Nicole Vasiliu, DPT
My full name is Nicole Vasiliu. That is pronounced “Va-silly-u”. Recently, I’ve graduated from Lebanon Valley College with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Like all physical therapy students, I spent most of my time in the library studying or in the classroom practicing hands-on skills. Ironically, I wasn’t convinced that I would enjoy working in Orthopedics. I didn’t even think I would be able to utilize all the hands-on techniques that we use at Madden. In fact, when I was in school, I doubted myself in my ability to effectively do any manual therapy due to my small body stature. After a long internal debate, I decided to take a chance and move out of my comfort zone. I took an elective course taught by two of our PT’s here at Madden, Joe Hribick and Dan Hinnerschitz. As it turns out, that course built up my confidence and taught me ways that I would be able to perform the techniques even though I’m smaller—I’m small but mighty!
In addition to academics, I was kept very busy with also being a student athlete. I ran both Cross Country and Track and Field. College athletics taught me many lessons, but I think the biggest one is how important it is to have strong, supportive friendships in life. Sure, sports teach you how through being persistent and committing to a goal that you can succeed, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those friendships I made in school.
I’m also quite the chatterbox, so while in school I put that skill to work. I became a campus tour guide. Basically, it was my job to show prospective students and their parents around campus and tell them about all the different things that LVC had to offer. In a way, I was these people’s first impression of LVC. Of course, I did something to completely embarrass myself… One day in January, we had gotten a ton of snow and then it melted and froze back over. Well, of course I’m on a tour, I step on ice and slip and completely wipe out. That was probably one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me in front of a bunch of strangers.
You are probably thinking, “Oh, Nicole is out of school, she probably just works and then goes home and relaxes”…WRONG!!! I currently live in Mechanicsburg with my parents and sister, who is also pursuing a career in physical therapy. I’ve lived there my whole life. When I’m not doing things with my family, you can probably find me at LVC. I am currently the assistant Cross Country coach there as well as an assistant Lab Instructor for the Manual Therapy graduate course within the Physical Therapy department. After struggling with my own misconceptions on being of smaller stature and not being able to perform effective hands-on techniques, I wanted to help others who might be struggling with the same issues. It is important for the students to know that you can deliver manual therapy regardless of your size.