Dr. Hopkins joined the AU faculty in 2014 as an Assistant Professor of Biology and has taught undergraduate courses in human biology as well as anatomy and physiology. Dr. Hopkins has also served as the in-house anatomist for AU’s cadaver lab. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Clemson University in 2009 and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Emory University in 2013. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Applied Health Research and Evaluation from the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. Dr. Hopkins’ research interests include determinants of health behavior and their relationship to health, wellness, and rehabilitation as well as the epidemiology and prevention of injury among athletes and the physically active. He is married to Dr. Casey Hopkins (faculty member in the School of Nursing) and resides in Anderson, SC with their 3 young children (a daughter and twin sons).
Dr. Jacobs was hired in January 2017 to develop the clinical education component of the new DPT program. Dr. Jacobs is a 2009 graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and was the first to complete MUSC’s post-professional residency program in neurology. Dr. Jacobs is a board-certified specialist in Neurological Physical Therapy (NCS) and an APTA-certified clinical instructor. In addition, she holds certifications in specialized rehabilitation techniques for patients with brain injury, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Jacobs is currently earning her PhD in Educational Leadership at Clemson University. Her research interests include novel therapy approaches for the treatment of neurological dysfunction and the influence of thinking and personality styles on the clinical performance of PT students. Dr. Jacobs’ home is in Greenville, SC.
Dr. Curt Kindel joined the SoPT faculty in August 2018 after holding an academic appointment for 11 years at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. His previous teaching experience included courses in functional anatomy, biomechanics, therapeutic exercise, and musculoskeletal patient management. Dr. Kindel is also a graduate of Saint Francis University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Science (1999) and entry-level Master of Physical Therapy degree (2001). He was certified as an Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) in 2007 and re-certified in 2017. In 2015, Dr. Kindel earned his PhD in Biomechanics from Penn State University. His research focuses on investigations of joint and muscle mechanics and their influence on rehabilitation; Dr. Kindel has multiple peer-reviewed publications and presentations related to these topics. He is married to Dr. Heather Kindel, who is also a member of the AU’s SoPT faculty. They live in Easley, SC with their two daughters.
Dr. Heather Kindel joined the SoPT faculty in August of 2018 after serving as a faculty member and assistant DCE at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 1999 and her master’s degree in Physical Therapy in 2001, both from Saint Francis. More recently (2018), Dr. Kindel completed her PhD in Instructional Management and Leadership from Robert Morris University. Her clinical expertise in women’s health includes a special interest in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence among female athletes. Dr. Kindel is also a certified True Colors® facilitator and enjoys helping people communicate more effectively with one another. She has been involved in physical therapy education for the past 15 years and has developed research interests in the use of mindfulness to manage student stress. She makes her home in Easley, SC along with her husband, Dr. Curt Kindel and daughters, Jessa and Maura.
Dr. Watson joined the SoPT faculty in August 2018 following 22 years of clinical experience in orthopedic physical therapy in a variety of settings including level I trauma centers, hospital-based outpatient centers, and private practice. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Slippery Rock University (1985), a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Duke University (1988), and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Drexel University (2006). Dr. Watson also has 5 years of prior teaching experience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas where she received the School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Her scholarly interests primarily relate to the benefits of exercise in osteoporosis management. She has published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, taught continuing education for physical therapists, spoken at national professional meetings, and received grant funding for her clinical research. As an active member of the Advisory Committee for the Greenville Technical College PTA program, Dr. Watson also maintains a special interest in facilitating effective collaboration between PTs and PTAs to promote effective team-based health care. She makes her home in Greenville, SC along with her 3 children, Luke, Katie, and Amy.
Three other core faculty members will be joining us in 2019. In addition, several other health care professionals will provide instructional support by providing guest lectures and lab instruction, supervising students during their clinical practicums, and assisting with scholarly projects. These individuals will include PT clinical specialists, nurses and nurse practitioners, physicians, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, orthotists, prosthetists, pharmacists, exercise physiologists, and others.