Chair/Program Director, Professor
Office Location: SOPT 140
BS, Physical Therapy, West Virginia University, 1988
MS, Statistics, West Virginia University, 2002
EdD, Ed Psych/Higher Ed Leadership, West Virginia University, 2006
APTA Board Certification:
Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, 1995, 2005, 2015
Orthopedic/Sports Physical Therapy
Assessment and treatment of non-acute low back pain, sensorimotor training, orthopedic tests and measures, athletic performance assessment and performance enhancement.
Healthcare has changed dramatically in my 33+ years of clinical practice and physical therapists today have many added pressures and challenges that include screening for serious medical pathologies, referring for medical imaging, the expectation for rapid improvement with fewer visits, the documentation and reporting of outcome measures, and the requirement to demonstrate value to both the patient and the healthcare system. These demands require today’s physical therapy graduates to have far greater didactic knowledge, skills, and training and a thorough understanding of the inner workings of the healthcare system.
Therefore, physical therapy faculty must understand the clinical landscape and adapt their instructional methods to help graduates successfully navigate the ever-changing healthcare environment. Physical therapy educators must identify novel and efficient instructional experiences to translate information and skills. Additionally, program administrators and faculty should become role models and mentors who guide the educational process and encourage a collegial partnership between faculty and students. As the Program Director/Chairperson, I do my best to serve as a positive role model and provide leadership and mentorship to students, graduates, and the faculty.
My teaching philosophy is an integration of old-fashioned coaching with an understanding and appreciation of contemporary educational practices and pedagogy. When I reflect on the teachers and professors who have had the greatest impact on my life and career, I always identify those individuals who not only shared their knowledge and passion for the subject matter but also guided me (coached me) to explore my own abilities and boundaries. A coach cannot play the game for the athlete, and a professor cannot learn for the student. A student should be inspired, encouraged, and pushed to reach his or her own potential and to achieve things that they otherwise could not do on their own. I believe in setting high but achievable standards for myself and my students. I strive for open and honest communication with the learner. I also believe that learning should be fun and conducted in an environment where the student and professor have mutual admiration and respect for each other. I believe in service learning, authentic hands-on laboratory experiences, and ongoing and regular practice. The brain and muscle are very similar in that they both respond favorably to repeated and graded exercise. In the muscle, we call it hypertrophy, and in the brain, we call it neuroplasticity. As an educator, my job is to ensure that your brain is appropriately and regularly exercised, so you are prepared for whatever your clinical practice throws at you.