Arcadia University Names Dean of Health Sciences, Chair of Physical Therapy

By Purnell T. Cropper | July 18, 2014

Arcadia University has announced that Rebecca Craik, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has been named dean for its College of Health Sciences, and Philip McClure, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has been named chair of its Department of Physical Therapy. The two have a combined total of more than 36 years of service to Arcadia University in faculty and leadership positions.

“Dr. Craik and Dr. McClure have demonstrated sustained excellence to Arcadia students, to the physical therapy field, and to the University,” said Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, president of Arcadia University. “Their scholarly outputs are prodigious, and their pedagogical strategies help prepare students for success in the fast-changing and evolutionary field of physical therapy. Arcadia is fortunate to welcome both Dr. Craik and Dr. McClure to these leadership positions.”

Dr. Craik

Dr. Craik succeeds founding dean Dr. Archie J. Vomachka, who is retiring after 26 years of service to Arcadia University. Dr. Craik joined the physical therapy faculty in 1983 and was named chair of the department in 1993. Her appointment is effective September 1, 2014.

During Dr. Craik’s tenure as chair, the Department of Physical Therapy has grown in faculty and student numbers, developed one of the nation’s first Doctor of Physical Therapy degree programs, created an innovative non-traditional curriculum, and gained a national reputation for excellence. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia’s PT program #14 in the nation and second in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Craik has been influential across Arcadia’s campus as a faculty advocate through her service on major committees such as Promotion and Tenure and Faculty Council. She is co-principal investigator on a multi-site research project funded by the National Institute of Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve recovery following hip fracture in older adults.

Dr. Craik also serves as editor-in-chief of Physical Therapy, the official publication of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She has published extensively in journals including Orthotics and Prosthetics, Experimental Brain Research, American Journal of Public Health, and Issues on Aging, and has contributed chapters to more than 10 books. Dr. Craik also co-chaired a Blue Ribbon Panel for the NIH to investigate the state of medical rehabilitation at the NIH in 2012 and currently serves on a search committee for the director of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, NIH.

Among the awards and recognition Dr. Craik has earned are the APTA’s Catherine Worthingham Fellow, the highest level of recognition in the profession; the Mary McMillan Lecture Award from the APTA; the Charles Magistro Distinguished Service Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy; the Duke University Distinguished Alumni Award; and the Arcadia University Professor of the Year Award.

Dr. Craik earned a bachelor’s degree at Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree at Duke University, and a doctorate at Temple University. She serves as grant reviewer of the research office of the Food and Health Bureau, Hong Kong; as consulting editor for the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy; and as a member of the APTA Portal Development Task Force.

“I have worked alongside Dr. Craik for many years, and she has proven to be an extraordinary colleague and a brilliant member of the physical therapy department,” said Dr. Barbara Nodine, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Arcadia University. “She is most deserving of this appointment, and I am eager to see how she advances the College of Health Sciences as we educate students in health care delivery, which is rapidly changing and evolving.”

Dr. McClure

Dr. Phil McClure Dr. Philip McClure has been named chair of the University’s Department of Physical Therapy.

A professor of Physical Therapy who joined Arcadia in 1998, Dr. McClure has directed the University’s highly successful transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program for 14 years. He has developed an international reputation for his expertise in shoulder function. His research is in the structure and function of the shoulder, and his goal is to prevent shoulder injury and to develop interventions to optimize shoulder function after injury.

This month, Dr. McClure was awarded a four-year grant worth $1.9 million from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the NIH. He will serve as co-investigator to study shoulder muscle activation patterns in patients with rotator cuff tendinopathy, as well as the effects of both pain and exercise on these patterns. In total, Dr. McClure has helped secure or has worked on projects that have garnered more than $4 million in funding. His active research laboratory includes a funded faculty member from Rutgers University, a postdoctoral fellow from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, two funded students working on their doctoral dissertation projects, and multiple entry-level physical therapist students.

Dr. McClure has earned several national professional awards, including selection as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in highly regarded clinical and scientific journals and has presented research nationally and internationally on more than 100 occasions. At Arcadia’s Graduate Commencement in 2014, he was awarded the inaugural Michael L. Berger Faculty Scholars and Artists Prize for pioneering work as a faculty member.

Dr. McClure chairs the Shoulder Guideline Panel of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA and is an editorial board member for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy. In addition, he chairs the Faculty Council at Arcadia. Dr. McClure earned a bachelor’s degree at Temple University, a master’s degree at Medical College of Virginia, and a doctorate at Drexel University.

“Dr. McClure is of the scholar-teacher model and a thought leader in the PT profession,” said Dr. Vomachka. “Not only is he a leader in the classroom and a mentor to students and faculty alike, but he is a sought-after expert in the industry.”