In recognition of more than 37 years of distinguished teaching, research, and leadership, Dr. Carol Oatis, professor of Physical Therapy, has been named Professor Emerita. Dr. Oatis joined Beaver College as an adjunct professor in 1982, advanced to full-time status in 1991, and earned tenure in 1994.
Since her first physical therapy appointment on the Arthritis Service of Southern California’s Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in 1973, Dr. Oatis has focused her research on knee osteoarthritis and functional performance. Drawing from her clinical experience in arthritis treatment and expertise in biomechanics and kinesiology, Dr. Oatis has researched, presented, and published on topics ranging from knee joint stiffness to total knee replacement (TKR) therapies.
Since 2017, Dr. Oatis has served as a co-principal investigator for a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded project examining physical therapy practices for TKR. With collaborators from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Oatis is investigating the characteristics of intervention and patient history that contribute to positive functional outcomes following TKR.
Dr. Oatis’ roles have spanned from acting director of the Human Motion Analysis Laboratory at Penn to co-founder and director of the Philadelphia Institute for Physical Therapy. A long-time member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), Dr. Oatis has served on local and national committees to enhance physical therapy curriculum and research. She was president of ARHP in 2005, received the organization’s Master Educator Award in 2012, and was named a Master of ARHP in 2018.
At Arcadia, Dr. Oatis served on and chaired Faculty Council and was a member of the Promotion and Tenure, Faculty Compensation, Graduate Academic Programs, Finance, and Benefits committees. Her biomechanics and kinesiology courses—combined with her teaching experiences at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine—prompted her to publish Kinesiology: The Mechanics and Pathomechanics of Human Movement, a highly regarded textbook in the field.
Dr. Oatis earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from Marquette University and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Biomechanics from Penn. She’s received several recognitions for her teaching and service, including the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994 and the Lloyd M. Abernathy Faculty Outstanding Service Award in 2011.