Dr. Janelle O'Connell

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Dr. Janelle O’Connell holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University in physical education with a concentration in athletic training, a Master of Arts degree in exercise physiology from Kent State University and her Ph.D. in health promotion and disease prevention from the University of Toledo. She received her MPT and transitional DPT from Hardin-Simmons University.

O’Connell serves as a journal reviewer for Physical Therapy and an accreditation site reviewer for the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) and the Southern Accreditation of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Her research has focused on health behavior, spirituality, and adherence to physical therapy/exercise programs, trust, health promotion and disease prevention. Selected publications can be found in: Diabetes Educator, Health Education Quarterly, and Journal of School Health, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Patient Education and Counseling, Perceptual and Motor Skills and Psychological Reports.

She is a member of the APTA, TPTA, and the National Athletic Trainers Association. In 2001, she received the Arete Award given by the Abilene Education Council for “civic and moral excellence.” In 2009, she received the William R. Gould Memorial Outstanding Physical Therapy Faculty Member Award from the Texas Physical Therapy Association. She has been a certified Athletic Trainer since 1978 and is licensed to practice Athletic Training in the State of Texas. She is certified as an Exercise Expert for Aging Adults (CEEAA).

“Dr. J” is actively involved in the HSU PT Ministries program that she co-founded with Dr. Dennis O’Connell in 2000. Since its inception, more than 300 students have participated in mission trips and community service in Mexico, Guatemala, South Texas, and the Abilene community. Along with Dr. Marsha Rutland, they coordinate numerous continuing education workshops for physical therapists, occupational therapists and athletic trainers. O’Connell holds an adjunct teaching appointment with Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

PHYT 7101 Orientation to the Physical Therapy Profession
PHYT 7281 Critical Inquiry I
PHYT 7229 Clinical Diagnosis and Management VI: Integumentary
PHYT 7185 Professional Projects II
PHYT 7186 Professional Projects III
PHYT 7283 Critical Inquiry III
PHYT 7102 Professional Development

  • A Princeton Review Best Western College  
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities  
  • Center for Student Opportunity: Promoting a College-Bound Culture  
  • US News Best Colleges  
  • The Chronicle on Higher Education, Great Colleges to Work For: 2011  
  • Military Friendly  
  • Colleges of Distinction  
  • University and College Accountability Network