Philosophy of Research

The Texas State Department of Physical Therapy  faculty value the evidence-based, continuous development and growth of the physical therapy profession that promotes life-long learning and ultimately improves patient care. 

In this regard, the faculty believe that the professional education environment must provide opportunity for, and involvement in, research activities. Research areas necessary to the advancement of the profession include basic and applied clinical research, administrative research, and educational research activities.

Faculty are committed to developing research resources through collaborative engagement with students, clinical partners and community members. 

Faculty Research Interests

Janet Bezner - Dr. Bezner's research interests revolve around health promotion and wellness.  Specifically, she is investigating the effects of health behavior change coaching (both one-on-one and group coaching), the elements of culture that contribute most to health, the effects of long-term performance of Pilates on overall health and wellness and physical health, and the benefits of using Primal 7 technology for knee pain and disease.

Gwen Cariker - With her specialty in neurological diagnoses, Dr. Cariker's research interests include treatment of vestibular diagnoses and improving quality of life in neurological populations. 

Karen Gibbs – As a Certified Wound Specialist, Dr. Gibbs' primary area of research is focused on integumentary care/wound management curriculum and instruction and the role of the physical therapist in interdisciplinary wound management practice.  Secondary areas of interest include infection control and evidence-based instruction techniques. 

Denise Gobert - Dr. Gobert's primary research interest centers around biomechanical analysis and rehabilitation strategies used to help patients with balance disorders due to acquired brain injury such as vestibular disorders, stroke or mild head injury.  Her published works focus on the visual-vestibular interactions used for successful coordination and balance control.

Shannon Herrin - Dr. Herrin’s research interests include interprofessional education, interprofessional professionalism, student engagement through innovative instructional methods, and factors contributing to resiliency in faculty and students

Suzanne Okere - Dr. Okere’s research interests include the effects of short-term study abroad experiences on student physical therapists’ cultural competency. Recently, she has also began to research food insecurity of student physical therapists. 

Angela Rich - Dr. Rich's passion resides in biomechanics and movement dysfunction.  Pain, chronic conditions and acute injuries are often a result of underlying postural and movement impairments.  Identifying static and dynamic impairments reveals what lies behind the condition and provides a window for individualized, concise intervention.  Considering the body function as a whole, recognition and restoration of optimal movement is necessary to truly address a condition.

"You treat a disease: You win, you lose.  You treat a person, I guarantee you win- no matter the outcome." - Patch Adams

Steve Spivey - Dr. Spivey is interested in a lot of different things, so it's really hard for him to narrow down a specific area of research. He has research interests in well-being, self-efficacy, traumatic brain injuries, and clinical education. 

Shannon Williams - Dr. Williams is actively involved in clinical education.  Currently she is involved in projects looking at patient satisfaction in a physical therapy student-run clinic.  She is also involved in a project funding by the APTA looking at Home Health outcomes and trends.