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  • Faculty and Staff

    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. 

    Employment opportunities

    School of Health Professions Faculty and Staff

  • James Angel Photo

    James Angel  Ph.D.

    Professor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 308A
    (205) 726-2717

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    Ph.D., exercise physiology/nutrition, University of Tennessee
    M.A., exercise science, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    B.S., engineering, United States Naval Academy

    Awards and Honors

    Outstanding Educator Alumni Award, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Dr. James A. Whiteside Award for Sports Medicine
    Outstanding Faculty Award, Samford University Student Senate
    Outstanding Health Education Award, Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
    The George Macon Award For Teaching, Samford University

    Involvement

    First Baptist Church Helena, deacon and trustee
    Team 413 Ministry, board of directors
    Ministering to Ministers Foundation, regular speaker
    Birmingham-based DASH Magazine, quarterly column on health
    Hewitt Trussville High School Biomedical Science Academy, annual speaker
    U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association Active in Central Alabama Chapter
    School and University Tenure and Promotion Committee
    Macon Award Selection Committee
    School Counselor Showcase, committee chair
    45 EXER and SMED majors, academic adviser
    Summer Freshman Orientations, Samford University
    Junior and Senior Preview Day, Samford University
    Pre-Med Advisory Committee, Samford University

    Expertise

    Practice: health, sports nutrition, pre-med internships and medical terminology, Scholarship: 11 professional presentations since 2007 at national, regional and state conferences, Research: Six articles published in refereed journals since 2007 and co-authored a book.
    Shannon Ashe Photo

    Shannon Ashe  M.Ed.

    Instructor, Clinical Coordinator for Athletic Training Education Program, Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 210C
    (205) 726-4143

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    M.Ed., sports administration, Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    B.S., physiology, University of Arizona
    Certified Athletic Trainer, NATABOC
    Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, NSCA

    Involvement

    Athletic Trainer for Alabama Ballet

    Expertise

    Athletic training, performing arts, and strengthening and conditioning for the injured athlete
    Dollie Brice Photo

    Dollie Brice  M.S.

    Instructor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 402
    (205) 726-4229

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    M.S., health education, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    B.S., accounting, Samford University

    Awards and Honors

    Dance Educator of the Year, 2008, Alabama State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance [ASAHPERD]
    Vice President of Dance, ASAHPERD, 2007–2008

    Involvement

    Camp Winnataska, board of directors, 2013–2016
    Camp Winnataska, advisory board, 1985–2013
    Volunteer in many capacities for my children's schools, 1990–2007
    Church choir, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 1970–1982 and 1990–present
    American Red Cross Water Safety Committee, 1980–1990

    Expertise

    Children's summer learn to swim program at Samford; RYT200, Yoga Teacher; Yoga Alliance Certification, YogaFit; American Red Cross Certifications: water safety instructor trainer, lifeguarding instructor, CPR/AED for the health-care provider instructor, responding to emergencies; First Aid Instructor; Teach or have taught the following courses at Samford: Concepts of Fitness--Running, Concepts of Fitness--Swimming, Concepts of Fitness--Yoga, Water Safety Instructor, Beginning Swimming, Intermediate Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Lifeguarding, Kayaking, Rhythms, Introduction to Dance, Jazz/Tap for Fitness, Beginning Social Dance, Intermediate Social Dance, CPR/AED for the Health Care Providers, Responding to Emergencies First Aid, Yoga
    Leslie Carlisle Photo

    Leslie Carlisle 

    Program Assistant, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 306
    (205) 726-2716

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    Biography

    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.

    Awards and Honors

    Outstanding Staff of the Year, 2011, Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education

    Involvement

    Samford Staff Advisory Committee, chair-elect
    Candia Cole Photo

    Candia Cole 

    Faculty/Staff Wellness Coordinator, Instructor, Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 404
    (205) 726-2961

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    B.A., Samford University
    Group fitness instructor, American Council on Exercise [ACE]
    SPINNING, Mad Dogg Athletics
    Yogafit
    Water Safety Instructor [WSI], American Red Cross
    C.P.R. for the professional rescuer, American Red Cross
    Aquatic fitness instructor, Aquatic Exercise Association [AEA]
    Lifeguard training and community first aid and safety, American Red Cross
    Certified Pool Operator [CPO], National Swimming Pool Foundation
    Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program
    Registered BOD POD user, Body Composition Tracking System, Life Measurement, Inc.
    Open water diver PADI

    Involvement

    Cadre leader, Stretch Your Faith, yoga and devotion, Campus Ministries, Samford University
    Healthy Eating Active Living [HEAL] physical education pilot program for Alabama
    Aerobic choreographer and instructor, served six years visiting various schools teaching the Sports Stadium routine
    Led the routine at the State Capitol HEAL presentation
    Vice president of dance, Alabama State Association for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance, 2011–12
    Aquatic fitness specialist, Lakeshore Foundation
    De-Stress at Your Desk, relaxation and stretching techniques performed at your desk, Samford University library staff
    Aqua Aerobics for the Samford women's soccer team
    Yoga for the Samford crew team
    Yoga on the Quad, sponsored by Active Minds student organization during exams
    Fitness in a Nut Shell, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, singles women Sunday school class
    Ritual adviser and faculty adviser Alpha Gamma Chapter, Phi Mu Fraternity, Samford University
    Phi Mu Fraternity Alumni Association
    Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation, served on the park board as the senior pool supervisor
    Samford Legacy League Sunset 5K volunteer, two years
    Member of Dawson Memorial Baptist Church

    Expertise

    Wellness, physical fitness and group fitness instruction
    Matthew Ford Photo

    Matthew Ford  Ph.D., PT

    Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy
    College of Health Sciences
    COONEY 3rd floor
    (205) 726-4435

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    Ph.D., motor behavior, Penn State University
    M.A., motor learning, Teachers College, Columbia University
    B.S., physical therapy, Quinnipiac University

    Involvement

    Davis Phinney Foundation, Board of Directors
    Lakeshore Foundation, Research Associate

    Expertise

    Parkinson's Disease, Adult neurorehabilitation, Community health and wellness
    Ralph Gold, Jr. Photo

    Ralph Gold, Jr.  Ed.D.

    Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 308B
    (205) 726-2261

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    Ed.D., educational leadership and supervision, Samford University
    Ed.S., educational leadership and supervision, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    M.Ed., concentration in physical education, University of Tampa
    B.A., physical education with a Bible minor, Clearwater Christian College

    Awards and Honors

    Honor Award, Alabama State Association Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance Recreational Professional of Year, Alabama State Association Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance
    Recipient of Samford in Mission Grant
    Water Safety Swimming Instructor of the Year, American Red Cross

    Involvement

    Faculty Executive Committee
    Faculty Senate Committee
    Benefits and Faculty Welfare Committee
    University Athletic Committee
    Alabama State Association Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance professional presentations
    MPower Ministries
    Hunter Street Baptist Church
    American Red Cross instructor

    Expertise

    Health, Physical education, Coaching, Wellness and fitness, Importance of being an effective role model who exhibits good health behaviors
    Robert Hensarling Photo

    Robert Hensarling  Ed.D.

    Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 210A
    (205) 726-2312
    Allison Jackson Photo

    Allison Jackson  Ph.D.

    Instructor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 309C
    (205) 726-2115

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    Biography

    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."

    Degrees and Certifications

    Ph.D., sport pedagogy, University of Alabama
    M.Ed., physical education, Auburn University at Montgomery
    B.S., physical education, Auburn University at Montgomer

    Awards and Honors

    Honor Award, Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Recreation Professional of the Year

    Involvement

    Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, board of directors

    Expertise

    Motor development and inclusion of students with disabilities in physical education
    Margaret Johnson Photo

    Margaret Johnson  SLP.D., CCC-SLP

    Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
    College of Health Sciences
    BASH 101B
    (205) 726-4461

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    Biography

    Margaret L. Johnson is new to the Samford University community, but she is no stranger to the field of speech pathology. Having worked at University of Montevallo for 18 years as an assistant professor and acting chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Johnson didn't waste any time sharing her years of experience with Samford. Johnson has a passion for adults who experience neurogenic communication disorders and plans to share that passion with faculty and students. "The Lord really opened some doors and closed others and the decision was quite clear when the offer came from Samford. I have found the environment to be a very special place; both in terms of the students that I have met and all of the faculty and staff that I have had the opportunity to work with thus far."

    Degrees and Certifications

    SLP.D., Nova Southeastern University
    M.S., speech-language pathology, University of Mississippi
    B.S., communicative disorders, University of Mississippi
    Certificate of Clinical Competence, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

    Awards and Honors

    ASHA fellow, presented by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    Honors of the Association, presented by the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
    Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, presented by University of Montevallo
    Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award, presented by Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
    Recipient of the Civitan Shropshire Scholarship

    Involvement

    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    Special Interest Division of ASHA "Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders"
    Special Interest Division of ASHA "Issues in Higher Education"
    Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama
    Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences
    Member of Green Valley Baptist Church

    Expertise

    Neurologic trauma, such as stroke or traumatic brain injury, Aphasia treatment research, While on sabbatical in 2010, helped create a new treatment technique for persons with aphasia called Constraint Induced Aphasia Therapy II, with colleagues at University of Alabama at Birmingham., Article published in the American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, Submitting a grant to the National Institutes of Health to help with funding for people who experience aphasia
    Alan Jung Photo

    Alan Jung  Ph.D.

    Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 306
    (205) 726-4062
    Nathan Kirkpatrick Photo

    Nathan Kirkpatrick  Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 309D
    (205) 726-2963
    Ann Elizabeth Moore Photo

    Ann Elizabeth Moore 

    Administrative Assistant
    College of Health Sciences
    COONEY 3rd Floor
    (205) 726-4436

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    B.S., elementary education, Samford University

    Involvement

    Church of the Highlands, Dream Team
    Young Life Birmingham, Urban Development Board Prayer Coordinator 
    John Petrella Photo

    John Petrella  Ph.D.

    Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology
    College of Health Sciences
    SIGYM— 308C
    (205) 726-4548

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    Biography

    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."

    Degrees and Certifications

    Ph.D., exercise science, University of Georgia
    Graduate Certificate, gerontology, University of Georgia
    M.Ed., clinical exercise science, University of Georgia
    B.S., management, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Awards and Honors

    Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education and Professional Studies, Outstanding Teaching Award, 2012
    American College of Sports Medicine, fellow, 2011
    Birmingham Top 40 under 40 Birmingham Business Journal, 2010

    Involvement

    Southeastern Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, executive board
    American College of Sports Medicine, fellow
    American Physiological Society, Environmental and Exercise Physiology Section
    International Journal of Exercise Science, editorial board
    Samford University Institutional Review Board, past-chair

    Expertise

    Undergraduate research, skeletal muscle changes with aging, skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance training, and physical function and older adults
    Lydia Thurston Photo

    Lydia Thurston  PT, D.Sc., LAT

    Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education, Department of Physical Therapy
    College of Health Sciences
    COONEY 3rd Floor
    (205) 726-4437

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    Biography

    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.

    Degrees and Certifications

    D.Sc., physical therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    M.A., physical therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham
    B.S., exercise science, Auburn University

    Expertise

    sports physical therapy, orthopedics, burn rehabilitation, women's health, profession/practice issues
  • 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; accreditation@apta.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.