope it will spark excitement in students in our program. As a Physical Therapist Assistant instructor, I visit students during their clinical rotations in physical therapy practice settings. It is very rewarding to see a student begin in our program as a novice and finish as an entry-level physical therapist assistant. Seeing their skills and confidence grow during the program is satisfying and it reinforces my commitment as an instructor.

Nash S. Johnson Instructor/Clinical Education Coordinator PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT PROGRAM, standing with his family

Nash S. Johnson PT, DPT

Instructor/Clinical Education Coordinator

Office: Owen-Redfield Complex 255


Professional Experience

  • ISU Alumni
    • 2007 – Physical Therapist Assistant A.A.S.
    • 2009 – Health Science B.S.
    • 2012 – Doctor of Physical Therapy
    • Clinical Education Experience in many settings as a PTA student and a PT student
  • Worked in outpatient orthopedics as a PTA for 2 years
  • Worked in outpatient pediatric setting as a PT for 2 years
  • Worked in home health setting as a PT for 4 years
  • Supervised multiple students as a clinical Instructor
  • Supervised PTAs and PT aides/techs

Career Highlights

  • Achieved APTA Level 2 Credentialed Clinical Instructor
  • Trained multiple PTs and PTAs that were new to home health setting
  • Awarded 2011 PT/PTA Student of the Year from the Idaho Physical Therapy Association (IPTA)
  • Served as a student leader in the PTA program and in the IPTA
  • Attended multiple national APTA conferences
  • Served as a student usher for the APTA House of Delegates
  • Tutored many PTA students while a student

Favorite Professional Experiences

The most rewarding experiences I have had as a professional is to support others in their goals. In addition to treating patients, I have had many different opportunities to be a mentor. I have immensely enjoyed being a clinical instructor to multiple students. While working for a home health company, I took the opportunity to be a liaison between the management and the field clinicians. Sometimes it felt as though there was an adversarial relationship between the management and the field clinicians. I tried hard to bridge that gap by speaking in behalf of my colleagues to the management, but also working with all the members of the team to improve our overall outcomes. Through this, I gained the respect of my colleagues, and the management was willing to give me more leadership opportunities. This has also helped me to become a better clinician. I learned that facilitating others to become better is one of the most rewarding aspects of this profession.

A Little About Me

I have an amazing wife who I adore and we have been blessed with 4 kids. I delight in doing many activities with my family which is how I spend much of my free time. For example, coaching my kids in various sports, camping with my family, and going disc golf is always fun. I also like doing various activities with my hands, such as: cross-stitching, building models, and other handicrafts. In addition, our family has 8 pets: 1 cat, 1 dog, 1 frog, 2 crested geckos, and 3 snakes. I also like doing Pocatello 5K or 10K fun runs, along with many other sports.

Dave Smith Health Occupations and Physical Therapist Assistant Instructor

Dave Smith MS, PTA

Physical Therapist Assistant Instructor

Office: Owen-Redfield Complex Room 330


Professional Work Experience

  • Physical Therapist Assistant – Since May 2007
    • University of Utah Medical Center
    • VA Medical Center
    • McKay-Dee Sports Medicine
  • Instructor, College of Technology – Since Spring 2016
    • HO 0106 – Medical Terminology
    • HO 0111 – Anatomy and Physiology
    • PTA 0104 – Introduction to Kinesiology
    • PTA 0106 – Applied Kinesiology
    • PTA 0203 – Therapeutic Exercise

Career Highlights

  • Idaho State University Alumni
    • AAS – PTA, 2007
    • BSHS – 2008
  • University of Utah Alumni
    • MS – Health Promotion and Education, 2015
  • Provided physical therapy to our nation’s veterans for 6+ years
  • Found a way to exercise while I work (Physical Therapy)
  • Found a way to make money doing what I love (teaching)

A Little About Me

I am an avid runner and outdoorsman. I try to spend as much time outside as possible. I can often be found in the mountains being pulled by one of my three children, or my chocolate lab. My wife and I enjoy camping, hiking and exploring and do all of them year round.