Catherine Ortega, Ed.D.

profile image


Program Director/Chairperson at the Department of Physical Therapy at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio


  • B.A., Purdue University (1986)
  • M.A., West Virginia University (1987)
  • MSPT, Texas Women’s University (1989)
  • Ed.D., University of Texas at Austin (2006)


I took my athletic training certification exam after graduating from Purdue University. I worked as a Graduate Assistant with Football, Gymnastics, Basketball and Athletics at West Virginia University. After graduating from Physical Therapy School at TWU at the Houston, Medical Center I applied to all the governing bodies of sport. My first full-time position was with the  professional women’s tennis tour and I also did events with the United States Olympic Committee. I travelled the world working athletic events as a physical therapist/athletic  trainer and also formed the Women’s Tennis Foundation. While still working I attended UT-Austin to learn about motivation and program assessment. I have been working as a faculty member and now program director/chairperson at the Department of Physical Therapy at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Words of Wisdom

I think of a quick conversation I had with Robin Roberts, sports commentator and television show host, whereby we exchanged career paths while working an event in Madison Square Garden. Three critical items to promote success: 1) get in position (get the education/training, be in the place to make connections etc); 2) make the sacrifices (take the ‘scrub job’ at first or put in the extra hours; 3) when the opportunity presents itself, TAKE IT.