Physical Therapy FacultyDawn Brown-Cross, PT., MBA., EdD., CLT, Associate Professor, Director, joined the physical therapy division in February 2013. Dr. Brown-Cross received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy degree at Kean College/UMDNJ, a MBA at the University of South Florida, and a Doctorate in Education at Nova Southeastern University specializing in Instructional Technology and Distance Education. Dr. Brown-Cross’s actively contributes to the physical therapy profession having formerly served on the Florida Physical Therapy Association‘s (FPTA) Board of Directors, as a Florida Assembly representative, and as chair and member of various committees at the chapter level. Additionally, Dr. Brown-Cross continues to participate in FPTA/APTA activities and committees that inform and propagate the multicultural agenda of the professional organization which is a testament to her commitment to improving diversity within the profession. Dr Brown-Cross’s successes also encompass teaching and research. She has taught in the traditional classroom as well as used technology in instructing PT students (entry-level to PhD) in various courses. Her research interests are curriculum design, cultural diversity, and post-mastectomy lymphedema management. She has co-authored related articles that have been published in Lymphology, Isokinetics and Exercise Science, Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, Home Health Care Management and Practice, and the Journal of Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. She has presented posters and educational sessions at the American Physical Therapy Exposition, Combined Sections Meetings, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy 15th International Congress, and the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and Medical Forum.
Eric J. Toran, M.S. Ph.D., Associate Professor, joined the physical therapy faculty in 1996. Dr. Toran is responsible for the management and instruction of gross anatomy, cadaver dissections, neuroanatomy, and scientific inquiry. Prior to joining the physical therapy faculty, Dr. Toran received his doctorate degree from Howard University, Washington, D.C. and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, Nebraska). Additionally, he served as a research trainee at Walter Reed Army Hospital investigating Lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases. His current research interest focuses on the “Analysis of Heat Shock Proteins in Response to Non-Physiological Stressors”.
Arnold Bell, Ph.D., P.T., ATC, SCS, Professor, has been a significant contributor to physical therapy education at Florida A&M University since 1982. His extensive background in sports medicine has provided him the knowledge and experience essential to provide instruction in areas such as: modalities; basic evaluation techniques; general orthopedic evaluation techniques; and sports medicine. For many years, he has provided athletic training and physical therapy rehabilitation services to the University Demonstration High School (FAMU DRS) and the University Athletic Department. Dr. Bell has contributed chapters on “Exercise for the Elderly” and on “Conditioning for Athletes”. Dr. Bell's research has focused on injuries and proneness to injuries among members of the University Marching Band and FAMU Developmental Research School Athletic Department.
Mary Pope-grattan, PhD, P.T., Assistant Professor, joined the physical therapy faculty in August 2003. Her background is in the area of neuro-development, pediatrics and life span development. Prior to joining the faculty she served as Chief of Pediatric Physical Therapy, Brooks Rehab., Orange City, Fla. and as Chief Physical Therapist, Woodlawn Early Intervention Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago. Dr. Pope-grattan was also CEO of a private practice in Chicago and assisted the Clinical Education Coordinator at the University of Michigan Medical School. In addition to coordinating clinical education, Dr. Pope-grattan assumes responsibility for Motor development, Neurological Assessment, Evaluation and Treatment courses. Her research interests are in the area of “Laterality as an early indicator of Infants at risk for developmental disability” and general Motion Analysis.
Phyllis Reaves, PhD, Assistant Professor. Dr. Reaves joined the physical therapy faculty in August 2003 from the University of Florida, College of Medicine Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics where she performed cardiovascular research as well as taught human physiology, involving pharmacological effects and intervention. Dr. Reaves teaching responsibilities are in the basic sciences, including anatomy & physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. Her research interests involves the development of (1) distinct gene therapy strategies and (2) animal models of angiotensin II-dependent forms of hypertension for the long-term attenuation of high blood pressure.
Bernard Smothers, PT (Medical College of Ohio/Bowling Green State University), MSHA (Florida A&M University), joined the Physical therapy staff in January of 2006. While having a variety of clinical and administrative experience, his primary work experience has been with developmental disabilities and geriatrics. His course responsibilities are Kinesiology, Gerontology, Integument and Wound Care, Cardiopulmonary and Exercise Physiology. His research interests involve (1) multiple sclerosis and effective strategies to enhance function (2) exercise and immunity and (3) effective teaching strategies.
Venné Williams, PT, DPT is a licensed physical therapist and Adjunct Professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Division of Physical Therapy. As an instructor in the Division of Physical therapy she has taught Professional Behavior, Clinical Education and Clinical Integration. Her special interests and research include Women’s Health and cervicogenic headaches.
Adrienne Jackson, PT, PhD, MPA, Assistant Professor, joined the physical therapy faculty in August 2010. Dr. Jackson’s background is in the areas of gerontology, geriatric rehabilitation, and neurological rehabilitation. She also serves as the Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education (ACCE). Prior to joining the faculty, Dr. Jackson received a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Gerontology from University of North Texas, as well as a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Health Care Administration and Health Care Policy from Auburn University. She is also a very proud graduate of the FAMU Physical Therapy Program. Dr. Jackson’s current research interests are in the area of “Disparities in Access to Physical Therapy Services among Elderly African Americans.”