Top of Page
Skip main navigation

Kathleen Rockefeller, PT, ScD, MPH

Kathleen Rockefeller
Professor, Physical Therapy - Tampa
Research Coordinator, Physical Therapy - Tampa
Coordinator, Faculty Residency, 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



PHTT 6700 Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice

PHTT 6802 Application of Evidence-Based Practice

PHTT 6920 Applied Clinical Decision Making

PHTT 6821 Musculoskeletal III (content on ergonomics)

PHTT 6904 Capstone

Instructs additional course content in other DPT courses.

Dr. Rockefeller is the lead faculty for evidence-based practice content in the DPT program; she strives to make research and evidence-based practice interesting and meaningful for students. She provides instruction in content on occupational health physical therapy, including ergonomics, in addition to content on safe patient handling and mobility. She also provides advisement for PhD students at Nova Southeastern University and elsewhere.

Faculty Residency Program

Dr. Rockefeller is the Coordinator of the Faculty Residency Program, one of just two such programs and accredited by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education (ABPTRFE). The mission of the Program is to develop well-prepared, competent faculty by providing a supportive mentored environment that fosters excellence in teaching, service, scholarship, and governance in academia. Dr. Rockefeller provides management support to the program as well as instruction in didactic courses, in addition to serving as a mentor to individual residents.

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 mobility best practices. She is also interested in studying the integration of evidence-based practice in professional curriculum, and how faculty spend their time in job-related tasks and activities. Currently she is a reviewer for Physical Therapy, the International Journal of Safe Patient Handling & Mobility, Applied Ergonomics, and the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia’s grant program.

Areas of Practice

Dr. Rockefeller practiced in the areas of orthopedic and sports physical therapy, including five years at the University of Washington Sports Medicine Clinic. She managed efforts related to safety and ergonomics for a large telecommunications company while completing her Master of Public Health degree. She has taken numerous continuing education courses in a variety of subject areas. She has expertise in workplace ergonomics, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, safe patient handling and mobility practices, and evidence-based practice in physical therapy.

Summary of Professional Activities

Dr. Rockefeller has been an APTA member throughout her entire career. She is a member of the Acute Care, Education, Health Policy & Administration, Research, and Orthopaedic Sections. She has served as both the Vice-President and the Research Chair of the Occupational Health Special Interest Group (OHSIG in the Orthopaedic Section). She has represented the SIG in international efforts in the area of occupational and health physical therapy. She has served on the Research Committee of the Academy of Physical Therapy Education, most recently as Chair.  She is on the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Safe Patient Handling & Movement. She has been active in national and international efforts to promote safe patient handling and movement practices for therapists, and has given numerous presentations on these topics.

Return to top of page