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Quick Facts


100% - First-time pass rate on the certification exam by 2013 graduates
3rd - Ranking among the 15 most popular majors at UCF (UCF Facts 2013-14)
7 - Ranking in "100 Best Jobs" by U.S. News & World Report in 2014

3.62 - Average prerequisite GPAs of the admitted Class of 2016


3.69 - Average GPAs of last 60 undergraduate credit hours of the admitted Class of 2016

156 - Average Quantitative GRE score of admitted Class of 2016

154 - Average Verbal GRE score of admitted Class of 2016

100% - Percent of graduating students from the DPT Program from Class of 2010 thru Class of 2013 that passed the national licensure exam (national average was 88-93%)

100% - Percent of graduating students from the DPT Program from Class of 2010 thru Class of 2013 who were employed as physical therapists within 6 months of licensure

Health and Public Affairs building I


Welcome to the
Department of Health Professions

The delivery and management of high-quality health care requires the knowledge and talents of many different health care professionals, each of whom plays an integral part in the overall health care team. Practitioners with formal education and clinical training have crucial roles in prevention, diagnosis and therapy. They work in many different environments such as hospitals, specialized-care facilities, schools, the performing arts, government, and more.

Employment in health care occupations is strong and will continue to grow in the coming years driven by the increasing demands of an aging population and longer life expectancies. Working in health care is interesting and rewarding. You are invited to explore our website and learn about the academic health programs we offer.


Featured News & Kudos


Athletic Training Assists at Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships

Members of the Program in Athletic Training recently volunteered at the Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. The championship competitions were held Nov. 3-17 by USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for the sport of gymnastics.

Faculty members Carlos Gual, Jennifer Plant and Kristen Schellhase, along with alumni Kelda Adams ('12) and Jonathan Hodapp ('12) (now a UCF physical therapy student), worked as athletic trainers during the competitions. Students Courtney Butler (senior), Sam Newman (junior) and Christine Reichert (junior) joined them to watch and assist.

"It was a very neat experience," Schellhase said. "We hope to partner with USA Gymnastics again."

Click on photos to enlarge


Competitor on trampoline Schellhase at championship
A competitor aims high while spotters stand ready, including one holding a safety mat. (Left to right) Sam Newman, Kristen Schellhase and Kelda Adams


New Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Student Organization

The Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program has a new student organization. The focus of the new Health Awareness Provention Society (HAPS) is promoting a healthy lifestyle by increasing awareness and healthy living through education and prevention. If you are interested in joining HAPS, please contact Dr. Suha Saleh.



Sports Health coverPre-Clinical Student Co-Authors Article in Sports Health

Health sciences pre-clinical major Kyle Perkins is the first author of an article in the September/October 2014 issue of Sports Health. He and UCF physical therapy faculty members William Hanney and Carey Rothschild report on their recent systematic study in "The Risks and Benefits of Running Barefoot or in Minimalist Shoes: A Systematic Review." The article is available online now. Read the article



Pabian Graduates from Leadership Institute

Patrick Pabian, director of UCF's Doctor of Physical Therapy program, graduated from the American Physical Therapy Association's Education Leadership Institute Fellowship program on July 20. He is one of just 15 physical therapists nationwide to earn the title of "ELI Fellow" in 2014.

The yearlong program is for directors of physical therapy and physical therapy assistant academic programs. It includes online study, face-to-face mentorship sessions, and the development of a personal leadership plan and an institution-
based leadership project. 

The program encourages participants to "think strategically to creatively implement solutions in education that respond to changes in health care and society, and engage in public discourse that advances physical therapy profession."

Pabian appears fourth from right in the photo below.



Plant Receives Statewide Award in Athletic Training

Jennifer Plant with her awardCongratulations to Jennifer Plant, clinical coordinator and instructor of athletic training, on her receipt of the 2014 College/University Athletic Trainer of the Year award from the Athletic Trainers' Association of Florida. The award is given annually to "a college or university athletic trainer who has displayed throughout the year a high level of professionalism and whose actions have improved the profession and the [association]."

Plant received the award July 19 at the ATAF's Annual Meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. She appears here (center) with Kristen Schellhase (left) director of UCF's athletic training program, and Bob Hammons (right), president of ATAF.

“It was great to see Jennifer honored in this way. She is so deserving of this award!,” Shellhase said. "She is an exceptional teacher, a professional leader and an amazing colleague. She has been an excellent addition to our faculty and represents us well in the profession.”



Pabian Selected for National Editorial Excellence Award

Patrick PabianThe National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA) has selected Patrick Pabian (right), director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, to receive its 2014 Editorial Excellence Award.

Each year, the NSCA gives the award to a member of its Strength and Conditioning Journal Editorial Board to recognize excellence in service to the association. Pabian has served as a manuscript reviewer for the journal since 2010.

The Strength and Conditioning Journal is a peer-reviewed, indexed journal for the NSCA, an interdisciplinary organization serving professionals from athletic training, physical therapy, sports medicine and exercise science.



Pectol Attends Leadership Program Aboard The Queen Mary

Student Leadership Workshop participants2014 athletic training graduate Angela Pectol recently completed the Institute for Collegiate Sports Medicine's Student Leadership Workshop, held May 18-20 aboard The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif.

"Angela was one of only two students selected from our district [District 9, southeastern United States], and her trip was paid for by Cramer Products," said Kristen Schellhase, director of the Program in Athletic Training.

The three-day workshop included discussions on the characteristics of a good leader and strategies to implement good leadership within an atheltic training student organization, Pectol wrote.

"On multiple occasions, we discussed the struggles among our organizations and found that most all had the same issues of lack of commitment and participation," Pectol shared. "We also learned the importance of having a good set of 'soft skills,' meaning managment and business-like skills."

Photo: Angela Pectol (second row from front, second from left) with her fellow workshop participants.



Inaugural Event Gets Kids with Disabilities Up and Active

Seminole Voice reporter Brittni Larson wrote about the D.P.T. program's inaugural event, "Let’s Ignite! Building Better Bodies,” in the April 24 issue of the paper. 

Read the article


Physical Therapy to Host Free Outdoor Event for Children with Disabilities

Physical therapy students






Physical therapy students are certain to bring enthusiasm to the event. (Photo by Abi Bell)

UPDATE: "The event was a huge success," reported faculty advisor Jennifer Tucker. "We had about 30 children, and the students did a phenomenal job. I'm already receiving inquiries about next year's event."

The Doctor of Physical Therapy program will host a free event to encourage physical activity in children with a developmental disability. The program will sponsor “Let’s Ignite! Building Better Bodies” on April 19, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at UCF’s Memory Mall, across from the CFE Arena.

Children must be 5 to 18 years old and accompanied by a parent or caregiver to participate. They will engage in activities with UCF physical therapy students; UCF’s mascot, Knightro; members of Orlando City Soccer and other volunteers.

Read the full story

For additional information, contact D.P.T. student Robyn Zuromski at 407-453-9457 or



Pre-Clinical Graduates Publish in UCF Undergraduate Research Journal

The latest issue of the UCF Undergraduate Research Journal (Vol. 7, Issue 1) includes an article by two recent graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program. Lisa M. Soler ('12) and Adriana Ramirez ('13) are the authors of "An Analysis of the Ecological Theory of Research Participation Applied to a Sample of Young Adult Males." Their faculty mentor was Michael Rovito, an expert on men's health and instructor in the pre-clincal program.

Read the article



Steve LevineLevine Awarded Highest Honor by American Physical Therapy Association

Steve Levine (right), an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and accomplished consultant in the field, has been named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA). The FAPTA designation is the highest honor among the association's membership categories.

Levine is a partner in Fearon & Levine, a national consulting firm that focuses on practice management in outpatient rehabilitation settings. At UCF, he teaches Management of Physical Therapy Services I and II.


Levine, Pabian Speak at Statewide Physical Therapy Conference

Two members of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program spoke at the 2014 Florida Physical Therapy Association Spring Conference, held April 4-5 in Orlando.Patrick Pabian

Patrick Pabian (right), director of the D.P.T. program, presented on “Clinical Radiology for Physical Therapists.”

Carol Levine, director of continuing education for the D.P.T. program, presented on “The Role of Physical Rehabilitation in the Changing Landscape of the Oncology Population."



Pre-Clinical, Athletic Training Students Present at Research Showcase

This year's Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) included nine students from the Department of Health Professions. The students shared the findings from their own research in poster and display presentations at the April 3 forum.

Six students from the B.S. in Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program participated: Guillermo Alfonso, Ariela Baran, Tahia Hossain, Kyle Perkins, Aaron Pollock and Erin Rhodes. Two of these students earned special recognition: Aaron Pollock took second place in the Life Sciences category and Kyle Perkins received an honorable mention in the Health Sciences category.

In addition, three students in the B.S. in Athletic Training program participated: Christopher Mings, Angela Pectol and Daibeliz Vega.

"I'm exceptionally proud of all the students who participated in both SURE and the Graduate Research Forum (see 4/1/14 entry below)," said Kristen Schellhase, interim chair of the department. "They made a concerted effort to improve themselves and create a learning experience that will be fundamental to their success in graduate school. I'm also very proud of the DHP faculty who encouraged participation in these events."


13 D.P.T. Students Participate in Graduate Research Forum

Thirteen students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program presented posters on their research at UCF's 2014 Graduate Research Forum on April 1. The students presenters were Jessica Alter, Sarah Beckett, William Carroll, Heather Coffel, Natalie Hair, Trevor Hicks, Madison Hinton, Chad Houchin, Andre Ishmael, Kristen Kalemeris, Molly Kordsmeier, Lydia Picard and Brittany Wycoff. Five faculty members from both the program and department participated as well: Drs. William Hanney, Patrick Pabian, Michael Rovito, Carey Rothschild and Jennifer Tucker.

Heather Coffel Students Madison Hinton
Heather Coffel (Left to right) Michelle Alvarez, Kristen Kalemeris and Brittany Hughes Madison Hinton



D.P.T. Students Receive Scholarships at National Physical Therapy Meeting

Sarah Beckett (left) and Lindsey Seidelman (right), students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, have been selected to receive $200 scholarships from the American Physical Therapy Association based on their research.

Beckett and Seidelman's research study, “Incidence and Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Injury Among Collegiate Marching Band and Color Guard Members,” earned them scholarships from the APTA's Performing Arts Special Interests Group.

They received the scholarships at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting on Feb. 7 in Chicago.


Igniting the scientific curiosity of caribbean youth

Webster with participating childrenDanielle Webster (center), lecturer of pre-clinical health sciences, is making her mark by helping to advance S.T.E.M. in a region with fewer resources.

Webster is the vice-chair and co-founder of the Society for Scientific Advancement (SoSA), a community-benefit organization whose goal is to stimulate the development of the sciences in the Caribbean.

Read more



Tucker Featured in Television Segment

Jennifer Tucker, instructor of physical therapy, was recently in the news! She is the only nationally board-certified pediatric physical therapist within 50 miles of Orlando, and she has recently entered into a five-year partnership with United Cerebral Palsy to expand the availability of pediatric physical therapy services. Take a look at this video to see the wonderful things being accomplished!


Expanding Pediatric Physical Therapy Services

Jennifer Tucker, Cortney Miller and Krissy KalamerisUCF is partnering with a leading provider of physical therapy services in the region, UCP of Central Florida, to address a shortage of pediatric physical therapists with support from ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

Read more

(Photo by Abi Bell)



Students Learn from Young Visitors

UCF's Doctorate in Physical Therapy program partners with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida to provide physical therapy students with an opportunity to interact with children with Down syndrome and their families.

Today, nine children and their parents met with students in the physical therapy lab. The children's ages ranged from 18 months to 10 years old.

"This hands-on experience helps student truly appreciate the individuality of each child and the journey of their family beyond just the larger diagnosis of Down syndrome," said Instructor Jennifer Tucker.

Click image to enlarge (Photos by Jennifer Chavis)



Pabian and Hanney published in Strength & Conditioning Journal

Congratulations to Dr. Patrick Pabian and Dr. William Hanney for having two articles published in the August 2013 issue of the Strength & Conditioning Journal. The first is a study they conducted, Low Back Pain: Movement Considerations for Exercise and Training. The other published article, Sport Concussion Implications for the Strength and Conditioning Professional, was written with Mary Vander Heiden, director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer for UCF football.


Guillermo Named UCF Undergraduate Researcher of the Month

Congratulations to Guillermo Alfonso, a junior in the health sciences pre-clinical program, on his selection as "Undergraduate Researcher of the Month" for August 2013 by the UCF Student Undergraduate Research Council! Alfonso is looking at the role of perceived masculinity influence upon injury concealment among athletes, according to his research supervisor, Instructor Michael Rovito.


Physical Therapy Program Partners
with United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida

We are excited to announce our new partnership with the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Central Florida.

The UCF-UCP of Central Florida Pediatric Physical Therapy Initiative will capitalize on the existing academic strengths of the UCF DPT program and extend the vision of the UCP of Central Florida and its Bailes School as a model for innovative academic and social service collaboration. Further, the Initiative will address the global needs for high-quality pediatric physical therapy in the central Florida community. It is anticipated that UCP will be able to serve more children with special needs with greater efficiency, and UCF constituents will further the development of students and faculty and carry out its mission to be a leading partnership university.

This project will fund one DPT faculty member and two DPT graduate students to improve services for children with special needs in central Florida and develop an infrastructure for research and clinical excellence for one of the leading providers of pediatric physical therapy in Central Florida, United Cerebral Palsy of Central Florida.


Hanney Comments on Back Pain,
MRIs in Radio Interview

William HanneyAssistant Professor William Hanney, a member of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, commented today on the necessity of MRIs to evaluate back pain in a segment on WMFE radio. His interview follows a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association on the treatment of back pain.
Listen to the segment



Dyson Wins National Award for Teaching Excellence

Jamie Dyson (left)Congratulations to Adjunct Instructor Jamie Dyson on his receipt of the Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching at the American Physical Therapy Association's meeting in June in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was nominated with the support of numerous academic institutions from around the country for his contributions to the clinical education of physical therapy students, according to Patrick Pabian, director of UCF's Doctor of Physical Therapy program. 

Dyson is the lead instructor for many courses in UCF's physical therapy curriculum, including Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Integration and Acute Care Physical Therapy. In addition, he provides guest lectures and labs in Patient Care Skills and Gerontology.

Photo: Dyson (left) with Paul Rockar, Jr., president of the APTA



Undergraduate Student Publishes Peer-Reviewed Article

Health Sciences Pre-Clinical major Chase Cavayero is the author of a peer-reviewed article published this spring in the University of Central Florida Undergraduate Research Journal. "Under the professional mentoring of Dr. Michael Rovito, Cavayero successfully pursued a rigorous course of research resulting in the peer-reviewed publication of his article, 'A Practicality Analysis Pertaining to Minimally Invasive Robot-Assisted Urologic Surgery,'" wrote Tison Pugh, editor of the journal.

Read Cavayero's article at


Schack Dugre Speaks at Leadership Institute

Physical therapy Instructor Judi Schack Dugre spoke on "Leading with Integrity" at The Institute for Leadership in Physical Therapy, held May 18-19 at UCF. The institute invited her to make the presentation as part of an overall course titled "Leading Others: Adaptive and Transformational Leadership in Physical Therapy" for members of the American Physical Therapy Association.


Rothschild Offers Advice on Switching to Barefoot Running

WFTV Channel 9 Orlando recently turned to Carey Rothschild, instructor of physical therapy, to learn how runners should switch from running in athletic shoes to running barefoot. Watch the segment


Saleh Receives Collegewide Teaching Excellence Award

Suha SalehCongratulations to Assistant Professor Suha Saleh, director of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program, on her receipt of a College of Health and Public Affairs' Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for 2012-13!

Learn about this dedicated faculty member's teaching philosophy at




Teaching in the Tech Age Poses Challenges

Assistant Professor Suha Saleh, director of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program, recently shared her thoughts on what it's like to teach students who use electronic devices in the classroom in an article written by Emon Reiser for the Central Florida Future. Read the article



Rothschild Offers Tips for Runners

Carey Rothschild demonstrates strength assessmentIn a local TV segment, Carey Rothschild, instructor of physical therapy, recently offered tips for runners on how to assess their body strength. Watch the segment



HSPC Students Host World Sight Day

The second Thursday of October is World Sight Day, a time to bring awareness of vision disorders and vision health to the forefront. This year Dr. Suha Saleh and students of the Health Sciences Pre-Clinical program set up information tables in front of HPA-I and the Student Union and invited students, faculty, and staff to participate in games and activities while learning about eye diseases. Visitors were encouraged to use the vision tester to check their eyesight. Dr. Saleh collaborated with Lions Club International to collect used glasses to be distributed to people in need. The drop boxes are located at the Recreation & Wellness building, HPA-I and HPA-II. Collection goes through the end of October.




Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Hosts 3rd Annual Meet & Greet Social

The 3rd Annual Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Meet & Greet Social was held on October 10, 2012 with the help of APPA, the Association of Pre-Physician Assistants, and UPTA, the Undergraduate Physical Therapy Association. Students had the opportunity to meet with health sciences pre-clinical and health professions faculty, staff, and fellow peers. Thanks to the students, volunteers, and faculty, the event was a success!



D.P.T. students Study Pediatric Physical Therapy

Physical therapy students observing and infantSecond-year students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program recently observed babies and toddlers during a lab on human development milestones (photo) as part of the course, "Pediatric Physical Therapy." The course provides a foundation in gestation and normal development and covers disorders and diseases encountered in pediatric physical therapy. "This lab provided a foundation for future labs, such as one this week in which we will look at children with different diagnoses, including Down syndrome," said Instructor Jennifer Tucker.

Click photo to enlarge



Athletic Training Students Highlighted in UCF Sports Medicine Video

Athletic training studentsA new video about UCF Sports Medicine highlights the importance of student athletic trainers to the program. "The athletic training students do an absolutely great job," said Assistant Athletic Trainer Jud Fann, a 2003 graduate of UCF's athletic training program. "They're a huge asset to what we do." Students Caitlin "Katie" Michaels (photo, left) and Michelle Galvin (right) are featured in the video. Watch the video



Health Sciences Pre-Clinical Major Among UCF's Most Popular

Health sciences pre-clinical classEnrollment in the health sciences pre-clinical major has surpassed 2,000 students this fall, making it one of the most popular majors at UCF. Reaching this milestone is all the more remarkable given that the program began just six years ago with 224 students. Learn more



The Olympics and Bare Feet: What Have We Learned?

Physical therapy Instructor Carey Rothschild studies bare foot running. Her research shows that there are risks to running no matter what someone puts on his or her feet. Learn more


Rothschild (center) teaching in a physical therapy lab


Read more in Men's Health Rothschild also shared her expertise in the October 2012 issue of Men's Health.


Read Rothchild's commentary in "Barefoot runner in Altamonte Springs turns heads during daily commute" (Orlando Sentinel, 12/26/12)


Dr. Schellhase Earns Prestigous Award

Congratulations to Dr. Kristen Schellhase, program director and interim chair for the Department of Health Professions. She received the 2012 NACADA Outstanding Advising Certificate of Merit for Faculty Academic Advising. Read more.


Congratulations Dr. Hanney!

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Congratulations to Dr. William Hanney. Not only has he successfully defended his Ph.D., he has also been awarded the 2011 Strength and Conditioning journal editorial award in recognition of his service to the association.


Welcome Aboard Brianna Moore

A big welcome to Brianna Moore, new office assistant for the Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. Brianna received her B.A. in Hospitality Management from the Rosen College and is a wonderful addition to the staff.


Thank You Altamonte Crossfit

The Program in Athletic Training extends a very big thank you to the folks at Altamonte Crossfit. Each year they allow the students in the program to work with their staff to learn the proper techniques for Olympic weightlifting. The experience is invaluable to the students.