Jessica Graning

Jessica Graning


Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Therapy
Phone: 828.227.2192
Office Location: HHSB 220

I live in Cullowhee with my husband, Ben, and my three boys, Cade, Abram, and Maddox. When not on campus, I can be found at a baseball field, at the lake, or on a hiking trail.

What do you love the most about being a Catamount?

What I love most about being a Catamount is the importance of relationships. Everyone here knows and cares for everyone else. Our faculty and staff are passionate about the success of our students in the classroom, the clinic, and the community. We truly are one big Catamount family!


Dr. Jessica Graning joined the Department of Physical Therapy in spring 2011 as Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education and assistant professor in pediatrics and professional practice. Prior to this appointment, she worked as a pediatric physical therapist at Mission Children's Hospital (2003-2011). Dr. Graning plays an active role in the Carolina Clinical Education Consortium, serving on the organization's Executive Council (secretary) and co-chair of the Clinical Faculty Advisory Board. She also serves on the Mountain Area Pro Bono Physical Therapy (MAPPT) Clinic Advisory Board, supervises students in the MAPPT clinic, and provides consultation for pediatric clients (in collaboration with other faculty members). In addition, she has made several national presentations with faculty and students in the Department of Physical Therapy at NCPTA and APTA NEXT and CSM meetings.


Bachelor of Arts, Exercise and Sports Science, UNC Chapel Hill, 2000
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy, Duke University, 2003

Specialty Credentialing

Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Diplomat, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, 2010

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • PT 827 Pediatric PT I
  • PT 927 Pediatric PT II
  • PT 883 Clinical Practicum I
  • PT 884 Clinical Practicum II
  • PT 983 Clinical Practicum III
  • PT 984 Clinical Practicum IV

Scholarly Interests

Together with Dr. Watson, Dr. Graning has recently published a study demonstrating improved performance on measures of dance, balance, and muscle performance following an intensive 9-week core stability program. They are currently conducting a study examining the effects of their core stability program on injury rates in competitive collegiate dancers, as well as examining the incidence and prevalence rates of injuries affecting marching band members. She is also collaborating with faculty at Winston-Salem State University Department of Physical Therapy on a study that examines student confidence and performance across acute care courses and various curricula.

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Graning JE, Watson T. Injuries among university dance team members. Presented at: International Association of Dance Medicine Science (IADMS) 27th Annual Conference; October 2017; Houston, TX.
  • Watson T, Graning JE, McPherson SL, *Carter E, *Edwards J, *Melcher I, *Burgess T. Dance, balance and core muscle performance measures are improved following a nine-week core stabilization training program among competitive collegiate dancers. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2017;12(1):25-41.
  • Watson T, Graning JE. Competitive collegiate dance team injuries: A prospective study. Presented at: Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association; February 2018; New Orleans, LA.
  • Graning J, Watson T, Carter E, Edwards J, Burgess T, Melcher I. Does a nine-week core stabilization training program improve measures of balance and performance among competitive collegiate dancers? A single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Presented at: APTA NEXT Conference; June 2016; Nashville, TN.
  • Graning J, Watson T, Melcher I, Carter E, Edwards J, Burgess T, Allison A. Do collegiate dancers receiving transversus abdominis (TrA) activation training in standing immediately improve in single leg balance and pirouette ability? Presented at: APTA NEXT Conference; June 2015; National Harbor, MD.
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