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Former Physical Therapy Faculty

Paul Mettler

Paul Mettler, founding PT Program Director
Paul Mettler

It was my honor to serve as the first Physical Therapy Program Director at then Southwest Texas State University. I helped develop the program and take it through its first CAPTE accreditation. I was blessed to have the amazing leadership of Dean Don Greene who had remarkable vision for the fledgling college and program. I was blessed to work with Mary Tarmichael as the first ACCE who found and developed internships for our students. A simply amazing accomplishment. Of course the greatest feature of those years was hiring Barb Sanders as a faculty member. The rest is history.

Diana Hunter

Diana Hunter
Diana Hunter

I began teaching as a Master's Degree student in Allied Health Education at then Southwest Texas State University in the Spring of 1985 with two other faculty members, the chair Paul Mettler and the Clinical Education Director, Mary Tarmichael.  I originally taught the Physical Agents course on my day off from my PT job at a brain injury rehabilitation facility then known as The Ranch Treatment Center.  I was asked to consider applying for an open full-time faculty position which I began in the Fall of 1985. I continued to teach Physical Agents and then Electrotherapy along with Therapeutic Exercise.  Because of my love of neurological rehabilitation I eventually became the developer/coordinator of the Neurological sequence of the curriculum which consisted of Neuroanatomy, Pediatrics and Adult Neurorehabilitation.  During my 20 years at now Texas State University I received my PhD in Higher Education Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. My best memories involve being blessed with working with "the best".  The best faculty members and the the best students.  It was a very dynamic time for the developing department and I think fondly everyday about that time and the people I worked with and still keep in touch with to this day.  We moved from Austin in 2006 to the Chicagoland area and I taught at Rosalind Franklin University;  I left RFU in 2013 to conduct a Granted Balance Program at an hippportherapy center in Lake Forest, IL, Equestrian Connection.  We moved back to Austin in 2016.  I have one daughter, Nicole, who many students remember as being the "demonstration kid" for several pediatric classes.  She received her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in May of 2020 and is now working on her own PhD at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Elizabeth Cole

Elizabeth Cole
Elizabeth Cole

Part-time Faculty 1988-1990; Lecturer 1990-1993

Teaching at SWT from 1988 until 1993 was pure joy as well as a lot of work as I continued my full-time work of treating patients with amputations and growing the business, Austin Prosthetics Center, Inc. alongside my husband, Dennis Cole, CP. Developing the Psychosocial Aspects of the Disabled class was one of the highlights of my career. I also enjoyed supervising the students and developing the policy & procedures manual for the on-campus PT clinic. Coordinating multiple speakers and testing for the Neurology kept me busy while learning. Speaking of APC, we gave a one day (which turned into 2 days) all-encompassing seminar on amputations & prosthetics for 11 plus years, to the students as well as clinicians for CCU’s. By far, the class that gave me the most laughs was teaching Spanish for the PT as a summer module and watching the hysterical patient scenarios that the students created, costumes and all. Bright students and faculty were pure gift and also a lot of fun. It’s truly an honor to be part of the history of this amazing PT program!

Ginny Keely

Ginny Keely
Ginny Keely

I had the great pleasure of joining the [then] Southwest Texas State University faculty in January 1994. I was involved in the early development of our onsite clinic, worked in the transition from Bachelors to Masters program, and taught in the orthopedic sequence. My primary focus areas of instruction were spine and foot/ankle. After almost 11 years with the faculty, I returned home to Monterey, CA in 2005 where I have been practicing at Ronning Physical Therapy ever since, still specializing in feet. And of course I’m still obsessed with biking, though I don’t wreck as often as I used to!

Jason Hardage

Jason Hardage
Jason Hardage

Jason Hardage, PT, DPT, DScPT, was a member of the faculty 2006-2012, when he co-taught the neurologic patient/client management course sequence with Mary Elizabeth Parker and Heather Mattingly. He also taught pathology and pharmacology and staffed the neurorehabilitation program in the clinic, where he served as a clinical instructor. At that time, the program was still located on the main campus in San Marcos, and he loved being a part of the main campus community and the San Marcos community, including the San Marcos River. He went on to explore new interests in yoga and health and wellness coaching and now enjoys integrating these approaches into his work.

Jennifer Hale

Jennifer Hale
Jennifer Hale

I started my first full time teaching job at Texas State University in 2012 after completing my neuro residency and teaching part time at UTMB in Galveston. As a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, I was fortunate enough to coordinate Neuroscience III and Neuroscience IV, which focused on rehabilitation of adults with neurological disorders. I also helped as a clinical instructor when the 2nd year students completed their directed clinical experience in the PT Clinic. It was great to be a faculty member when the department transitioned to its new home in Round Rock – what an adventure it was! I like to say I grew up at Texas State – the department has an unwavering commitment to excellence and develops exceptional physical therapists who are transforming society. I left Texas State in May of 2020 for a position at Tufts University, but will always have a sense of loyalty to the program and the people who make it so special.

Mark Pape

Mark Pape
Mark Pape

I started at SWT in 1988 when we still granted the BS in PT. We had four full-time faculty including the ACCE. Barb Sanders, Lynne Millar, Diana Hunter and myself. We used many of our clinicians as adjunct faculty in those early days. Doug Kelsey, Diana Merworth, Elizabeth Cole, Carolyn Walker, and then the military guys for the EMG classes. I am sure I am leaving people out. Class sizes were smaller, we had 16 students per class. I was hired as the ACCE and also taught a variety of classes and or parts of classes depending on the need. We were teaching in the old San Marcos Baptist Academy building. We opened our first PT patient clinic in the largest lab room we had. I remember faculty and students getting together to clean up and paint that room.  For me, everything changed when Dr. Millar left in 1990. Mary Hanson was hired to be the ACCE that Fall and l began my career as an anatomy instructor. In the Spring 1991 I was scheduled to teach Neuroscience but as a member of the USAF reserves I was called to active-duty for the first Gulf War. Neuro lectures that year were done via VCR tape shipped from Delaware and Paul Mettler. Dwayne Wieding, a local clinician was called in to manage the class.  Fall 91/Spring 92 things got back on track and I continued to be the primary for Anatomy and Neuroanatomy through the development and start up of the Master’s curriculum. During that time frame we also moved into the new Allied Health Science Building.  Diana Hunter took over clinical aspects of Neuro and I directed my efforts at the neuroanatomy/physiology content. I added a larger role in orthopedics when Ginny Keely and Brenda Boucher came on board. We taught regional ortho courses in Spine, Upper Extremity and Lower Extremity. Anatomy was woven throughout that series and taught every semester. I won two teaching awards while at Southwest Texas State. The “TPTA Outstanding Physical Therapy Faculty Award” in 1995.  I also won a Faculty Excellence Award/School of Health Professions – Outstanding Teacher Award for the 1998-99 Academic Year my last full year at SWT/Tx State. I still have both on my desk. Very humbled to have been nominated, much less chosen for those honors. I always felt I was learning more than my students. Well now how to end? Let me just say that at Tx State we were not faculty members. We were a team. We were friends. We were family. I have never been associated with a finer group of professional educators, master clinicians, TPTA and APTA all-stars and all-around great people.