Husson's Physical Therapy department is strongly committed to fostering the scholarship of both faculty members and students within the program. All full-time faculty members are actively engaged in original research leading to the dissemination of new knowledge. Together, the faculty have over 70 peer-reviewed publications and over 130 published abstracts. Students in the professional phase of the PT program have a unique opportunity to assist faculty members in research projects. The Physical Therapy program believes that for students to be able to function as evidence-based practitioners, they must understand the research process and that there is no better way to do this than to be involved in original research projects. Students are involved in all phases of the research process including designing the project, collecting and analyzing the data, and disseminating the findings of the research through presentations and publications. Many graduates of Husson's Physical Therapy program have been involved in national presentations and have published in PT-related journals as a result of their involvement in research at Husson.

Husson has two labs dedicated to faculty and student research. Each lab contains state-of-the-art equipment for the assessment of human performance. This equipment includes: clinical-grade treadmill, body weight support system, 3D computerized video analysis system, 6D force platform, isokinetic testing machine, portable metabolic cart, 10 channel EMG system, electrogoniometers, two ergometers, and multiple force transducers.

Below is a summary of Physical Therapy faculty member's current research interests along with recent publications and presentations.

Cheryl Adams P.T., M.H.S., O.C.S.
Cheryl is establishing a research record in the area of examination of the psychometric properties of the Clinical Performance Instrument, an outcome tool used to assess physical therapist student performance while working with patients in the clinical environment. She is also currently interested in examining the use of physical agents in today's physical therapy practice.

Recent Publication

  • Adams, C.L., Glavin, K., Hutchins, K., Lee, T., & Zimmermann, C. (Fall 2008). An evaluation of the internal reliability, construct validity, and predictive validity of the Physical Therapist Clinical Performance Instrument (PT CPI). Journal of Physical Therapy Education: 22(2), 42-50.

Recent Presentations

  • Adams, C., Hollins, S., Dyer, J., & Young, G. Interrater reliability of the physical therapist clinical performance instrument. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, San Diego, CA, February, 2006.
  • Adams, C., Hilt, J., Stinson, T., & Smalley, N. A reliability study of the physical therapist clinical performance instrument utilizing videotaped student performance. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.
  • Adams, C. An evaluation of the reliability and validity of the physical therapist clinical performance instrument. Presented at the APTA's National Clinical Education Conference, Philadelphia, PA, April, 2003.
  • Adams, C. A Descriptive study evaluating the reliability and validity of the APTA clinical performance instrument. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting,Boston, MA, February 2002.


Suzanne Gordon P.T., M.A.C.T., Ed.D.
Suzanne Gordon, P.T., M.A.C.T., Ed.D. works with a student.Suzanne conducts research into educational processes within physical therapy programs focusing on multicultural education and the assessment of cultural competency for program outcomes assessment. She has also established a record of qualitative research examining the discourses of higher education leadership.

Recent Publications

  • Allan, E., Gordon, S., & Iverson, S. (2006). Re/thinking practices of power: The discursive framing of leadership. The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Review of Higher Education, 29(5).
  • Gordon, S. (2005). Making meaning of whiteness: a pedagogical approach for multicultural education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 19(1), 21-28.
  • Morren, K.K., Gordon, S.P., & Sawyer, B.A. (Winter 2008). The relationship between clinical instructor characteristics and students perceptions of clinical instructor effectiveness. Journal of Physical Therapy Education: 22(3), 52-63.

Recent Presentations

  • Gordon, S. Embracing multicultural frameworks: Exploring perceptions of physical therapist educators who teach for multiculturalism. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Boston, MA, February, 2007.
  • Gordon, S., Blaisdell, C., Blois, A., Funk, L., Niles, C., & Weymouth, L. Cultural competence: Measuring program outcomes of physical therapist students. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Boston, MA, February, 2007.
  • Gordon, S., & Morren, K. An emergent mission: Examining the use of focus groups to support a culture of assessment. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.
  • Gordon, S., Morren, K., & Olson, P. The effectiveness of qualitative research in assessing program outcomes. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.
  • Allan, E., Gordon, S., & Iverson, S. Re/thinking practices of power: The discursive framing of leadership. Presented at the American Education Research Association, Montreal, April, 2005.
  • Iverson, S.V., Gordon, S.P., & Allan, E.J. (April, 2007). The discursive framing of women and leadership in "The Chronicle of Higher Education.". Presented as part of a symposium, Glass ceilings and sticky floors: Women and advancement in higher education, at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, Chicago.
  • Gordon, S.P., Leavitt, R., & Sharby, N. (February 9, 2008). Educational model for developing multiculturalism and social justice advocacy. Invited 1.5 hour presentation as part of Current topics in multiculturalism and global health for faculty, clinicians, and students presentation supported by the Health Policy & Administration Section, 2008 APTA Combined Sections Meeting conference, Nashville.
  • Gordon, S.P., Fein, B., Leavitt, R., & Sharby, N. (June 12, 2008). Educational model for developing multiculturalism and social justice advocacy. A 3.0 hour presentation presented at the 2008 APTA Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio.


Karen Morren B.S., M.P.T.
Karen Morren B.S., M.P.T. makes a presentation.Karen's research focus centers on pedagogical issues in physical therapy education. Recent projects have examined factors impacting student satisfaction of clinical instruction and the use of qualitative tools in program outcomes assessment.

Recent Publication

  • Morren, K.K., Gordon, S.P., & Sawyer, B.A. (Winter 2008). The relationship between clinical instructor characteristics and students perceptions of clinical instructor effectiveness. Journal of Physical Therapy Education: 22(3), 52-63.

Recent Presentations

  • Morren, K., & Gordon, S. Student truthfulness in clinical instructor assessment. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Boston, MA, February, 2007.
  • Gordon, S., & Morren, K. An emergent mission: Examining the use of focus groups to support a culture of assessment.. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.
  • Gordon, S., Morren, K., & Olson, P. The effectiveness of qualitative research in assessing program outcomes. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.


Arthur Schwarcz B.Sc. M.A., P.T., Ph.D., A.T.C.
Art's research is focused on the investigation of treatment techniques employed by orthopaedic physical therapists. Recent projects have examined the effects of eccentric exercise on joint range of motion and an exploration of knowledge and application in physical therapists of the specificity of exercise for tissue regeneration.

Recent Presentations

  • Schwarcz, A. (2004). SI joint stability: Evaluation and treatment of muscular components. Ola Grimsby Institute's 13th Annual Competency Forum, San Francisco, CA, August, 2004.
  • Schwarcz, A. (2004). To stretch or not to stretch? Myth vs. science. Ola Grimsby Institute's 12th Annual Competency Forum, Anchorage, AK, July, 2003.


Ben Sidaway B.Sc., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., P.T.
Ben has an extensive background in both applied and basic research in motor control, motor learning, and biomechanics. His current research focuses on the use of motor control and learning principles in treating clinical populations. In some of his most recent research, he has examined ways in which to improve gait and skill learning in people with Parkinson's disease.

Recent Publications

  • Sidaway, B., Anderson, J., Danielson, G., Martin, L., & Smith, G. (2006). Effects of long-term gait training using visual cues in an individual with Parkinson disease. Physical Therapy, 86:186-194. http://www.ptjournal.org/feb  2006
  • Sidaway, B., August, R., York, R., & Mitchell, A. (2005). Effects of varying the frequency of intrinsic and extrinsic feedback on motor skill learning. Journal of Human Movement Studies.
  • Sidaway, B., & Trzaska, A. (2005). Can mental practice increase the ankle dorsiflexor torque? Physical Therapy, 85, 1053-1060. http://www.ptjournal.org/oct2005
  • Sidaway, B., Champagne, A., Daigle, K., Marcous, N., Nadeau, A., & Pelletier, E. (2004). The effect of cane length on the haptic perception of height. Disability and Rehabilitation, 24, 157-161.
  • Cornwell, A., Nelson, A., & Sidaway, B. (2002). Acute effects of stretching on the neuromechanical properties of the triceps surae muscle complex. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 86, 428-434.
  • Clark, R., & Sidaway, B. (2001). The influence of head orientation with respect to direction of travel during goal-directed walks without vision. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 42, 151-164.
  • Cornwell, A., Nelson A., Heise G., & Sidaway B. (2001). Acute effects of passive muscle stretching on vertical jump performance. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 40: 307-324.
  • Sidaway, B., Yook, D., & Fairweather, M. (2001). Visual and verbal guidance in the learning of a novel motor skill. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 40, 43-63.
  • Sidaway, B., Yook, D., & Russell, D. (1999). Distributed control in rapid sequential aiming responses. Journal of Motor Behavior, 31, 367-379.
  • Clark, R., & Sidaway, B. (1999). The effect of altered gait and head position in goal directed walking without vision. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 37, 107-126.

Recent Presentations

  • Sidaway, B., Gordon, R., Hopkins, M., Kershaw, M., Maraen, C., & Wilkins, N. Random and blocked practice schedule effects on motor skill learning in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Boston, MA, February, 2007.
  • Anderson, D., Chew-Bullock , T., Kim, A., Mayo, A., & Sidaway, B. Do tests of one-legged balance predict kicking velocity? Presented at the annual NASPSPA conference, Denver, CO, June, 2006.
  • Sidaway, B. Qualitative dynamics of behaviour: Insights into motor control from movement topology. Presented at the annual High Performance Seminar hosted by UK Sport in Birmingham, England, April, 2006. Invited presentation.
  • Sidaway, B. Dynamic systems theory: A framework for the analysis of coordination in high performance athletes. Workshop conducted for physiotherapist and performance analysts working within the UK High Performance System. Sponsored by the Scottish Institute of Sport in Glasgow, Scotland, April, 2006. Invited presentation.
  • Sidaway, B., Ahn, S., Boldeau, P., Griffin, S., Noyes, B., & Pelletier, K. A comparison of manual guidance and verbal feedback in the learning of a weight bearing skill. Presented at the annual NASPSPA conference, St Petersberg, FL, June, 2005.
  • Sidaway, B., Russell, D., & Yook, D. Learning to reduce peak impact force during landings: The role of feedback frequency on kinetics and kinematics. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February, 2005.
  • Sidaway, B., Anderson, J., Danielson, G., Martin, L., & Smith, G. Changes in Parkinsonian gait as the result of long-term training with visual cues. Presented at the annual NASPSPA conference, Vancouver, Canada, June, 2004.
  • Sidaway, B., Champagne, A., Daigle, K., Marcous, N., Nadeau, A., & Pelletier, E. The effect of cane length on the accuracy of height discrimination using haptic perception. Presented at the annual NASPSPA conference, Vancouver, Canada, June, 2004.
  • Sidaway, B., & Robinson, A. Can mental practice increase dorsiflexion force? Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Nashville, TN, February, 2004.
  • Sidaway, B., August, R., York, R., & Mitchell, A. A comparison of intrinsic and extrinsic feedback frequencies in learning a motor skill. Presented at the annual NASPSPA conference, Savannah, GA, June, 2003.


Sondra Siegel B.A., P.T., Ph.D.
Sondra's research interests are focused on the examination of treatment techniques for the patients with neurological lesions including the efficacy of body weight support in improving gait in patients with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

Recent Publications

  • Siegel, S., Nichols, T., & Cope, T. (1999). Reflex Activation Patterns in Relation to Multidirectional Ankle Torque in Decerebrate Cats. Motor Control, 3, 135-150
  • Sokoloff, A., Siegel, S., & Cope T. (1999). Recruitment order among motoneurons from different motor nuclei. Journal of Neurophysiology, 81:2485-92
  • Siegel, S., Patton, B., & English, A. (2000). Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor is required for motoneuron sprouting. Experimental Neurology, 166: 205-212

Recent Presentations

  • Siegel, S., Camire, A., Couture, K., & Knower, K. Body weight supported gait training in a person with chronic incomplete spinal cord injury: Over ground vs. treadmill training. Presented at the Maine Chapter APTA spring meeting, educational program, Bangor, ME, May, 2006
  • Lumbra, K., Werner, R., Wysocki, T., & Siegel, S. An investigation of the effects of body weight supported treadmill training on gait in a person with chronic traumatic brain injury. Presented at the Maine Chapter APTA spring meeting, educational program, Bangor, ME, May, 2005
  • Reed, S., & Siegel, S. Complex regional pain syndrome: An attempt to link treatment rationale with etiology. Presented at the Maine Chapter APTA spring meeting, educational program, Bangor, ME, May, 2003
  • Siegel, S., Fregault R., & Stepney C. Improvements in gait following strengthening and stretching of the triceps surae muscles in a child with cerebral palsy. Presented at the APTA's Combined Sections Meeting, Tampa, FL, February, 2003