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Meet Terri Jo Ruckinski
August 14, 2014

Terri Jo Rucin­ski is the Coordinator of Physical Therapy Services at UNC’s Campus Health

Southern Hospitality welcomes Midwest Charm

Terri Jo grew up Minocqua, Wisconsin, a small town that is about a 3 ½ hour drive north from Madison. Growing up in the north woods of Wisconsin helped Terri Jo learn to love everything related to outdoors - fishing, hunting, camping, being on the lake, and listening to country music. She started her college education by attending the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse where she graduated with her degree in athletic training and physical education. She then ventured to UNC and earned her Master’s Degree with Specialization in Sports Medicine.  Although she fell in love with UNC, she returned to the Midwest to start her career in the field she loves. Terri Jo worked in Milwaukee at Froedert Sports Medicine doing outreach to Menomonee Falls High School, the Milwaukee Ballet Company and also working with a Semi-pro Football team.  Terri Jo returned to UW-LaCrosse in 1994 to earn her Physical Therapy degree. Terri Jo then worked in Madison, at The UW-Health Sports Medicine Center as a clinical Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist and provided outreach to the Junior College in town now known as Madison College.  Terri Jo joined the Staff at UNC 11 years ago working as a clinical Physical Therapist in the James A. Taylor Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Clinic and was the Staff Athletic Trainer for the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams from 2003-2005, Women’s Basketball from 2003-2012, and she is starting her ninth year with the UNC Baseball team.  Terri Jo specializes in rehabilitation of the shoulder and serves as a guest lecturer in both the graduate and undergraduate athletic training programs on upper extremity evaluation and rehabilitation.   

The Love of the Job and Accomplishments

Terri Jo loves everything about UNC; she loves the job and the community of people both outside of and within the work place, calling her colleagues, “more like a family than co-workers.” Terri Jo thrives on seeing her patients get well after injuries. She also enjoys the diversity of patients she sees with the general student population at Campus Health.  To top it off, Terri Jo is a huge baseball fan, making her current position a “dream job” for her.

Terri Jo recognizes her biggest accomplishment as her role supporting many athletes’ return to the field after suffering traumatic injuries. In this process, she develops long term relationships with her athletes, a reward for her hard work and dedication. “I get to make a difference in their lives by helping them through different journeys and trials during their time at UNC,” Terri Jo said. That connection often remains after the athletes leave college. In fact, her patients have a reverence for Terri Jo. Campus Health and the athletic department consistently receive feedback about her exceptional physical therapy skills, willingness to listen, and how much she cares about people.

A Word of Advice

When asked to give student health advice, Terri Jo was succinct. “If you have an injury,” she said, “do not wait.” She encourages a quick visit to a physician right away to be referred to physical therapy if indicated. “Do not pass up the quality and expertise of care you can receive at The Campus Health Athletic Training/Physical Therapy Clinic from our top notch Sports Medicine Staff.    

Come See for Yourself

Terri Jo works on the ground floor of Campus Health Services and in the Stallings- Evans Sports Medicine Center. When not in those spots, you will likely find her at the Boshamer Stadium taking care of the Baseball Team hoping to assist with getting them back to Omaha again this year!