Kathleen J. Manella, PT, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education in the University of St. Augustine’s Austin DPT program. Dr. Manella earned a BS in physical therapy from the University of Illinois in 1975, a MS in physical therapy from the University of Southern California in 1987, and a PhD in physical therapy/motor control at the University of Miami in 2011. Her dissertation topic was“Operant conditioning of tibialis anterior and soleus H-reflex improves spinal reflex modulation and walking function in individuals with motor-incomplete spinal cord injury”. Dr. Manella has extensive experience as a physical therapist clinician, clinical instructor, and administrator providing adult and pediatric orthopedic, neurology and rehabilitation services. The American Physical Therapy Association awarded Ms. Manella a Mary McMillan Scholarship in 1987, and the Signe Brunnstrom Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in 1988.
Research activities, presentations and publications include the areas of amputee residual limb management (University of Illinois); behavioral interventions for children with spina bifida, isokinetic ankle torque production in non-disabled adolescents (Orthopaedic Hospital of Los Angeles and University of Southern California); and body-weight supported treadmill training for children with spinal cord injury and neuromotor rehabilitation in adult spinal cord injury (The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine). In 2008, Ms. Manella received a Margaret Whelan Graduate Student Scholarship Travel Award from the Medical Faculty Association of the University of Miami.
Academic teaching experience includes the topics of physical therapy therapeutic agents, management of the amputee and the complex orthopedic patient, clinical skills, clinical decision making, geriatric physical therapy, the neuromodulatory system, the limbic system, sensory contributions to movement, postural control, neurological evaluation and neurorehabilitation.