Student Highlight: Marcela from Boston University
In addition to providing physical therapy services to patients all across southern Maine, the Maine Strong
Balance Center is a dedicated teaching institution committed to the clinical education of student physical
therapists from different institutions. As our students learn the ropes of outpatient geriatric and
neurologic care they also bring with them knowledge on most recent research from their doctoral
programs to help us stay up to date on evidence based practice. We love our students and wish to recognize their contribution to providing excellent care of our patients!
Meet Marcela Criado!
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Undergraduate institution and degree: BS in Kinesiology, minor in Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State
Graduate Institution: Boston University
Clinical Instructor: Michael Cyr PT, DPT
About me: Here are 3 facts about myself: I am from Guatemala, a small country in Central America,
where I have lived all my life; I came to the US for undergraduate and am now completing my graduate
studies here as well. I LOVE food and getting to try different dishes; I believe that food is so much more
than fuel and love how much you can learn and connect with different people and cultures through
food. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in physical therapy starting my senior year of high school; I
consider myself a movement advocate and those beliefs have been further reinforced since starting my
physical therapy education. I am extremely passionate about educating others on the benefits of
exercise and helping them find meaningful ways to move.
Favorite part about living in Maine: Getting to explore the outdoors and the food! I went to Acadia
National Park, spent the 4 th of July on a camper by a lake in Northern Maine, hiked, went camping and
white-water rafting, and enjoyed the beach. I loved visiting different coffee shops (I am obsessed with
coffee) and restaurants on the weekends: My favorite coffee shop was Arabica Coffee Company in
Portland, the iced lavender oat milk latter was fire and I genuinely had awesome food everywhere I
went but the breakfast sandwich from St. Joes (I got one with olives and feta cheese on a biscuit!) was
My clinical experience: Through my experience I was exposed to difficult and complex cases, some of
which made me doubt my abilities as a physical therapist; my priority is to offer the best available care
there is for my patients, but how could I achieve that if I was not confident in my ability to do so? Now I
understand that these experiences are specifically for that, not only to start applying everything that I
have been learning in school but to improve my confidence in applying that knowledge as well, and I
could have not been able to do that without the guidance and support from my CI, Mike, and the rest of
the clinicians at the clinic. The amount of professional and personal growth I experienced during these
past 12 weeks goes beyond what I was expecting; I am more humble and curious, I am open to
challenges and am not afraid to ask questions when needed. One of my favorite parts of my experience
(besides working with patients, of course) was being exposed to different aspects of the physical
therapy world besides patient care – I got the chance to share my experience with clinical experiences to
first year DPT students at UNE along with faculty members and clinical instructors from the community, I
got involved on a project where we performed a literature review and presentation regarding the
evidence behind a community-based balance program and I participated in grand rounds at the clinic.
Thank you to everyone at the Maine Strong Balance who made this experience an unforgettable one, I
will always have you in my heart.