Physical Therapy Faculty
John Childs PT, PhD, MBA, FAPTA, serves as the Founding Program Director of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is also a founder of Evidence in Motion and partner in Confluent Health, which includes EIM, a network of 200 outpatient physical therapy centers in 10 states, and Fit for Work, which helps employers decrease injuries and workers’ compensation costs. A Distinguished Graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, he completed a Masters in Physical Therapy from Baylor University, an MBA from the University of Arizona, and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Having served 20 years in the Air Force, Dr. Childs has collaborated on more than $10 million in grant funding and published more than 150 papers in leading scientific journals. He served for ten years as Associate Editor for both the Physical Therapy and Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy journals. Dr. Childs has received numerous research, education, and business awards to include being an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and San Antonio “Health Care Hero.” He is also the youngest ever Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the profession’s highest honor.
Megan Donaldson PT, PhD, FAAOMPT, serves as the Associate Program Director and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her bachelor’s and master's degrees at D’Youville College and PhD from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Donaldson has completed Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy Fellowship Training from Daemen College in Amherst, NY. She has been a faculty for 13 years. As a clinical researcher, Dr. Donaldson received over $25,000 in grant funding. She has 25 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, over 50 presentations musculoskeletal health and manual therapy related topics nationally. She serves nationally as the Conference Coordinator/Chair and Executive Board member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT), and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as an Ohio Delegate. Dr. Donaldson has earned numerous research, education, and professional service awards to include being named Ohio Physical Therapy Association Outstanding PT Award, and Chamber of Commerce Award Top 20 under 40.
Josh Cleland PT, PhD, FAAOMPT, FAPTA, serves as the Director of Research and Faculty Development and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Cleland earned a Master of Physical Therapy degree from Notre Dame College and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Creighton University. He received a PhD from Nova Southeastern University. He also received board certification from the American Physical Therapy Association as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and completed a fellowship in manual therapy through Regis University in Denver, CO. Dr. Cleland has received over $700,000 in grant funding for clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of manual physical therapy and exercise in the management of spine and extremities disorders. He has published over 240 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and is an Editor for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. He is currently an author/editor on four textbooks, one of which has been published in nine different languages. Dr. Cleland is a well-known speaker at both the national and international levels and has delivered more than 225 keynote lectures and presentations in over 25 different countries. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the American Physical Therapy Association including the Jack Walker Award, the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award, the Chattanooga Research Award, the Rothstein Golden Pen Award for Scientific Writing, the Dorothy Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching and the Catherine Worthingham Fellowship Award. Additionally, he also received the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Rose Excellence in Research Award from the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy.
Alexis A. Wright PT, PhD, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, serves as the Director of Curriculum and Assessment and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Wright received her BS in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Duke University in 2006, and a PhD in physical therapy clinical research from the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2010. Dr. Wright was recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists in 2011 and achieved APTA board certified orthopedic specialization in 2015. Dr. Wright is also a 2019 graduate of the Education Leadership Institute Fellowship through the APTA. Dr. Wright is a frequent research presenter at state, national, and international meetings and a productive author with over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the areas of orthopedics and manual therapy. Dr. Wright currently serves as the Deputy Editor of Physical Therapy Reviews as well as two journal editorial boards and acts as a reviewer for a number of other international and national peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Wright currently serves as a content expert item writer for the Orthopaedic Speciality Council of the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She also currently serves on the APTA Lecture Awards Subcommittee and previous roles included APTA Awards Committee and Nominating Committee Chair of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Dr. Wright is a 2007 recipient of the Emerging Leader Award for the American Physical Therapy Association and a 2012 recipient of the Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award for the American Physical Therapy Association.
Kimberly Tyler PT, DPT, serves as the Director of Clinical Education and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her Masters of Physical Therapy at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Campus at Dallas and her transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy at A.T. Still University. She is a clinical specialist with her Neurologic Clinical Specialist through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. Tyler’s clinical background and expertise include spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She has been involved in physical therapy education and mentoring for over 17 years with entry-level students and residency-trained physical therapists. She serves as an adjunct faculty for Baylor University. She serves as program director and post-professional faculty with the Evidence In Motion-NeuroRecovery Training Institute’s Neurologic Programs.
Mark Wilhelm PT, DPT, PhD, serves as the Director of Admissions and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Akron, and his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Walsh University in Ohio. Dr. Wilhelm completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He received the Dean’s Excellence in Research Award for the School of Health Professions for his clinical musculoskeletal rehabilitation research and support area of clinical biomechanics research. Dr. Wilhelm’s scholarship includes over 15 peer reviewed journal articles and has co-authored two book chapters.
Jennifer Parent-Nichols DPT, EdD, serves as the Director of Student Affairs and core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is certified as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties, where she also serves as a board member. She has earned certification as a brain injury specialist and provides educational series for the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire. She has worked extensively in the area of pediatrics with experience in early intervention, school-based, and outpatient therapy, and adolescent sports medicine. Dr. Parent-Nichols has taught in higher education for over seven years. Her areas of research include pediatric bracing, pediatric and adolescent sports medicine, and education. Dr. Parent-Nichols has five peer-reviewed publications, and 19 peer-reviewed national and international presentations, ten invited presentations, and one book publication. She has received more than $15,000 in grant money to support her research.
Jennifer Hale PT, DPT, serves as core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is certified as a Neurological Clinical Specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. She graduated from Boston University with a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), completed her residency training at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, TX. She teaches in the areas of neuroscience, neurologic rehabilitation, and movement science. She has nine years of teaching experience within an entry-level DPT program and served as a post-professional residency director for five years. Her clinical expertise is in the management of individuals newly diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and walking recovery post-stroke. Dr. Hale attends the University of Texas Health Sciences School of Public Health, where she is working toward her PhD in Epidemiology. Her research interests, including understanding the association between physical activity and neurodegenerative disease(s) and using physical activity measurement to predict disease risk.
Ron Schenk PT, PhD, OCS, Dip MDT, FAAOMPT, serves as core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Schenk received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Ithaca College and his PhD from the University at Buffalo. Ron is a Fellow of the AAOMPT and is a Diplomat in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. He has served as a post-professional program director for the McKenzie Institute USA Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency and the McKenzie and Daemen OMPT Fellowship programs. He has taught musculoskeletal examination and intervention in professional and post-professional physical therapy programs for 30 years on a full-time basis. He has published and presented in relation to is his clinical practice with the Catholic Health System of Buffalo, NY, where he serves as a Spine Team Leader. His scholarship includes 31 peer-reviewed publications and 68 professional presentations delivered at national and international conferences. He has received the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists’ Kaltenborn Award.
Brandon Ness PT, DPT, PhD, SCS, serves as core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree in Health Fitness from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His PhD was earned in Health Sciences from the University of South Dakota. He completed a sports physical therapy residency program at Gundersen Medical Foundation in La Crosse, WI. He is board-certified in sports physical therapy in 2015. Dr. Ness has five years of teaching experience in both entry-level and post-professional physical therapy education. His clinical practice has primarily included physical therapy evaluation and treatment of NCAA Division I student-athletes and working in college student health. His scholarly interests involve the investigation of athletic injury assessment and rehabilitation. Dr. Ness has over 14 scholarly artifacts (publications, presentations, grants), and $24,000 in grant funding. He is active in his service to the profession and teaches the Emergency Response courses primarily to physical therapists/physical therapy students who plan to pursue their ABPTS sports specialty certification or apply to sports residency programs.
Neeti Pathare PT, PhD, currently serves as core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Pathare received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physical Therapy from Mumbai University, India. Her major during her master’s degree was cardiovascular and respiratory systems. She graduated with her PhD in Rehabilitation Science (Department of Physical Therapy) from the University of Florida. Dr. Pathare has practiced physical therapy in a variety of settings, including acute care, sub-acute care, and outpatient clinics, with an emphasis on cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. She has taught in the entry level DPT program for the last 13 years. Dr. Pathare’s primary teaching responsibilities are in the areas of clinical research, cardiopulmonary system, and pharmacology. Her research interests are in the areas of cardiovascular disease and childhood obesity. Dr. Pathare has co-authored 21 publications, 43 presentations at national/international conferences, and received funding for her scholarship ($28,000). Dr. Pathare currently serves on APTA’s Section of Research Communications Committee. She was awarded the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Sections’ (APTA) Mentoring Award in 2014 as a recognition for mentoring professionals in this clinical area of practice. Dr. Pathare’s research was the recipient of the Robert Salant Research award (New York Physical Therapy Association’s conference) in the years 2011, 2013, and 2017.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Wonsetler, PT, DPT, PhD, currently serves as core faculty and Assistant Director of Clinical Education in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. She has earned a PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science from the Medical University of South Carolina, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Human Sciences from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Dr. Wonsetler has over four years of entry-level teaching experience. Clinically, Dr. Wonsetler practices in the acute care setting. Within the hospital setting, she promotes interdisciplinary and interprofessional internal education with a focus on patient-centered care and safety. Her passion for teaching includes the clinical education of students, and she is an APTA credentialed clinical instructor. Dr. Wonsetler’s research has used Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to investigate how the nervous system controls movement in healthy individuals and those post neurologic injury. She has focused on the understanding of biomechanics regarding mechanisms that affect the recovery of gait post-stroke. During her short time in academia, Dr. Wonsetler has produced four peer-reviewed manuscripts and 14 peer-reviewed scholarly poster presentations. Her scholarship goals moving forward include improving physical therapy interventions for patients in the acute care setting.
Jason Rodeghero PT, DPT, PhD, FAAOMPT, currently serves as core faculty in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Truman State University (2000), his master's degree in physical therapy at Bradley University (2002), his PhD at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (2013), and his Masters of Business Administration at South College (2019). Dr. Rodeghero completed the post-doctoral fellowship program in orthopaedic manual physical therapy at Regis University and is recognized as a board certified specialist. Dr. Rodeghero has authored nine peer-reviewed publications and presented 15 times on the state, national, and international levels. He was also a nominee for the Rising Stars in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review. Dr. Rodeghero serves on the Executive Board of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists as the treasurer. He is a recognized executive leader, researcher, and teacher with over ten years of experience at the first-professional and post-graduate levels. He has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Advisory Board Frontline Impact National Award Winner (2014), Distinguished Alumnus of Bradley University (2015), and the Dennis L. Hart International Research Award (2017).