CHP Women Making History Series in honor of Women's History Month – Gretchen Seif

Anne Herford
March 17, 2022
Gretchen Seif Women's History Month blog

All month long we are highlighting female faculty in the College of Health Professions, nominated by their peers, who are making history RIGHT NOW through their teaching, research, innovations, and activities.

Gretchen A. Seif, PT, DPT, MHS, OCS
Associate Professor
Division of Physical Therapy
Years at CHP: 13 years and 11 months (14 years on 4/1/22)

Nominated by:
Mark Bowden, PT, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Division Director
Division of Physical Therapy

How is the nominee making history at CHP through their teaching, research, innovations, and/or activities?

Dr. Gretchen Seif is a recognized expert in orthopedic physical therapy with a humor and passion for teaching that enhances student learning. She is a rising star who has won several awards for teaching and innovation and is regularly applauded by both her students and her peers.

Despite her stellar track record, once COVID arrived in early 2020, Dr. Seif had to re-examine her methods and pivot. She had to transform her all hands-on lab courses to a virtual environment. With determination and a can-do attitude, classes were quickly restructured keeping basic teaching principles in mind. A summary of these innovations was highlighted on a local TV news segment.

Seif’s innovations during COVID led her to form the Innovation Advocate Program with the goal of leading an innovative teaching methods program to integrate courses across the DPT curriculum.

As a faculty member, Seif has noticed that students tended to compartmentalize classes and have had difficulty integrating information from one class and applying it in another or to patient cases. She has stressed the importance of clinicians needing to integrate volumes of information in order to reach the best patient outcomes. Seif has applied this philosophy in her teachings over the past 5 years with overwhelmingly positive results.

Within the College of Health Professions, Seif was asked to chair a college-wide workgroup to develop a list of best practices for online teaching. The workgroup was interprofessional and included participating faculty from the divisions of Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP), Anesthesia for Nurses (AFN), Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), and Physician Assistant Studies (PAS). The Division of Physical Therapy is currently undertaking a full curriculum revision for their residential program and the development of a new separate hybrid curriculum and will incorporate many of the products of the interprofessional workgroup.

Seif is regularly asked to speak and present her findings and experiences at various events across MUSC’s campus. In December 2020, she was awarded the MUSC “I’m an Innovator Award” for her innovations in online teaching.

Not only has Seif been widely recognized at MUSC for her efforts but has been able to share her remote learning methods on the national stage. She has met with faculty from Mercer University, Northwestern University, and University of St. Augustine to assist in the development of effective teaching of lab courses in an online environment.