Q&A with physical therapy professor Jonathan Hook

by Nara Shin | News Writer

Jonathan Hook’s picture of himself (provided by Hook)

Dr. Jonathan Hook is the director of clinical education and assistant professor in the physical therapy program. He joined the Whitworth faculty team this 2020 fall semester with a passion for teaching students and developing a physical therapy program at Whitworth. Hook shared his experience as a new faculty member during a pandemic with The Whitworthian.  

Q: What is your role at Whitworth?  

A: My primary role right now is assisting with program and curricular development. In the new year, I will begin to form partnerships with future clinical sites for our students within local, regional and national communities. We are also looking to create opportunities for students abroad to gain international perspectives through clinical education. I also will have opportunities to participate in classroom lecture, labs, research and ongoing patient care in my current outpatient orthopedic clinic. I love the diversity of my role.    

Q: What has your first semester at Whitworth been like? 

A: Wonderful and strange. I am a Whitworth’ 04 graduate so I already know and love Whitworth. By joining this community again as a faculty member in July, it felt a little bit like coming home. Walking the loop and attending chapel have been extremely enjoyable and bring me back to my time as a student. It has simultaneously been strange to start with largely virtual interactions in such a personable place.   

Q: What do you like the most about being a part of the Whitworth community? 

A: I love how Whitworth creates both an authentic and welcoming environment. I am surrounded by incredibly intelligent and gifted individuals who all want to grow and be excellent in their fields and are all committed to the mission of the University. This was inspiring as a student and continues to mean a lot to me while starting a new faculty position. Whitworth is also a safe environment that allows us to ask difficult questions whether it is about faith, race inequalities or politics without fearing what others will think.  

Q: How have you grown as a professor this semester? Is there any part that you want to improve as a professor? 

A: I hope to improve daily. I took this position after twelve years as a clinician in private practice and am new into the role of professor so there is a lot of room for growth! Whitworth is the integration of faith and learning. I think it has been the key and foundation since I was a student, and because of that, I feel value and excitement and also challenge as a faculty. I want to grow up more as a professor and consider different applications, whether by reading different articles of clinical reasoning or commentaries on the book of Matthew. It might reflect the relationships and the way to help students grow as future physical therapy clinicians and also in faith. I think it is challenging, but I love it right now. I love thinking more deeply about how to teach students and be a father to students.  

Q: What is it like getting to know and communicate with students and faculties during a pandemic? 

A: So far, I have loved all the interaction with students I have had. Overall, however, it has been limited because we are in the developmental stage of the physical therapy program. Most communication has been with students interested in physical therapy via email or through acquiring volunteer or internship hours in my clinical environment. I have also really enjoyed working closely with other members of the physical therapy and health science programs. I’m thankful daily that I get to come to work here and dream about how we can better equip students to live out the Whitworth mission as future health care providers.