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Kathleen Rockefeller, P.T., Sc.D., M.P.H.

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


  • B.A. in Dance from the State University College of New York at Brockport
  • M.S. in Physical Education from Ithaca College
  • Certificate in Physical Therapy from Columbia University
  • Masters in Public Health from the University of Washington
  • Sc.D. in ergonomics and epidemiology from the 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 D.P.T. courses.

Kathleen Rockefeller, P.T., Sc.D., M.P.H. is the lead faculty for evidence-based practice content in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.)program; she strives to make research and evidence-based practice interesting and meaningful for students. Rockefeller 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 Ph.D. students at Nova Southeastern University and elsewhere.

Faculty Residency Program

Rockefeller is the Coordinator of the Faculty Residency Program, which is 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. She provides management support for the program, as well as instruction in didactic courses, and serves as a mentor to individual residents.

Scholarly Activities & Interests

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 ergonomic 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, Rockefeller is a reviewer for Physical Therapy, the International Journal of Safe Patient Handling & MobilityApplied Ergonomics, and the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia’s grant program.

Areas of Practice

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. Rockefeller 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

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 also served as both the vice-president and the research chair of the Occupational Health Special Interest Group (OHSIG in the Orthopaedic Section). Rockefeller 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. Rockefeller 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

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