One of the most important strengths of the School of Health Professions is our exceptional faculty and staff. Our people are highly motivated and, themselves, answering the calling of their lives. They have deep professional experience, but equally as important, they are enthusiastic, passionate teachers — their commitment will make your time at Samford richer by far.
James B. Angel has experienced a lot of changes since coming to Samford University in 1984 to chair the kinesiology department, which was then known as the physical education and recreation department. "I was teaching at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in the exercise science department when I received a call from Dr. Jim Sharman (former chair of Samford's kinesiology department and the department chair at UAB where Angel completed his degree), I decided to apply because Samford University is a Christian school where I could share my faith," he said. He is proud he has had the opportunity to positively influence students' lives for Jesus Christ while helping prepare them for their careers. Even more rewarding is the time when Angel's personal and professional life have overlapped. "I have taught my wife, both daughters, both sons-in-law and now one of my granddaughters," he said.
When Shannon Ashe was recently offered a job as an instructor and clinical coordinator for athletic training education program at Samford University, she didn't hesitate to accept it. "I have worked with individuals from Samford since arriving in Birmingham in 2002. I have always enjoyed working with the faculty, staff and students. When the opportunity to work within these ranks presented itself, I am excited to say I was able to join. I have a passion for athletic training and sports medicine that I am excited every day to share with our students," she said. Her pride in her new job opportunity pales in comparison to that she has for her family. Ashe and her husband, Chris, have a son and twin daughters.
Dollie Grover Brice has had a job at Samford University for 34 years, but she believes she has never worked. "When you love your work, you will never work a day in your life," she said. As an undergraduate at Samford, Brice planned to major in nursing, but ultimately ended up graduating with a degree in accounting. During her time as a student, she participated in the school's synchronized swimming team, which ultimately led to her first job coaching Samford's team. During her time at Samford, Brice has overseen the school's water show, the children's summer swimming program as well as several dance classes, including the always-full ballroom dancing where she teaches a variety of dance styles. She also does private lessons for engaged couples to assist them with learning a first dance for their wedding. In recent years, Brice has added yoga instructor to her extensive repertoire. She is a certified registered yoga teacher with 200 hours of training. "Swimming is what I was hired to teach, and I no longer do that. No complaints. I love yoga, but swimming is what got me this job.
Leslie Carlisle believes Samford University's department of kinesiology is the best on campus. Carlisle began working in the department almost six years ago after having worked at a private high school for 10 years. Her primary responsibilities include helping students with registration, assisting with preparing class schedules each semester and taking care of general office needs. "If I had to choose one thing I love about my job, it would have to be the connection and interaction I have with students," she said. Carlisle loves poetry and is currently a student at Samford's evening college where she is working to complete her bachelor's degree.
For Candia Cole, being a part of Samford University is a family affair, and her ties run deep. "I have been a part of Samford all my life. My parents attended Howard College. My father graduated in 1947. My mother worked as a student assistant for Dean Margaret Sizemore, and I too was her student assistant. My mother would bring groups to visit Samford during Step Sing. My first Step Sing was in 1969 and I did not miss a performance until 1984 when my daughter was born the night of dress rehearsal," she said. Her brother and sister also attended Samford. After graduating in 1978, Cole worked in several departments across campus before becoming the faculty/staff wellness coordinator in 2002. She also found time in December 1999 to make an appearance on Third Rock from the Sun. "My sister was working on the show as an actress and stunt woman, and the director picked me out of the stand to do a feature role with my own dressing room trailer." In her free time, Cole also addresses wedding invitations using calligraphy. Despite having a knee replacement in March 2013, Cole doesn't plan on slowing down any time soon. "I…still can teach kickboxing," she said.
Matthew P. Ford is an Associate Professor, and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy. Prior to joining the College of Health Sciences, Ford served on faculty at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a research associate at the Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham and for the past decade has been conducting research aimed at helping persons with physical disabilities. He is currently involved in three areas of research related to Parkinson’s disease: 1) Tracking the changes in physical activity and health; 2) comprehensive health and wellness programs; and 3) the use of music and external rhythms during mobility training. Ford lives in Homewood, Ala. with his wife, Kim, and their two sons, Dylan and Jack.
Ralph R. Gold, Jr., has been a member of Samford University’s faculty for 21 years, and is a true believer in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." As a child, many might have never expected Gold to accomplish much. "Having been raised in a single-parent home, I never completed high school," he revealed. Despite this challenge, Gold ultimately went on to earn his Ed.D. in educational leadership and supervision from Samford and received the honor award, the highest professional award given by The Alabama State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. His hard work serves as a shining example to students as well as his daughter and son who are also alums.
Allison Jackson has learned the truth of Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Jackson, who has been employed by Samford University for eight years, started as an adjunct professor in the department of kinesiology and completed her Ph.D. while teaching full time and raising her sons. "I . . . fell in love with the students, faculty and campus atmosphere so much that I wanted to be full time rather than a stay-at-home mom," she said. "I enjoy juggling my work and home life because I love what I do outside my home."
Prior to coming into academia nearly 20 years ago, Margaret Johnson served adult patients with primarily traumatic brain injury and stroke in acute care hospitals and rehabilitation centers. She continues to practice clinically today and feels that it is truly the only way to be successful in teaching students the science and art of speech language pathology. She has found a passion and a love for working with students and enjoys sharing her passion of the profession. She loves water sports, gardening, and reading. Originally from Mississippi, Johnson is a self-proclaimed “die-hard Ole Miss Rebel."
Mallory Marshall joined the Samford faculty in fall 2014 after completing her PhD in Exercise Physiology at Michigan State University. Her research experiences include coordinating the Reliability and Validity of Physical Activity Measurement During Pregnancy study at MSU and conducting her dissertation research on physical activity during pregnancy and epigenetic effects on offspring. She is passionate about teaching and mentoring undergraduate students and believes that involving undergraduates in the research process provides an invaluable learning experience. She is married to Dave and they have two young daughters.
After four years of teaching in the inner city of Birmingham, Ann Elizabeth Moore felt God calling her back to her alma mater, Samford University. She graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood, Elementary, Collaborative, and Special Education. She feels blessed to be back at her “home away from home” to assist in bringing new degree programs to the University, something she knows will make a huge impact on the world. She is passionate about the local Church worldwide, cultural diversity, and seeing God bring revival to the city of Birmingham and across the globe.
John Petrella joined the Department of Kinesiology in 2007. Since then, he has mentored three projects that have received recognition from the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine. Petrella, a professional soccer fan, loves Colossians 3:23–24, "Whatever you do, work it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
New to Samford University, Karen Thatcher recalls the decision to move to Birmingham and join the Samford faculty as an “easy” one. “I felt the presence of something more when I first came to Samford for my interview,” she said. “The passion that faculty and staff have for their students was evident. I wanted to be a part of that. I feel blessed to wake up every day and do what I love – teach my students about speech pathology.” A native of Indiana, Thatcher taught at Ball State University for 13 years. She has two daughters, Danielle and Abigail and is eagerly awaiting the birth of her first grandchild, Tyler Aaron.
Lydia A. Thurston serves as Assistant Professor, and Director of Clinical Education of the Department of Physical Therapy. Thurston possesses more than a decade of clinical experience builton her passion for clinical education, inter-professional practice,clinical research, and health advocacy. Her foundation in outpatient orthopedic sports physical therapy and inpatient acute care pediatric practices affords a broad understanding of physical therapist practice. Thurston lives in Vestavia Hills,Alabama, with her husband, Michael, and their three children.
Nick B. Washmuth has developed a comprehensive clinical skill set while working in private practice. He is skilled in mobilizations and manipulations, vestibular rehab, Pilates, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, and exercise prescription. In addition to Washmuth’s clinical attributes, he has practice management experience and is able to blend clinical product, business efficiency, and customer service to ensure productivity, profitability, and optimal patient outcomes. Washmuth’s role as a clinical instructor and mentor has led to his passion for teaching and education. He lives in Homewood, Alabama, with his wife, Kathleen, and twins, Finn & Chloe.
Graduation from a physical therapist education program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; phone; 703-706-3245; firstname.lastname@example.org is necessary for eligibility to sit for the licensure examination, which is required in all states.
Samford University is seeking accreditation of a new physical therapist education program from CAPTE. The program will submit an Application for Candidacy, which is the formal application required in the pre-accreditation stage. Submission of this document does not assure that the program will be granted Candidate for Accreditation status. Achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status is required prior to implementation of the professional phase of the program; therefore, no students may be enrolled in professional courses until Candidate for Accreditation status has been achieved. Further, though achievement of Candidate for Accreditation status signifies satisfactory progress toward accreditation, it does not assure that the program will be granted accreditation.