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Quick Facts

  • 6 - Number of graduate programs in the college ranked in the top 100 nationwide by U.S. News and World Report in March 2016
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice
  • Spring 2016 - Launch of the completely online Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) program
  • 2015-16 - Academic year in which the college recognized 25 years since its founding in 1990-91
  • > 1,700 - Number of children and adults with speech, language and hearing problems served by the Communication Disorders Clinic

Department of Health Professions

• Overview
• Research Interests
Current/Recent Grants


Hanney ResearchFaculty members in the Department of Health Professions have a wide range of research expertise in the areas of clinical sciences, health sciences, physical therapy and athletic training. They frequently secure research funding from both government and professional organizations.

Research Interests

Morris Beato

Morris Beato, P.T., D.P.T., GCS, NCS

  • stroke rehabilitation
  • Neuromotor Interventions for Neurologic Conditions
  • Parkinson's Disease Rehabilitation

Kristen Schellhase

Kristen Schellhase, Ed.D., LAT, ATC, CSCS

  • therapeutic modalities (application or knowledge base)
  • education (health or allied health)
  • athletic training administration and policy
  • athletic trainer knowledge and attitudes regarding heat illness prevention and treatment

Nicole Dawson

Nicole Dawson, P.T., Ph.D., GCS

  • non-pharmacological interventions for older adults
  • predictors of successful and optimal aging
  • risk factors for falls in older adults with cognitive impairment
  • understanding the illness experience for individuals with dementia

William Hanney

William Hanney, B.S., M.P.T., D.P.T., Ph.D.

  • predictive models for physical therapy treatment outcomes
  • exercise based interventions in treatment of low back pain
  • exercise based interventions in treatment of neck pain

Patrick Pabian

Patrick Pabian, P.T., D.P.T., SCS, OCS, CSCS

  • post-surgical rehabilitation
  • Sports medicine
  • interdisciplinary patient care

Jennifer Plant

Jennifer Plant, M.S.

  • role strain of graduate and post-graduate athletic training students
  • scapular dyskinesis in overhead athletes
  • changes in lower extremity biomechanics following chronic ankle sprains
  • perceptions of barriers in the implementation of evidence based practice among athletic training clinical instructors
  • best methods for transitioning young athletic training professionals into a clinical practice environment - both from the professional education side and the employer side

Carey Rothschild

Carey Rothschild, P.T., D.P.T., OCS, SCS, CSCS

  • predictors of injury in athletic and artistic populations
  • prevention and treatment of injuries in runners
  • prevention and treatment of postpartum musculoskeletal conditions
  • conditions of the female athlete

Michael J. Rovito

Michael J. Rovito, Ph.D., CHES, FMHI

  • research methods
  • men's health
  • program evaluation
  • health behavior sciences
  • chronic disease epidemiology
  • health communication
  • community health

Suha Saleh

Suha Saleh, Ph.D., M.T.

  • health education
  • college student health
  • eye pathology and visual disorders
  • diabetes

Gerald Smith

Gerald Smith, P.T., Ph.D.

  • neural plasticity
  • stroke rehabilitation

James Sonne

James Sonne, Ph.D.

  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Animal Models
  • Immunohistology
  • Early Detection and Prevention
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Growth factors and neuron survival

Matt Stock

Matt Stock, Ph.D.

  • aging
  • Motor unit control
  • Neuromuscular Physiology
  • Strength Training
  • Fatigue

Jennifer Tucker

Jennifer Tucker, D.P.T., PCS

  • physical activity in children
  • physical activity in children with special needs/chronic disease
  • effective parent education
  • service delivery models for pediatric physical therapy

Timothy Worrell

Timothy Worrell, B.S., M.P.H., RRT

  • history of cardiology
  • hemodynamic monitoring of the critically ill patient
  • invasive cardiovascular diagnostic techniques
  • non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostic techniques

Current/Recent Grants

A Pilot Application of the Adolescent Males Social Indicators Scales (AMSIS)
PI: Michael Rovito, Ph.D.
$7,500, 5/1/2015-4/29/2016
UCF Office of Research and Commercialization (In-House Grant)

Impact of the Timing and Sequencing of Physical Therapy on the Overall Healthcare Costs in New York State
Co-PI: William Hanney, D.P.T., Ph.D. (with PI Xinliang "Albert" Liu and Co-PIs Michael Masaracchio [Long Island University] and Latarsha Chisholm)
$280,808, 4/21/2014-4/20/2016
New York Physical Therapy Association

A Study of Physical Therapist-Provided Medicare Services
Co-PIs: Michael Rovito, Ph.D., and William Hanney, Ph.D. (with PI: Xinliang "Albert" Liu and Co-PI Reid Oetjen)
$7,983, 4/1/2015-3/31/2016
Center for Innovative Healthcare, Inc.

A Pilot Study Observing the Effects of Text Messaging upon Physical Activity in Those with Chronic Low Back Pain
PI: Michael Rovito, Ph.D. (with Co-PI William Hanney)
$3,902, 2/1/2014-12/1/2015
Center for Innovative Healthcare, Inc.

The health care informatics master's program at UCF really helped me connect with the industry, meet people at conferences and sit for the most-desired certification exams."
— Michael Neimann,  M.S. in health care informatics ('14)
My internship with the District 9 Medical Examiner’s Office was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I gained an excellent understanding of the medical examiner’s office and the criminal justice field in general."
— Adam Stubley,  B.S. in criminal justice, criminal profiling certificate ('11)
UCF provides its physical therapy students with an excellent education and prepares them to work in the most challenging of settings."
— Jamie Dyson,  Rehabilitation Supervisor, Orlando Regional Medical Center
UCF's program provided me the opportunity to expedite my student experience while attaining practical experience working within local health systems."
— Daniel Barr,  V.P. at National Children's Hospital; M.S. in health sciences, health services administration track ('04)
My master's education helped me see the big picture of the nonprofit industry. UCF showed me how to see the different fundraising tools within the Central Florida area."
— Krysti Griffith,  Executive Director of Growth from Grief; Master of Nonprofit Management ('12)
The course opened my eyes to grant writing ... I learned a great deal and you [Barbara Howell] are truly an excellent instructor."
— Deborah Reith,  Master of Public Administration student who secured a $10,000 federal grant through a course project; B.S. in criminal justice ('86)
The skills I learned during my time at UCF are what made my transition to law school so seamless."
— Jacqueline Iaquinta,  Touro Law Center student; B.S. in legal studies ('10)
As an inaugural graduate of the M.R.A. program at UCF, I can attest to the outstanding curriculum developed for research administrators. "
— April Heyward,  Post Award Services Coordinator, University of South Carolina; Master of Research Administration ('13)
It was at UCF that I first learned many of the skills that I’ve since honed, including mapping with GIS software - an ability I found invaluable to my search for internships, graduate-level coursework, and employment."
— Richard "Ben" Hagen,  Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project, New York City; B.S. in public administration ('10)
I am excited to be able to give back to the program that invested so much in me. It is truly and honor and a privilege."
— Carlos Gual,  Instructor of Athletic Training; B.S. in athletic training ('09)
The faculty advisor [at my medical school] was amazed that I had the opportunity to truly participate in the full spectrum of research as an undergraduate. "
— Chase Cavayero, medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicince, B.S. in health sciences - pre-clinical ('13),  
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