Categories: General
      Date: Aug 22, 2016
     Title: Welcoming Our Newest IPE Staff: An Interview with Collin Peterson & Jessica Barreca

This summer, IPE department gained a few new faces around our office. They may be new faces in regards to being IPE staff members, but both Collin Peterson and Jessica Barreca, PT, DPT have been apart of IPE through courses 3500 and 4900 for a few years now.

To learn more about our new coworkers, our Program Assitant, Jeanette Harris-Courts, interviewed them to discuss their health care backgrounds as well as their experiences within the interprofessional world.

This summer, IPE department gained a few new faces around our office. They may be new faces in regards to being IPE staff members, but both Collin Peterson and Jessica Barreca, PT, DPT have been apart of IPE through courses 3500 and 4900 for a few years now. Being able to work one-on-one with Collin and Jessica has been a true pleasure as they used their fresh perspectives to help improve and enhance the courses they now oversee.

Collin Peterson has been hired as our newest Graduate Student Worker where he has been assisting with IPE 1100 as well as IPTS this year. Jessica Barreca, PT, DPT is now our office Community Coordinator, who is responsible for communicating and placing students with community organizations for our 4900 and 4905 courses.

To learn more about our new coworkers, I decided to interview them to hear a little bit about their health care backgrounds as well as their experiences within the interprofessional world.


First up was Collin Peterson:

Jeanette Harris-Courts: So, Collin, where are you from?

Collin Peterson: I grew up in Sunland located in Southern California.

Jeanette Harris-Courts: Oh, SoCal! That’s pretty awesome. So, what major brought you all the way to Saint Louis University?

Collin Peterson: I’m studying Athletic Training. I am currently in my last year of the 5 year Athletic Training Master’s Program here.

JHC: Ah, the final stretch! Once you finish with the Master’s Program, do you have any further degrees you’d like to earn?

CP: Eventually, I want to go back to school for a doctorate and get into the education side of athletic training, but my plan is to work in the field first to gain more experience first.

JHC: Is there anything you’re interested in researching and learning more about in your field specifically?

CP: Yea, I’m actually at the beginning stages of doing research for a paper focusing on the effects of ankle mobilizations on athletes with chronic ankle instability.

JHC: Very interesting! When you’re all done, make sure to email IPE a copy of your findings. Speaking of IPE, what was your favorite course you took in our department?

CP: I’d have to say IPE 4900 was my favorite. It was exciting and challenging to put the principals learned in the classroom of previous IPE classes to work in the real world by helping a community organization. It really did test my skills to work within a team of students from different health care majors while also making an impact on our local community.

JHC: So, how did you get involved with working for the IPE office?

CP: Well, I first started working with the IPE Department as a TA for IPE 3500 last fall (Fall 2015). Then, the head of my major sent me the Graduate Student Worker description and I thought it looked like a great job that would also help me develop useful professional skills for my future as an Athletic Trainer.

JHC: What would you say is the most useful skill health care students learn from IPE classes?

CP: I think learning to be an effective communicator within a team is key. It’s not just about expressing your own ideas, but also being an active listener with your co-workers and patients. It is something I utilize every day I am at my athletic training clinical site.

JHC: Definitely. Plus, I hear you are pretty involved around campus so I’m sure these communication skills are helpful in those environments as well. What professional organizations and associations are you involved in?

CP: I am the president of the Alpha Iota chapter of Iota Tau Alpha, which is the Saint Louis Athletic Training Honor Society. I am also an executive board member in the Saint Louis Athletic Training Society (SLATS), one of SLU's student leadership committee representatives for the Missouri Athletic Training Association (MoATA), and a peer mentor for the study abroad office. Recently, I was selected for a position with six other students from various universities to help found a national student organization for the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP) as well.

JHC: Man, you’re one busy guy! When you aren’t joggling work, school, and your extra-curricular activities, what do you do for fun?

CP: You can find me playing basketball at the rec whenever I have free time. I am also a big foodie and love trying new foods all over St. Louis.

JHC: Speaking of food, the holiday season is just around the corner. Which one is your favorite and why?

CP: I’ve got to go with Thanksgiving. It has everything you could want in life: family, food, and football.

JHC: Cheers to that!


I also had the pleasure of speaking with our Community Coordinator, Jessica Barreca, PT, DPT. Here is what she had to say about IPE, herself, and working with community partners thus far:

Jeanette Harris-Courts: Jessica! Welcome! So, let’s start with what city you call home? Where are you from?

Jessica Barreca: Actually, right here – St. Louis is my hometown!

Jeanette Harris-Courts: Ah! Very cool, but you didn’t always live in St. Louis, correct?

Jessica Barreca: Correct! I lived in Milwaukee where I attended Marquette University and earned my BA in History and MS in Physical Therapy. Then, I went to Shenandoah University where I earned my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

JHC: Are you currently a member of any organizations or associations pertaining to your profession?

JB: Yea! I’m a member of the American Physical Therapy Association as well as the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy.

JHC: Awesome! What are some areas of interest you’ve researched or are currently researching?

JB: I am interested in research related to how healthcare systems and community organizations utilize existing data to facilitate positive health outcomes for people with chronic disease and disabilities. I am also interested in research related to children diagnosed with developmental coordination disorder.

JHC: Oh, interesting! So, how did you get involved with the SLU IPE department?

JB: Well, I initially became involved in IPE as the Physical Therapy Representative for the Interprofessional Collaborative at the University of Illinois at Chicago. When I relocated from Chicago and moved to St. Louis, a colleague in the PT department knew of my interest in IPE and directed me to CIER. I started as a faculty advisor for IPE 4900 Fall of 2014 and was hired as the Community Coordinator this summer.

JHC: And we are so happy to have you! What part of interprofessional education do you find most important for health care professions to learn in our courses?

JB: In my experience as a PT working with pediatric patients, I have always spent more time working with individuals outside my own profession. My colleagues have helped me develop the skills necessary to provide more effective, patient-centered care for the children and families I work with in clinics, schools, or in the community. I believe that open communication and understanding the role of your fellow team members are skills that are vital to ensuring positive outcomes for your patients.

JHC: I couldn’t agree more. So when you aren’t working or helping to improve the health of our community, what hobbies do you enjoy?

JB: I enjoy spending time with my kids, traveling, and yoga. I am trying to improve my Foosball game as my 4-year-old can now beat me.

JHC: Haha I guess you’ve taught them well. So, the holiday season is coming up! What’s your favorite holiday and why?

JB: Halloween is my new favorite since my kids LOVE everything about Halloween.

JHC: Looks like your kids and I have something in common. Halloween is the best!


If you ever need to get in contact with Collin Peterson or Jessica Barreca in regards to a course they oversee, their office is located in the IPE office in the Education Union Building, Room 110. Further contact information can be found under the Contact Us tab on our website.