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Jennifer Collins

Jennifer Collins, PT, MPA, EdD

Department Chair

Professor, Department of Health Science and Physical Therapy Dr. Jennifer Collins has a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Russell Sage College, (1978) a master's degree in public administration from the State University of New York at Brockport, (1989) a certificate in gerontology from St. John Fisher College and a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Rochester (2001). She has more than thirty years of experience as a physical therapist with twenty years in physical therapist education, and is a tenured faculty member at Nazareth. Her areas of interest for teaching are psychosocial aspects of disability, professional issues, qualitative research, management, and education. Her research interests are primarily qualitative in the areas of PT education, professionalism and professional development, and home health care. She has a keen interest in developing and expanding physical therapist education programs globally. Active in professional activities at the local, state, and national level and is currently Vice-President of the New York State Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA) serving as a member of the Executive Committee. An APTA Trainer for its Clinical Instructor and Credentialing and Advanced Clinical Instructor Courses. Item writer for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. Dr. Collins has presented several research studies at national meetings in higher education and physical therapy, as well as at 2007 World Congress of Physical Therapy (WCPT) in Vancouver, BC.


Andrew BartletAndrew Bartlett, PT, PhD, MPA

Assistant Professor
Andrew S. Bartlett graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University in Physical Therapy in 1997. Prior to achieving his Physical Therapy degree Mr. Bartlett obtained a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and a Masters in Public Administration, and PhD in Physical Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to teaching part time within Nazareth's Physical Therapy Department, Andrew practices part time at Visiting Nurse Services, a home health agency.


Connie Chau

Connie Chau, PT, PhD

Professor of Physical Therapy
Dr. Connie Chau's main research interest is motor control with an emphasis on neurophysiology and neuropharmacology. She received her undergraduate and graduate training from McGill University where she earned a BS in physical therapy and an MS in rehabilitation science. She pursued her doctoral training in the Physiology Department, Center for Neurological Science, University of Montreal, Canada. Dr. Chau also undertook further training as a postdoctoral fellow to better understand the changes of receptors in the spinal cord after injury using autoradiographical techniques.

She has a keen interest in fundamental scientific research and the application of this research to humans. Her research goals are to conduct human studies based on findings from animal research and to develop potential treatment strategies in the rehabilitation of patients with neurological deficits. Dr. Chau is actively conducting studies of locomotion in both pediatric and adult populations using the Gaitrite analysis system. She will present her latest results on locomotion in children with autism at the upcoming Neuroscience meeting in November, 2008.

She has also completed a pilot study investigating the combined effects of Physical Therapy and interactive treadmill training on the recovery of locomotion in chronic stroke patients. Currently, she is investigating the effects of body weight supported-treadmill training on chronic stroke patients. Dr. Chau has published articles in Journal of Neurophysiology, Progress in Brain research and Journal in Physiology. She has also co-authored book chapters on recovery of locomotion and spinal cord plasticity.


Elizabeth Clark, PT, DPT, NCS

Clinical Assistant Professor/Director of Clinical Education

Dr. Clark is the Director of Clinical Education and Clinical Assistant Professor at Nazareth College. Prior to this appointment, she was a full time clinician for Unity Health System, in Rochester, NY. Her almost nine year history with Unity afforded her the opportunity to achieve her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Upstate Medical University in 2006, her board certification in Neurology in 2008, and assist in the successful credentialing of the Residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy program at Unity Health in 2011. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology at SUNY Geneseo in 1999, and graduated from SUNY Upstate Medical University Magna cum laude with both a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a Masters in Physical Therapy in 2002.

Dr. Clark’s primary area of interest in clinical practice, teaching, and research include neurologic physical therapy, specifically traumatic brain injury, stroke, and vestibular rehabilitation and health systems administration.


Michelle Donahue PT, DPT, PCS

Clinical Assistant Professor/Director of Clinical Education

Dr. Donahue received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a minor in Gerontology and Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Nazareth College.  She completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Shenandoah University. Dr. Donahue completed Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester and is an ABPTS certified pediatric specialist.

Dr. Donahue's clinical experience is in pediatrics and developmental disabilities from birth -21 years of age in the Early Intervention, Preschool, and School-Based settings.  She has serviced on evaluation and assistive technology teams.  Dr. Donahue has presented at conferences on a variety of pediatric topics such as: community-based recreational activities, reflex integration, assistive technology, and pediatric evaluation techniques. She has coordinated and consulted with numerous community-based recreational programs for children with special health care needs.


Staffan Elgelid, PT, PhD, CFT, LMT

Associate Professor
Staffan Elgelid has been a Physical Therapist for 20+ years. A native of Sweden and graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Staffan has worked in a wide variety of settings, including owning his own clinics, and has presented at conferences on a wide variety of topics such as Guided Imagery, Healthy Aging, Mentoring, Awareness, Core Strengthening, Feldenkrais, both in the US and in Europe and has produced DVD's on core strengthening.

Dr Elgelid is a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and Comprehensive Yoga Therapist. He is a former editor of the International Feldenkrais Federation research journal and a former board member of the North American Feldenkrais Guild. Dr Elgelid is still actively seeing clients that are interested in The Feldenkrais Method or Yoga Therapy. Dr Elgelid is an Advisory Board member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

A former Nazareth professor, he has returned to teach in areas such as Soft Tissue Techniques, Health Promotion and Wellness, and a wide array of clinical courses.


Marcia Miller-Spoto, PT, DC, OCS


Dr. Miller Spoto received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Daemen College in Amherst, New York and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. She is certified as an orthopedic specialist (OCS) by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Dr. Miller has over 30 years of clinical experience, with a practice focus in orthopedic conditions of the spine and osteoarthritis. She teaches in the areas of musculoskeletal management and differential diagnosis. Her research interests include physical therapy diagnosis, as well as low back pain and osteoarthritis management. She is the owner and president of STAR Physical Therapy in Fairport, NY, and has been active in promoting the interests of private practice in the Greater Rochester area. She is an insurance specialist for the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA), and currently works with local insurers including Excellus and MVP to improve the delivery of musculoskeletal care. She is also a member of the NYPTA Advisory Payment Panel. Dr. Miller is a founding member and current Vice President of the Physical Therapy Alliance of Upstate New York (PTAUNY).


 J. J. Mowder-Tinney, PT, PhD, NCS, C/NDT

Associate Professor

Dr. Mowder-Tinney received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from University of Miami in Florida. She completed her doctorate in physical therapy at NOVA Southeastern University. She is certified as a clinical specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS).  She also has extensive training and is certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT).  She teaches the Neuromuscular series that incorporates the onsite pro-bono clinic.  In addition, she teaches an advanced neuromuscular elective.  Dr. Mowder-Tinney’s research interests include: balance and falls assessment, neurological interventions, and interventions for Parkinson’s Disease. She has served on many professional committees related specifically to neurology, spinal cord injury rehabilitation, wound care, and adaptive seating.  She has conducted nationwide seminars on the Treatment of Patients with Neurological deficits, Spinal cord injuries, Balance Challenges and Parkinson’s Disease.


Sue Rinere O'Brien, PT, PhD, NCS

 Assistant Professor

Dr. Sue O’Brien has a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in physical therapy, a masters degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now known as The University of the Sciences) in neurologic physical therapy, a PhD from the University of Rochester in Health Practice Research, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester in Health Services Research.

Her research interests include the timing, dose, and outcomes of multidisciplinary rehabilitation interventions for inpatient rehabilitation units/hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. She has used large Medicare datasets to understand the association between rehabilitation interventions and outcomes across diagnoses and for stroke specifically. She has also investigated multidisciplinary teamwork in inpatient rehabilitation units/hospitals. She has begun to publish her work in peer-reviewed journals such as, Physical Therapy. Her research at Nazareth will include investigations of the clients which access the clinics for the services they receive and the outcomes derived from such interventions. She hopes to explain the contribution Nazareth’s clinics make to the greater Rochester area, and to possibly describe the relationship between physical therapy interventions may have in patient populations with chronic disease or dysfunction.

Dr. O’Brien has over 25 years of clinical experience in 3 cities. She has practiced in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, homecare, and outpatient care providing her experience across the continuum of care, and an appreciation of the complexities within the healthcare system. She is a reviewer for the Physical Therapy Journal of Policy, Administration, and Leadership, and a member of the research subcommittee for the Health Policy and Administration Section of the APTA. 


Andrew Opett, PT, DPT, OCS

Clinical Assistant Professor

Andrew Opett received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from SUNY Geneseo (1996), a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences from Nazareth College (2000), and a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Nazareth College (2001).  He is completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University in August 2012.  Andrew teaches course content in Human Gross Anatomy, Pathophysiology, Differential Diagnosis and Pharmacology, and laboratory sections for Musculoskeletal Management.  Andrew also continues to practice outpatient orthopedic physical therapy part time in the Rochester area.  He is board certified as a clinical specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). He is certified as a kinesiotaping practitioner by the Kinesiotaping Association of America.  Andrew serves as the chair of the Ethics Committee and a member of the Awards Committee for the New York State Physical Therapy Association.  He has also served as a delegate from the Finger Lakes chapter of the New York State Physical Therapy Association for the last 5 years at the annual delegate assembly.  Andrew was the recipient of the Nazareth College G.O.L.D. Award (Graduate of the Last Decade) in 2010.


Linda Riek, PT, DPT, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Riek received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY and her clinical doctorate from A.T. Still University in Mesa, Az.  She has over 20 years of clinical experience with a focus in neurological rehabilitation and geriatrics. A former adjunct faculty member at Ithaca College, Dr. Riek worked as a co-investigator and research associate on several federally funded projects in the Movement Analysis Laboratory from: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life, Spinal Cord Research Foundation and National Institute of Health.  She received her doctoral degree from the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY in 2011 in the Health Practice Research Program. Her dissertation work focused on a biomechanical analysis of shoulder health during circuit resistance training for individuals with paraplegia. Dr. Riek has published in peer-reviewed journals including Spinal Cord and Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has presented at national conferences including the American Society of Biomechanics in Providence, RI (2010) and the APTA Combined Sections meetings in San Diego, CA, New Orleans, LA, and Chicago, IL (2010-2013). 


Mary Ellen Vore, PT, MS

Clinical Professor

Mary Ellen Vore holds a Master of Science degree in physical therapy from D’Youville College, Buffalo, NY and a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Brockport College, Brockport, NY. She is a PhD candidate in physical therapy at NOVA Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She has experience as a clinical practitioner in the areas of orthopedic, acute care, prevention and wellness.

Her current research interests are in fitness/wellness of individuals with Multiple Sclerosis and critical thinking skills of physical therapy students. Ms. Vore has served in various leadership roles at the district and chapter level of New York Physical Therapy Association and as a NYS delegate for the APTA House of Delegates.



Associated Faculty


Richard Doolittle, PhD

Richard L. Doolittle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology at the University of Bridgeport in 1975. He went on to earn both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1980 at the University of Rochester School of Medicine through a dual degree program in anatomy and pathology. After a two year postdoctoral fellowship with the Hematology Unit/Department of Medicine at that same university, Dr. Doolittle moved on to accept a faculty appointment in the Department of Anatomy with the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. In 1986, he relocated back to Rochester to accept a position as a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was awarded tenure in 1990 and promoted to the rank he now holds as Full Professor in 1994. In 1999, he accepted an offer to work with Nazareth College to help implement a new program in Physical Therapy where he designed and taught courses in human gross anatomy, histology/pathology, and neural sciences. In 2001, he was recruited back to RIT to serve as Department Head for the Allied Health Sciences Department and has since expanded that administrative role to now serve as Head of the School of Life Science, which encompasses both departments of Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (previously, Allied Health). The School currently houses 35 faculty, 15 staff, a total of 10 programs, and approximately 700 majors. Amidst his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Doolittle has maintained an active research program, has continued to publish manuscripts, and has submitted and been awarded multiple targeted gifts, foundational moneys, and federal grants to support research pursuits. He has maintained his connection with Nazareth College by serving as course director for the summer Human Gross Anatomy class designed to meet the needs of students enrolled in the DPT program.

Allison Kling-Simonian, MSPT

Allison received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from The University of Maryland at College Park (1996). She received her BS/MS in Physical Therapy from The City University of New York, the College of Staten Island (2000). She began her Physical Therapy career working in a rehabilitation setting at the Jewish Home of Rochester and then moved in to orthopedics at STAR Physical Therapy in Fairport (2002). Allison has been an associate adjunct professor of Human Anatomy and Physiology in the Biology Department at Monroe Community College since the Fall 2000. She joined the Nazareth faculty in 2002, as a part-time, visiting instructor with her primary areas of interest in Human Gross Anatomy and Kinesiology.

Lynne Minkel, PT

Lynne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the State University of NY at Buffalo in 1991. She has been an adjunct instructor in the Physical Therapy Department at Nazareth College since the spring of 2008. She is an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor. Lynne has clinical experience in acute care, long term care, outpatient orthopedics, work hardening as well as home care. Her primary area of interest is in geriatric neurology.

Mary Therese Novak, PT, MBA

Mary Therese Novak has been an Adjunct Instructor in the Physical Therapy Department at Nazareth College since 1998. She received her BS in Physical Therapy from Russell Sage College in 1985 and her MBA in Health Systems Administration from Union College in 1990. She also taught in the Physical Therapy programs at SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse, NY and Russell Sage College in Troy, NY prior to joining the Nazareth faculty. Her clinical experience is primarily in outpatient orthopedics.


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