Physical Therapy

Faculty and Staff


Sherri Chambliss

Ms. Sherri Chambliss

Program Operations Administrator/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 207

Ms. Chambliss is in her 17th year with the Department of Physical Therapy. Her responsibilities include management of advising, enrollment, recruitment and operations for the Department of Physical Therapy. Ms. Chambliss graduated from the University of Evansville with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies.


Shala Cunningham

Dr. Shala Cunningham

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 226

Professor Cunningham teaches within the musckuloskeletal area of physical therapy and medical screening. She is interested in research regarding medical screening and clinical reasoning in physical therapy. She currently instructs continuing education courses for practicing therapists in Manual Therapy.| Dr. Cunningham received her B.S. in physical therapy from Indiana University, her Doctorate in physical therapy from Arizona School of Health Sciences and her doctorate in manual therapy from the Ola Grimsby Institute. She has completed two manual therapy residencies and a manual therapy fellowship. She is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (OCS) from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialiteis (ABPTS) and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT).

Tzurei Chen

Dr. Tzurei Chen

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy

Dr. Chen's teaching responsibilities are related to geriatric population and neurologic rehabilitation. Her research interests include biomechanics, motion analysis, fall prevention, and geriatric populations. Her past and current research proejcts related to elderly population include quantifying muscle activities using electromyography, balance control during transitional tasks, and prospective fall predictions.|Dr. Chen received an M.s. and Ph.D. degree in biomechanics from the University of Oregon. In 2004, she earned a B.S., in physical therapy from the National Yang Ming University (Taipei, Taiwan). She served as a graduate teaching fellow and research assistant in the Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon, and worked as a physical therapist at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan.

Mary Kessler

Mrs. Mary Kessler

Associate Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 205

In addition to providing overall leadership to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program and assisting with the Clinical Education Program, Professor Kessler teaches and serves as an academic advisor. Her areas of expertise and special interests include wellness, neurologic rehabilitation and physical fitness in individuals with disabilities.|Along with her University of Evansville colleague Tink Martin, she co-authored the first neurologic textbook for physical therapist assistants. Professor Kessler has received the Dean's Teaching Award, the Sadelle and Sydney Berger Award for scholarly activity and in 2007 was selected as a University Global Scholar for her work related to international clinical internships and the development of cultural competence in physical therapy students. During the 2010-2011 academic year, she received the Howard S. Rosenblatt, Dean of Students Leadership Award for her work as student advisor for the Ace CARE student run pro-bono clinic. She is also actively engaged in providing patient care at a local health care facility.

Kyle Kiesel

Dr. Kyle Kiesel

Associate Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 206

Dr. Kiesel teaches within the musckuloskeletal area of physical therapy including the advanced orthopedic and sports medicine course. He conducts research related to core function and functional movement testing related to athletic performance and injury prediction. He serves as a consultant for professional, college, and high school sports teams.| He has extensive experience teaching lecture and lab courses emphasizing core training and functional movement assessment and intervention. He has authored several articles and a book chapter on these topics. He over 20 peer-reviewed publications and presented numerous abstracts and invited speaking engagements nationally and internationally. Dr. Kiesel received his B.S. in Physical Education and Sports Medicine in 1990 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He then earned his MPT from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Kiesel earned his PhD from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Kiesel is engaged in patient care in orthopedics and sports at ProRehab, PC in Evansville and he serves as a manuscript reviewer for several national and international journals.

Tink Martin

Mrs. Tink Martin

Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 202

Professor Martin is a renowned authority in the areas of pediatric physical therapy and normal growth and development. She has been recognized for her teaching, scholarship and service, having received the Bud Dehaven Award from the Pediatric Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, the Fran Ekstam Award from the Indiana Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, and the Sadelle and Sydney Berger Award for scholarly activity.|

She is the co-author of two entry-level textbooks, Functional Movement Development across the Life Span and Neurologic Interventions for Physical Therapy. The latter textbook has been translated into Korean and Polish. She recently received the Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association for her exceptional contributions to the Indiana Chapter and the Section on Pediatrics. Professor Martin received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Tulane University, a certificate of physical therapy from Duke University and a Master of Arts degree in pediatric physical therapy from the University of North Carolina. She is pursuing a doctorate in Rehabilitation Services with a concentration in pediatrics from the University of Kentucky. Her research area of interest is pretend play in children with developmental disabilities. Professor Martin teaches pathology, human growth and development, and management of children and adults with neurologic conditions in the physical therapy programs.

Joni McFelea

Dr. Joni McFelea

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 211

Dr. McFelea received her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Kentucky, her Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Western Kentucky University, and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Services Research from Old Dominion University. Her clinical practice expertise is in pediatrics and her research interests lie in the areas of quality of life of children who have developmental disabilities and their families.

Phil Plisky

Dr. Phil Plisky

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy

Dr. Plisky teaches within the musculoskeletal and leadership/practice administration areas of the curriculum. He received his Master of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Evansville and his Doctor of Science degree| in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. He is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedics through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He is also a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Dr. Plisky has published and lectured internationally on injury prevention and field expedient movement testing. He has received research grants from multiple federal and private agencies for injury prevention studies and has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts in leading scientific journals. His current research is focused on comprehensive movement testing and interventions in athletes, military personnel, and school-aged children. Dr. Plisky consults with collegiate and professional teams for injury risk identification and injury prevention. In addition, he serves as a manuscript reviewer for several scientific journals. He is also actively engaged in patient care at ProRehab, PC in Evansville, IN and is the Residency Program Director for the ProRehab and University of Evansville Sports Residency Program.

Janet Szczepanski

Mrs. Janet Szczepanski

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 216

Professor Szczepanski is the Director of Clinical Education with teaching responsibilities in geriatrics and adult neurologic rehabilitation. She received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy and a Master of Health Science degree with neurologic focus.| Her clinical practice has focused on inpatient settings including acute rehabilitation, acute care and skilled nursing facilities with emphasis on neurologic disorders. She maintains active in clinical practice at a local rehabilitation hospital. Professor Szczepanski holds APTA Clinical Instructor and Advanced Clinical Instructor Credentials. Since 2002, she has assisted with the professional development of clinical faculty throughout the Midwest as an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor. Her engagement in contemporary clinical practice and knowledge of professional education competency expectations provide her the ability to direct the clinical education program including preparation and supervision of students in beginning and final level clinical courses. Prof. Szczepanski is an ABPTS Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatrics.

Frank Underwood

Dr. Frank Underwood

Professor/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 203

Dr. Underwood is board certified in clinical electrophysiologic physical therapy, and maintains an active clinical practice in electrophysiology. He has over 25 peer-reviewed research publications, won the Texas Physical Therapy Association's Best Research Platform Presentation twice, and has received the Dean's Teaching Award. In 2009, he was the first recipient of the Mary Bennett Award of Excellence, and received the Sadelle and Sydney Berger Award for service in 2011.

Yuri Yoshida

Dr. Yuri Yoshida

Assistant Professor/Physical Therapy

Dr. Yoshida teaches therapeutic modalities and basic evaluation skills in both the DPT and PTA programs. Her research focuses on neuromuscular function related to limited daily activity among individuals with knee osteoarthritis| or/and following total knee replacement. She has authored peer-review publications in several high impact medical journals as well as numerous conference presentations nationally and internationally. One of her study articles has been recognized as one of the most cited Clinical Biomechanics Articles. Dr. Yoshida earned her Physical Therapy Degree from Showa University College of Medical Sciences, and earned her MS and PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware. She finished her training as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the University of Utah.


Janice Kidder

Ms. Janice Kidder

Administrative Assistant/Physical Therapy
Graves Hall 233

Ms. Kidder earned a Bachelor Degree from the University of Southern Indiana (USI) majoring in Art with a minor in Environmental Biology and an Associate Degree from USI in Communications. While attending USI she was awarded an honor scholarship and won a graphic design award. She has worked in the advertising and newspaper profession in charge of production and graphic design.