PhD Students

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Meet Our Students

Monira Aldhahi

Monira was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and graduated with bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from King Saud University. Afterwards, she worked for three years as a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapist at King Abdul-Aziz medical city and taught part-time for the respiratory therapy program at King Abdulaziz University for health sciences, teaching courses like subacute care (REST 411) and special topics (REST 418). In 2013, Monira completed her masters at the University of Pittsburgh and received a post-professional Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2014. While at Pittsburgh, she had the opportunity to volunteer at the university's medical center in the HELLP program for delirium patients and worked as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Eric Johnson; she was able to participate in a research project titled "The Effect of Cervical Muscle Fatigue on Motion Sensitivity".

Monira was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of the Rehabilitation Science program at George Mason and has a keen interest in lab research. Her interest incorporates understanding and quantifying metabolic, physical requirements for specific physical tasks in people with cardiopulmonary disorders, with a long-term goal to contributing to the development of research and giving the upcoming generation an interdisciplinary perspective of rehabilitation science.

Mutasim Alharbi

Mutasim Alharbi

Mutasim Alharbi is a student in the Department of Rehabilitation Science. Originally from Saudi Arabia, he graduated from Loma Linda University with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy followed by a Post-Professional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. During his studies at Loma Linda University, Mutasim was a research assistant to Professor Eric Johnson for a project titled "Effect of Sitting Pause Times on Postural Stability after Supine to Standing Transfer in Dimly Lit Environments".

His research interests include investigating the use of physiotherapy interventions in the management of people with cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions and the efficacy of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation. He is also interested in improving treatment outcomes for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Mutasim is looking forward to returning to his country and working diligently to shape the younger generation into qualified individuals capable of achieving the country's goals of progress and development.

Khalid Alwadeai

Khalid Alwadeai

Khalid Alwadeai, RRT-NPS was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and completed his BS in Cardiorespiratory Care from the University of South Alabama. After graduation, he became a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) through the National Board of Respiratory Care in Olathe, KS and has been a respiratory therapist since 2006. In 2015, he earned his master’s degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Respiratory Therapy from Georgia State University. In addition, he is also a Certified Asthma and COPD Educator. Before joining the Phd program in Rehabilitation Science, Khalid was working as an RT in a cardiac center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for seven years and served as a lecturer in the rehabilitation department at King Saud University. His research interests are in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation for COPD patients. Khalid’s primary goal is to improve the quality of life for patients who are in need for the rehabilitation programs.

Baian Baattaiah

Baian A. Baattaiah

Baian was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In 2008, she was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from King Abdul-Aziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her final research paper was entitled “The Importance of VBI Testing In Patients With Cervical Spondylosis”. Abroad in the States in 2012, Baian earned her Masters' Degree in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University, and was fortunate to be involved with a research project which helped her understand the fundamentals of how to conduct research. Thereafter, Baian has followed the profession’s transition and received her Post Professional Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2014.

Baian has always been insistent and highly ambitious in realizing her dreams, especially of becoming a distinctive physical therapist. She has also always dreamed about being a professor in the field to enable her to pass along all of the skills and knowledge to the next generation of physical therapists in her country. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is the field that has peaked her interests along with obesity and vestibular function.

Kerry Bollen

Kerry Bollen

Kerry grew up in Chapel Hill, NC, where she developed her love of college basketball. She received her undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Integrated Studies, Life Science concentration. After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she took on various roles in rehabilitation clinics to further her knowledge of the field. She started Mason's Rehabilitation Science graduate certificate program in the Fall of 2014. As of Fall 2015, she is now a part of the PhD program. She is interested in Human Motion, Function and Performance.

Caity Bryson

Caity Bryson

Caity Bryson received her MSPT and DPT degrees from Misericordia University in Dallas, PA. While obtaining her DPT, she worked at MedStar National Rehabilitation Network as a physical therapist. She most recently became credentialed by the APTA as a Sports Certified Specialist in 2015. Caity is excited to be part of the Rehab Science program at George Mason University. She has a very special interest in giving back to the military community by helping United States veterans in the field of rehabilitation.

Jared Gollie

Jared Gollie

Jared was born and raised in Allentown, Pa. He received his BS from Wesley College and his MS from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. While pursuing his master's degree Jared also served as Sports Performance Director at Velocity Sports Performance in Allentown, Pa. His research interests are in regulation of blood flow and peripheral oxygenation during exercise.

Peter Jo

Peter Jo

Peter is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. After his undergraduate education, he completed chiropractic school and residency in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. He has been practicing for 10 years and teaching human anatomy and physiology to undergraduates for 8 years. Peter is an Assistant Professor in the Science Division at Northern Virginia Community College. He earned an M.S. in nutrition and holds certifications through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board, Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists and National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS). His clinical practice focused on conservative management of chronic conditions using a "functional medicine" paradigm.

Peter is developing his research interests in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation to advance an integrative model of health and treatment outcomes.

Alison Lichy

Alison Lichy

Alison Lichy, PT, DPT, NCS is the owner of NeuroPT, a physical therapy clinic specializing in the treatment of neurological disorders. Dr. Lichy is a Board Certified Specialist in Neurological Physical Therapy. Currently, she is a research investigator for the National Capital Spinal Cord Injury Model System, the Rehabilitation Research Training Center, and the Assistive Technology Research Center, at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. Her research on secondary complications in spinal cord injury and assistive technology use in SCI has been presented at national conferences and is published in several peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Lichy consults nationally on the treatment of neurological disorders and is a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. She is the current chapter president for the District of Columbia American Physical Therapy Association, a representative in the APTA House of Delegates, and a member of the Neurology Section of the APTA. Dr. Lichy was most recently adjunct faculty at the Marymount University Doctor of Physical Therapy program, were she instructed in the evaluation, management, and clinical application for patients with neurological disorders. She currently teaches advanced stoke rehabilitation for Great Seminars, a company focused on physical therapy continued education.

Susan Lydick

Susan Lydick

Susan E. Lydick earned her Master's degree in Psychology (Lifespan Development) at George Mason University and completed doctoral level coursework in Applied Developmental Psychology. Her research interests center around developing better understanding of physiological and psychosocial processes and interventions that decrease the deleterious impact of chronic stress, particularly traumatic stress, on long-term psychological, social, and physical functioning.

Donal Murray

Donal Murray

Born and raised in Cork city, Ireland, Donal completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick Ireland. On completion he took the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in the United States and completed a master’s in Exercise Physiology at Central Michigan University. As part of his research responsibilities at CMU he was involved in two areas of interest; exercise associated muscle cramping and measurement and analysis of injury rate and training load in collegiate level women’s soccer players.

Brian Neville

Brian Neville

Brian earned his BS in Biology from Tufts University and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT) from Duke University. Prior to starting at George Mason, Brian spent 6 years practicing orthopedic and sports physical therapy at a private practice in Washington, DC. During that time he also earned his Certificate in Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT) from Manual Concepts in Perth, Australia. Brian also spent 3 years as chief delegate for the DCPTA. In the long run he plans to spend his professional time in several areas: research, teaching, and clinical practice.

Gino Panza

Gino Panza

Gino Panza was born and raised in Monroe, Michigan. He attended Adrian College where he majored in Exercise Science. At Adrian College Gino participated in the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and played football all four years. After graduation he became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and practiced for one year before attending Central Michigan University. At CMU Gino was in charge of the human physiology lab course for the undergraduates' Human Physiology lecture. Gino was also teaching assistant for the undergraduate pathophysiology and exercise physiology course and the graduate level exercise physiology course. Gino's master's research was on Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps (EAMC) and its reaction to static stretching. 

Gino aspires to be a physiology professor, and contribute to the development or growth of an undergraduate and graduate program.

Jillian Price

Jillian Kallman Price

Jillian comes to the program with 7 years' management experience for the Outcomes Research Program and Functional Assessment Lab under the Center for Integrated Research at Inova Health System. While there she conducted research in health-related quality of life, activity, diet, function and prevalence research in chronic liver disease.

Prior to Inova, Jillian worked for a contract research organization as a data manager and protocol monitor for Phase III vaccine trials. Jillian has degrees in Biological Psychology (B.S.) and Health Psychology (M.S.), and her additional research interests include biobehavioral interventions, cardiovascular function, obesity, metabolism, healthy aging, and adherence.

Shipra Puri

Shipra Puri

Shipra Puri came to the United States in the Fall of 2013 from New Delhi, India to pursue, "…an intellectual and educational experience that I strongly believe will be decisive in the pursuit of my aspiration to be a researcher." Shipra completed postgraduate work in Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy in 2010 in India. Her research entitled "Correlation of early functional capacity with biventricular function and residual pulmonary artery hypertension following mitral valve replacement in patients" was published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention in 2013.

Before coming to Mason, Shipra worked as a tutor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, India for two years. She has also worked in hospitals throughout New Delhi as an Intensive Care therapist. Shipra believes that her orientation towards research and rational thinking is her "father's legacy" and looks forward to working towards her PhD in Rehabilitation Science as a way to strengthen her existing abilities and broaden her view of the field.

Mandy Rounds

Mandy Rounds

Mandy's main research interest includes coming up with more efficient and innovative ways to improve balance and gait in individuals with disabilities. In addition, ways that will enrich the individual's life and provide methods that can be used for the clinic and at home. Lastly, finding a way to bridge the gap between researchers and clinicians to effectively come up with methods that will be used and improve the standard of therapy. 

Mandy received her BS in Integrative Studies from George Mason University in 2012, in which she realized the importance of community service. She learned to not lose sight of what is going on in the community and the world when it comes what is needed in research.

Emily Tinsley

Emily Tinsley

Emily Tinsley, MS is an exercise physiologist in the Clinical Exercise and Applied Physiology track. She earned her Master's degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology from the George Washington University and her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is also a Research Associate at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) where she serves as a lead-site project coordinator on large, multi-site projects in the Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and as a Co-Principal Investigator in burn research. Her primary interests are in exercise science-related rehabilitation research following spinal cord injury and burn injury. Emily has co-authored numerous manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and has presented abstracts at national conferences including the annual meetings of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Jessica To-Alemanji

Jessica To-Alemanji

Dr. To-Alemanji's research interest is focused on concussion management as it relates to the vestibular system.

Dr. To-Alemanji graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BS in Health Education and was accepted into Marymount University's respected Physical Therapy Graduate program, where she obtained her MSPT and most recently, her transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Over the years, in addition to being a clinician, Dr. To-Alemanji has enjoyed the challenge of educating young professionals in the Physical Therapy profession through her work as an adjunct professor at Marymount University and Howard University. As a clinician, Dr. To-Alemanji saw the gap that occurred between research and clinical practice and as a result decided to pursue a PHD degree at George Mason University to broaden her knowledge about Rehabilitation Science. Through her education at George Mason University, Dr. To-Alemanji plans to bridge the gap between scientists and clinicians and plans to integrate her research knowledge into clinical practice after graduation.

Zoe Williams

Zoe Williams

Zoe received an in Sport and Health Science Research from the University of Exeter, M.S. Her research interests lie in the effects of exercise on vascular health and endothelial progenitor cell proliferation. Specifically, the acute and chronic effects of exercise on endothelial function and endothelial progenitor cell proliferation, mobilization and homing in aging and clinical populations.

Josh Woolstenhulme

Josh Woolstenhulme

Liana Wooten

Liana Wooten

Liana Wooten PT, DPT, CSCS is originally from Fairfax, Va. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Richmond where she also played Division-I soccer. She went on to receive her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Duke University in Durham, NC. Shortly after graduating and beginning her career in outpatient orthopedics, she began taking students in the clinic as a clinical instructor and teaching as an adjunct professor in Marymount University’s DPT program. Currently she is treating patients in Springfield, VA at Active Body Physical Therapy, a privately-owned outpatient orthopedic clinic. She has a passion for teaching in the clinic and classroom settings, working with the athletic and adolescent populations, and loves all sports.