Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Core Faculty

Teressa Brown, PT, DPT, PhD, OCSDean, Program Director

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 473-5674
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: tebrown@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Transplanted from the east coast, Dr. Brown has spent five years on the faculty at Simmons College in Boston in the role of Assistant Director of Clinical education and Associate Professor of Practice. Her teaching responsibilities included clinical education, human anatomy, musculoskeletal physical therapy and complex conditions. In addition, as a board certified specialist in orthopedics, Dr. Brown has maintained active clinical practice over the past 10 years, most recently working as a therapist at New England Baptist Hospital and Beverly Hospital in the Boston area. Her research interest is focused on teaching and learning methodologies as well as predictors for success in the classroom and the clinic. Her dissertation is examining current practice for teaching human anatomy in physical therapy education.

Additionally, she has  been exploring the use of Simulated and Standardized patient experiences in physical therapy education and their effect on student learning. Dr. Brown also has APTA certification for both the basic and the advanced clinical instructor program. She is a credentialed trainer for the APTA Clinical Instructor Training Program and has run multiple courses credentialing over 100 new clinical instructors in a variety of health care disciplines.

Education
CAGS, Simmons College, 2011
DPT, Simmons College, 2004
BS, Simmons College, 2002

Links
Publications

Daniel Cipriani, Ph.D., PTProfessor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 454-5048
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: dcipriani@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Daniel Cipriani has been a licensed Physical Therapist since 1984 with extensive clinical experiences in the areas of orthopaedic rehabilitation, orthopaedic trauma, and sports medicine. His primary area of clinical expertise focuses on lower extremity biomechanics and injury mechanics, with a special interest in running and cycling related injuries.  He has been involved in academia and research since 1991, beginning his academic career at The Medical College of Ohio (University of Toledo's Health Science campus), moving to San Diego in 2005 to join the faculty at San Diego State University. At SDSU, he helped develop a Masters Degree program in Rehabilitation Science.  Dr. Cipriani also served on the faculty at Chapman University for five years before joining West Coast University.  As a faculty member he has received numerous teaching awards including being a 3-time recipient of the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence at the Medical College of Ohio and the Outstanding Faculty Member at Chapman University.

Dr. Cipriani serves as a manuscript reviewer for numerous professional research journals and he is a member of the International Editorial Board for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.  In addition, for several years he served on the main Editorial Board for the Physical Therapy Journal and was awarded Manuscript Reviewer of the Year by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Dr. Cipriani received his B.S. in Physical Therapy at The Ohio State University. He completed his M.S. (Exercise Science and Applied Biomechanics) and Ph.D. (Applied Measurement/Statistics) at the University of Toledo.  His research interests include applied exercise techniques for the enhancement of movement, assessment of orthoses on joint function, and research focusing on the Clinimetric and Psychometric properties of clinical measures.  Dr. Cipriani has authored and co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed research publications, several book chapters, and numerous invited papers.  Abstracts from his research and that of his students have been presented at State and National Physical Therapy and Biomechanics Professional Conferences.  Dr. Cipriani has presented lectures and workshops across the United States and Puerto Rico mostly on the topics of lower extremity biomechanics and orthotic management of foot pathomechanics.

Education
PhD, University of Toledo, 2003
MS in Exercise Science/Applied Biomechanics, University of Toledo, 1992
BS in Physical Therapy, University of Toledo, 1984

Links
Publications
Research Gate Publications
LinkedIn Profile

Dawn James, PT, DPT, PCSAssistant Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 284-2723
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: djames@westcoastuniversity.edu 

Biography
Dr. James is an assistant professor in the West Coast Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. She comes to West Coast with over 20 years of clinical practice.

Dr. James’ primary research areas of interest include pediatric concussion management, school based practice patterns, dosage of pediatric physical therapy, and sports related injuries in youth athletes.  Dr. James was a reviewer for Guidelines for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in California Public Schools, 2nd Edition (2012) and co-authored Dosage Considerations: Recommending School-Based Physical Therapy Intervention Under IDEA for the APTA’s Section on Pediatrics. 

Before joining West Coast, Dr. James was a school-based physical therapist specializing in transdisciplinary preschool team assessments. She continues to be involved in clinical practice and works with the early intervention, school based, and youth sports populations. 

Dr. James is currently a member of the APTA Section on Pediatrics Practice Committee and is serving on the Subcommittee on Intensity for the School-Based Special Interest Group.  She is a founding member of the CPTA’s Pediatric SIG and it’s resource for school based practice issues. In addition, she is an expert consultant for the Physical Therapy Board of California.  Dr. James has presented at the local, state and national level on a variety of pediatric subjects including concussions in youth sports, school-based assessment and practice, ethics in pediatric physical therapy, and standardized testing.

Dr. James received her professional education and Bachelor of Science degree from Rockhurst College and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from AT Still University.  She is a pediatric clinical specialist certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists and holds a Certification in Assistive Technology Applications from the Center on Disabilities, California State University, Northridge.

Dr. James is active in a variety of community organizations including National Charity League, Special Olympics, and Ahead with Horses.

Education
DPT, AT Still University, 2011
BS(PT), Rockhurst College, 1992

Links
Publications

Sarah J Gilliland, PT, DPT, PhD, CSCS Associate Professor

Biography
Sarah J Gilliland, PT, DPT, PhD, CSCS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at West Coast University. She has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) since 2005. Dr. Gilliland completed her BA in Human Performance and Health Science at Rice University in 1998. After 6 years as a high school math and science instructor, she returned to school to complete her DPT at Chapman University in 2008. She then completed her MA and PhD in Education at the University of California, Irvine in 2015. Prior to embarking on her full time academic career, Dr. Gilliland worked as a physical therapist at Newport Medical and Wellness in Costa Mesa, CA from 2008-2013. She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor.

Dr. Gilliland’s research focuses on how PT students learn, specifically targeting their development of clinical reasoning. Dr. Gilliland hopes to use her research to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in entry-level physical therapist education. In the classroom she consistently encourages DPT students to “think outside the box” and integrate all aspects of evidence based practice into their developing clinical reasoning. In addition to research and teaching, Dr. Gilliland enjoys mentoring new faculty in their development of teaching skills. Her post-professional doctoral studies were supported through PODS I and II scholarships from the Foundation for Physical Therapy, Inc., and an Adopt-a-Doc scholarship from the Education Section of APTA. Dr. Gilliland was recognized as an APTA Emerging Leader in 2015 and received the Dorothy Briggs Memorial Scientific Inquiry Award in 2018. Dr. Gilliland currently serves as the vice-chair of the Scholarship of Education (SOE) SIG for the Education Section of APTA and is a member of the Education Section Research Committee.

Education
PhD, University of California, Irvine, 2015
MA, University of California, Irvine, 2013
DPT, Chapman University, 2008
BA, Rice University, 1998

Jessica Rancour, PT, DPT, Cert MDTDirector of Clinical Education
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 454-5062
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: jRancour@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Jessica Rancour has practiced full time as Physical Therapist since 2006. Her background is in orthopedic and sports rehabilitation. She also has a special interest in spine rehabilitation and is certified in Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy by the McKenzie Institute. Dr. Rancour got her start in academia as a Clinical Lab Instructor for Cleveland State University's Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2014. Prior to that time she worked with Cleveland State University Doctor of Physical Therapy students from 2010-2014 at The Free Clinic, providing physical therapy services to the uninsured. She was also on the faculty of Cleveland Clinic's Orthopaedic Residency program since 2014. Dr. Rancour has served as a manuscript reviewer for the International Journal of Sports Medicine and has published articles in Sports Health and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. She has also performed presentations at the local, state, and national levels.  Dr. Rancour received her B.S. in Applied Health Sciences at Bowling Green State University. She then received her M.S. in Physical Therapy from the Medical College of Ohio. Finally she received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Shenandoah University. She is also an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor and is the Director of Clinical Education.

Education
DPT, Shenandoah University
MS, Medical College, Ohio
BS, Bowling Green State University
MDT, Certified in Mechanical 

Dustin Willis, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPTAssistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 454-5031
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: DuWillis@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Willis grew up in San Bernardino and Redlands areas of the Inland Empire. He graduated from California Lutheran University with his B.S. in Exercise and Sports Medicine with an emphasis in Human Performance in 2007. He then received his DPT from Loma Linda University in 2014, where he received the Dean’s Award, Clinical Excellence Award, and the Fred B. Moore Mission Service Award. Immediately after graduating, Dr. Willis went on to complete the Orthopedic Residency Program at Rancho Physical Therapy in Murrieta, CA in 2015. In 2016, he completed two fellowships in the concurrently, both Kaiser Permanente’s Sports and Manual Therapy Fellowship and USC’s Chis Powers’ Lower Extremity Biomechanics Fellowship at the Movement Performance Institute in Los Angeles, CA, respectively. Still in pursuit of more knowledge and skill, Dr. Willis joined the inaugural cohort for Azusa Pacific University’s Movement Performance Fellowship and is currently in the middle of completing his PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences back at his alma mater, Loma Linda University.

Teaching-wise, Dr. Willis spent 3 years as co-lead professor of orthopedics for the Loma Linda University/Adventist University of Haiti Rehab Technician program. He is also currently assistant faculty for the “Retrain the Brain” seminar series, which serves as the core faculty for Kaiser Permanente, Glendale Adventist, and Loma Linda University’s residency programs.

As part of the Movement and Cognition Neuromechanics Research Laboratory at Loma Linda University, Dr. Willis is in the process of establishing his PhD dissertation, which looks to investigate the relationships between human biomechanics, pain neuroscience, psychology, and medical imaging.

Education
DPT, Loma Linda University
BS, Exercise Science & Sports Medicine, California Lutheran University

Natalie Weeks-O’Neal, PT, DPTAssistant Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Phone: (323) 473-5669
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: nweeks@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Natalie Weeks-O’Neal is an Assistant Professor in the West Coast Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.  She joined West Coast with over 10 years of clinical practice in Acute care

Dr. Weeks-O’Neal graduated in 2006 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California.  She immediately began pursuing her passion for acute care in both the Inpatient Rehabilitation and Intensive Care Unit settings.

Her areas of research interest include minority health and wellness, Public Health, and Falls prevention and simulation in Physical Therapy education, which she has co-authored posters & presentations at both the local, state and national level. 

Her teaching experience includes: Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, Gender Related Issues in Health Care, Therapeutic Exercise, Geriatrics, and Therapeutic Interventions, Prosthetics and Orthotics Courses.

Dr. Weeks-O’Neal is a proud member of the Ft. Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes of Montana.  Growing up on an Indian reservation, she was exposed to the health barriers and education needs for all Native American people. She has spent her career focusing on service dedicated to improve the health education and access to health & wellness services for native American youth and adults. Along with a partnership with Dr. Norma Blackwater, MD, of United American Indian Involvement, they started the only know Urban Indian Health Clinic offering Physical Therapy Services in the nation.

Dr. Weeks-O’Neal is married to her college sweetheart, Charles. Together they have 2 children, Lilliana & Venture.  She enjoys time at the beach, coaching volleyball, and pow-wow dancing as a traditional style dancer.

Education
DPT, University of Southern California, 2006
BS, Kinesiology, CSU Long Beach, 2003
Biology, University of Idaho, Long Beach

 

Robert Dulay, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, FAAOMPTAssociate Professor

Contact Information
Office: Center for Graduate Studies 
Email: rdulay@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Dr. Dulay graduated in 2013 with his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Chapman University. He then pursued advanced training in examination, clinical decision-making and treatment skills by completing the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency. Subsequently, he learned advanced orthopaedic manual therapy techniques combined with advanced skills in movement analysis, motor control and biomechanics for the injured sports population by completing the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Orthopaedic Fellowship and Sports Rehabilitation Program. He currently practices in the outpatient ortho setting at the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center and North Hollywood Medical Offices.

Dr. Dulay is an Orthopaedic and Sports Clinical Specialist, certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. He enjoys spending time with his wife who is a pediatric physical therapist, as well as traveling, hiking, playing basketball, and cheering on the Zags.

Education
DPT, Chapman University, 2013
BS, Gonzaga University, 2010

Mario Moncada, PT, DPT, MSPTAssociate Professor, Physical Therapy Program

Contact Information
Office: Center for Graduate Studies
Email: mmoncada@westcoastuniversity.edu

Biography
Originally from New Orleans LA, Dr. Mario Moncada has been a licensed Physical Therapist here in the Los Angeles area since 2003. He began work as a staff Physical Therapist in an acute rehabilitation hospital and then moved into the home health arena where he currently owns and manages a small business.  He began teaching at WCU as an adjunct professor in 2016. 

His clinical areas of interest are in Geriatric Rehabilitation and Wound Care. 

Additionally, he is a credentialed APTA Clinical Instructor and is actively involved in the California Physical Therapy Association. Within the CPTA, Dr. Moncada holds various positions from Government Affairs Committee member, Greater Los Angeles Chief Assembly Representative, Greater Los Angeles P.T. Political Action Committee Advocacy Chair, and CPTA Delegate to the APTA House of Delegates.

Dr. Moncada is passionate about grassroots advocacy and regularly attends CPTA Physical Therapy Legislative Day in Sacramento and APTA Federal Advocacy Forum in Washington DC. 

Education
DPT, Western University, 2014
MSPT, Boston University, 2003
BS, Louisiana State University, 1995                              

Professional Organization Memberships
Member, American Physical Therapy Association
Member, California Physical Therapy Association-Greater Los Angeles District
Member, Home Health Section American Physical Therapy Association
Member, Private Practice Section American Physical Therapy Association
Member, Education Section American Physical Therapy Association
Member, Cardiopulmonary Section American Physical Therapy Association
Member, Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy Section American Physical Therapy Association
Member, Clinical Electrophysiology and Wound Management Section American Physical Therapy Association

Want more Information about a program?

Please correct error(s) below

By clicking above, I consent to receive calls and/or text messages* by a university representative with information for educational opportunities at the number(s) provided above. I understand calls may be initiated by an automated telephone dialing system. I need not grant this consent to receive information or to be eligible to enroll with WCU. I also understand that if I no longer wish to receive text messages from WCU, I can text back "Stop" at any time to unsubscribe from the service. *Standard rates may apply.

Request Information
Scroll to the top