Josh Woolstenhulme, PhD '15, is an Assistant Professor, School of Medicine and Health Sciences Physical Therapy Program, George Washington University.
I chose Mason because of the rehabilitation science faculty. Each is accomplished in his or her respective disciplines within the rehabilitation science fields. In addition to their active participation in meaningful research, each is committed to mentoring and helping students succeed. Studying at Mason provided me with a great research network and with lifelong mentors. Faculty involve students in their research projects early on and integrate class experiences with research pursuits. Every class helps students develop lines of individual research and fosters creativity and scientific rigor. While I was a student, I was very fortunate to work closely with Mason faculty and researchers at the National Institutes of Health on a project examining the effects of exercise on individuals with pulmonary arterial hypertension. Our work demonstrated that participation in an exercise program similar to that of contemporary pulmonary rehabilitation programs improves physical performance and health-related quality of life, and can be accomplished with seemingly very little risk to participants. This body of work was instrumental in helping to change international medical practice guidelines that now recommend rehabilitative exercise for individuals with pulmonary arterial hypertension.