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Kathleen Rockefeller, PT, ScD, MPH

Kathleen Rockefeller
Professor, Physical Therapy - Tampa
Research Coordinator, Physical Therapy - Tampa
(813) 574-5319


  • BA in Dance from the State University College of New York at Brockport
  • MS in Physical Education at Ithaca College
  • Certificate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University
  • Masters in Public Health, University of Washington
  • ScD in ergonomics and epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Lowell


American Physical Therapy Association, Certified Clinical Instructor

Teaching responsibilities


PHTT 6700 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice

PHTT 6802 Application of Evidence-Based Practice

PHTT 6915 Patient/Client Management post Amputation (advisor)

PHTT 6810 and 6821 Musculoskeletal II and III (ergonomics content)

PHTT 6820 Applied Clinical Decision Making

PHTT 6904 Evidence in Practice Capstone

PHT 7112 Measurement Issues (co-instructor)

Dr. Rockefeller was the coordinator of ergonomic initiatives for a Fortune 500 telecommunications company. She has been teaching in physical therapist programs since 1996. She coordinated and instructed a number of courses in the musculoskeletal practice area in several entry-level DPT Programs. She developed and instructed the evidence-based practice sequence at two other universities before coming to the Hybrid Entry-Level DPT Program at Nova in 2011. At Nova, her primary teaching responsibilities are with the evidence-based practice sequence, and for the ergonomics content in the musculoskeletal sequence. One of her teaching goals is to make evidence-based practice and rehabilitation research relevant and interesting to physical therapist students.

Scholarly Activities & Interests

Dr. Rockefeller ‘s scholarly interests focus on a variety of topics, including work-related musculoskeletal disorders in health care professionals and the prevention of these disorders by the implementation of safe patient handling and movement best practices. In addition, she is interested in exposure to work-related violence in physical therapy practice, as well as strategies to manage such exposure. She is interested in studying the integration of evidence-based practice in professional curriculum. At Nova, she is a co-investigator of a grant entitled:  “Where does the time go? A work sampling study comparing faculty activities in traditional and hybrid DPT Programs” (in progress).

Areas of Practice

Dr. Rockefeller initially practiced in the areas of orthopedic and sports physical therapy, and then managed the ergonomic process for a large telecommunications company while completing her Masters of Public Health degree. She was also the Program Director for a developing Physical Therapist Assistant Program in Nashua NH prior to working on her doctoral degree.

Summary of Professional Activities

Dr. Rockefeller has been an APTA member throughout her career. She is a member of the Education, Neurology, Research, and Orthopaedic Sections. In the Orthopaedic Section, she is a member of several Special Interest Groups: Evidence-Based Practice, Occupational Health, and Performing Arts. She has served as both the Vice-President and the Research Chair of the Occupational Health Special Interest Group (Orthopaedic Section). She has represented the OHSIG in international efforts in the area of occupational and health physical therapy. She is on the Editorial Board of the American Journal for Safe Patient Handling & Movement, and is a founding Board Member for the Association for Safe Patient Handling & Movement.

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