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University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean Reece Announces Leadership Transition in Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mary Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, the George R. Hepburn Dynasplint Professor and Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science
 Mary Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, the George R. Hepburn Dynasplint Professor and Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science

Chair Dr. Mary Rodgers to Pursue Temporary Appointment at the NIH, Will Remain on School of Medicine Faculty; Dean Appoints Interim Chair, Dr. Mark Rogers

University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, is announcing that Mary Rodgers, PT, PhD, FAPTA, FASB, the George R. Hepburn Dynasplint Professor and Chair in the Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science (PTRS), has chosen to step down from her position as Chair, effective September 1, 2013. Mark W. Rogers, PT, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in neuromotor control and rehabilitation research, has been appointed Interim Chair of the department.

Dr. Rodgers is stepping down as chair so that she is able to pursue a temporary appointment from the National Institutes of Health to work at the National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Engineering (NIBIB), while remaining on the School of Medicine faculty. Dr. Rodgers' work at NIH started when she took a year-long sabbatical in 2009 in order to participate in an AAAS fellowship with NIBIB. She will now divide her time between NIBIB and the School of Medicine, where she will remain with the department in the new administrative role of Vice Chair, representing the department as needed by the Interim Chair. Dr. Rodgers will also continue her teaching and research activities, and will remain Co-Director of the Pilot Studies Core for the Claude D. Pepper University of Maryland Older Americans Independence Center (UMOAIC).

“It is with mixed emotions that I make this announcement about Dr. Rodgers,” said Dean Reece, who is also Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “She has led our Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences to new heights, and we are so glad that she will remain with the School of Medicine as Vice Chair of the department. Her leadership is a model for others at our school, and we are sorry to lose her as chair. At the same time, we are thrilled for her as she embarks on this new temporary opportunity at the NIH. We are grateful to Dr. Mark Rogers for stepping up as interim chair, and I am confident that he is the right choice to continue the department's record of success as we search for a new permanent chair.”

Dr. Mary Rodgers has been a faculty member at the School of Medicine since 1994 and chair of PTRS since 1998. During her 15 years of leadership, PTRS has risen from an unranked program nationally to earn a spot among the top 10% PT programs in the country; grown its research focus with the initiation of the PhD in Physical Rehabilitation Science; transitioned the Masters in PT curriculum to a Doctor of PT education program; and initiated Doctor of Science in PT, transitional DPT, and DPT/PhD degree programs. Dr. Rodgers also recruited the department's first R01 investigator, Dr. Mark Rogers; procured the department's first two endowed professorships; and provided national and international leadership in Biomechanics Societies as well as the American Physical Therapy Association. She has been a dedicated School of Medicine citizen in many ways, serving on numerous SOM chair searches and committees, including the Appointments, Promotion and Tenure committee.

“I appreciate Dean Reece's support for this career opportunity, and I share his confidence that these administrative changes are positioning PTRS and the School of Medicine for continued success,” said Dr. Rodgers. “I am very proud of all that this department has accomplished in the 15 years that I have served as chair and thank everyone for their support during this leadership transition.”

Dr. Mark Rogers Dr. Mark Rogers joined the School of Medicine in 2008 as a tenured professor. He came to the University of Maryland from Northwestern University, where he had been steadily moving up the ranks in the Department of Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences at their Feinberg School of Medicine since 1986. Currently, he is also Vice Chair for Research in the department; Director of the PhD Program in Physical Rehabilitation Science (PRS); Director of the National Institute for Disability Rehabilitation Research's (NIDRR) University of Maryland Advanced Neuromotor Rehabilitation Research Training (UMANRRT) Program in the department; and Co-Director of the Mobility Function & Neuroplasticity Core at the Claude D. Pepper Center. He will continue in all of these roles, except as Director of the PhD Program, which will now be led by Larry Forrester, PhD, Associate Professor.

“I enthusiastically look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and other colleagues in this new capacity as we continue to focus on our department goals for research,” said Dr. Mark Rogers. As Interim Chair, his plans are to “drive our strategic plan initiatives and continue to work with Dr. Rodgers, the Vice Chair, as well as our program directors, faculty, students and staff to accomplish our program objectives.”


Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508

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