Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Programs in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences prepare students for careers in physical therapy, prosthetics and orthotics. In these professions, you’ll help people recover from injuries, or design devices that improve patients’ mobility and quality of life -- the basis for a very satisfying and rewarding career.

These careers are in high demand, with jobs for physical therapists expected to grow 28 percent from 2016 to 2026.  Employment for prosthetists and orthotist is forecast to grow 22 percent in the same time period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The mission of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences is to graduate competent, ethical, and autonomous professionals who value clinical practice, relevant research, and lifelong learning.  

Physical Therapy

Students studying skeleton

Physical therapists help patients recover from injuries through exercises and treatment that reduce pain and improve mobility and functioning. Working with patients as they progress through their treatment is very rewarding - in fact, physical therapists have one of the highest job satisfaction rates of all professions!  You can work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, and nursing homes.

Students may enter the program as freshmen and earn a combined Bachelor of Health Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy in six or seven years, or enter as a post-baccalaureate student for a three-year, full-time program leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.

Our new BS in Exercise Science will prepare you for a variety of exciting careers in sports medicine, personal training, and strength and conditioning coaching. You'll also be prepared for graduate study in areas such as physical therapy, athletic training, clinical exercise physiology, kinesiology and public health. The BS in Exercise Science will also become the undergraduate pathway to the combined BS/DPT program, once approved by the university's Board of Regents.

Prosthetics and Orthotics

Student with prosthetic leg

Our Prosthetics and Orthotics program is one of only a dozen graduate programs and a handful of undergraduate programs in the U.S.  Prosthetics and orthotics is an exciting combination of material science, engineering and health care.

  • Prosthetists design, fabricate, and fit devices known as prostheses (artificial limbs) for individuals who have partial or total absence of a limb.
  • Orthotists design and fit devices known as orthoses (orthopedic braces) to enhance function and provide care for patients with disabling conditions of the limbs and spine.

Our combined BS in Health Sciences/MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics is a 5-year program. Students may enter the program as freshmen, complete an undergraduate BS in Health Sciences, and elevate into the professional Master of Science in Prosthetics & Orthotics (MSPO) program.

At the graduate level, students may enter as post-baccalaureate students in the MSPO program.  The University of Hartford also offers a distance learning program for currently certified prosthetists and orthotists, the Transitional MSPO.

Department Faculty and Staff

Danielle Bellows
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Angela Brown
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Catherine Certo
Associate Dean for Academic Planning and Faculty Development; Department Chair; Professor of Physical Therapy; Program Director of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Duffy Felmlee
Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Mary Gannotti
Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Abby Hoffman-Finitsis
Assistant Professor of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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John Leard
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Jennifer Lodovico-Gorack
Program Manager
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Margie Mathews
Program Specialist, Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Matthew Parente
Assistant Professor of Prosthetics and Orthotics; Program Director of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Kelly Pogemiller
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Director of Clinical Education
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Kristamarie Pratt
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Tricia Prokop
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Dawn Roller
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Director of Clinical Education
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Sandra Saavedra
Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Brian T. Swanson
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Donna Snowdon
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy; Coordinator of Clinical Education and Clinical Placement
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Holly Stevenson
Office Coordinator
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

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Michael Wininger
Associate Professor - Prosthetics & Orthotics; Secretary, Faculty Senate
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty Senate

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Department Contacts:

Catherine Certo, Chair
860.768.5367
certo@hartford.edu

Holly Stevenson, Office Coordinator
860.768.5419
hstevenso@hartford.edu

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