By the Book


“There is no such thing as making the miracle happen spontaneously and on the spot. You’ve got to work.” — Martina Arroyo

Dolores Bertoti has looked at this quote many times during the past four years and found solace. Martina Arroyo, an internationally acclaimed singer who rose to fame in the mid 1960s, was part of a group of black performers who were instrumental in breaking down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world.

Bertoti, an associate professor of occupational therapy and athletic training, has been working on her own miracle, co-authoring the 50th anniversary edition of Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology. In 2006, publisher F.A. Davis approached Bertoti and another colleague, Peggy Houglum, a professor at Duquesne University, for the revision and update of the classic kinesiology text, first written by Swedish clinician Signe Brunnstrom in 1962.

The accomplished Alvernia faculty member herself learned on the second edition and says F.A. Davis’s invitation was “the most distinguished I have ever received. This book is regarded as the gold standard kinesiology text.” Bertoti did not accept the invitation just for the distinction; she explains in the acknowledgments of the textbook that “images of her students’ eager faces” motivated her.

Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology is a natural extension of her teaching, of Bertoti herself. “Students tell me when they read it, they can hear me talking,” said Bertoti. “Peggy and I worked very hard to make the text palatable for students.” Houglum and Bertoti also endeavored to makethe text more comprehensible for instructors as well. They completely updated the book’s glossary and artwork, and provided an instructor’s guide, syllabi, test banks and PowerPoints for instructors, as well as animated learning modules of key content on the Web.

Universities and instructors have adopted the text around the globe. “Peggy and I really hope this can be a wonderful tool in teaching therapists of the future and impact lives all around the world,” said Bertoti.

Completion of her work on the book marks another miracle in Bertoti’s life, her 25th year as a breast cancer survivor. In her office, she proudly displays a picture of her class donning pink hair and pink ribbons to show their support.

With Bertoti’s infectious laugh and genuine passion for everything she does, it is easy to see why students are so devoted to “Saint Bertots” as she is known to some. Senior Samantha Boone says “Mrs. Bertoti has such a welcoming presence. She is always willing to help when there is a need. Her dedication to her students’ educational experience is overwhelmingly contagious!”

Though Bertoti’s work on Brunnstrom’s Clinical Kinesiology will help her touch lives around the world, she is always focused on the lives right in front of her. “I feel so blessed to be with my students. I truly love what I do, where I do it and who I do it with.”

By: Carly Glasmyre — a freelance writer and proud Alvernia graduate from the class of 2012.

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