Sean Clark, Ph.D.
Center and Research Director
Chair of the Department of Kinesiology
Dr. Clark joined the kinesiology faculty at Gordon College in 2000 and teaches courses that focus on the neurophysiological and mechanical basis of human movement. He also serves as the Academic and Research Director for the Gordon College Center for Balance Mobility and Wellness.
Dr. Clark's research interests focus broadly on the coordination and multisensory control of posture and orientation. His most recent research projects have examined the use of balance assessment tools to quantify postural stability in both athletes and older adults. Dr. Clark's current research interests are in developing effective treatment strategies to improve functional balance performance in older adults.
Marie Lucey, PT, GCS
Center Clinical Director
Marie is a 1984 graduate of Simmons College with post-graduate coursework at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Marie is the Clinical Director for the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness and was instrumental in the development of the Center in 2003 and its growth to the present. Prior to coming to Gordon College, Marie worked as a senior therapist in the Balance Center at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. She has completed extensive coursework in Vestibular Rehabilitation including the Basic and Advanced Vestibular Competency Courses at Emory University. She has co-authored a chapter on vestibular function in Netter's Neurology, published by ICON Learning Systems. Most recently, Marie has advanced her clinical expertise by becoming board certified as a Geriatric Clinical Specialist by the American Physical Therapy Association. Marie brings her passion for wellness to the Center and to each of her clients empowering them to achieve their personal goals through healthy aging.
Emily A.W. Righter, PT, DPT, GCS
Center Clinical Manager
Emily Righter, PT, DPT, GCS received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2008. In 2011, she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston where. Emily joined the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness as a full-time therapist in 2010 following a one-year internship. Emily has since expanded her role to Clinical Manager and now serves as a mentor and leader at the Center.
Emily enjoys treating patients with gait and balance impairments and vestibular disorders, recovery from concussions and other injuries and in helping patients improve functional mobility and independence. She has given educational lectures to area physical therapists and other health professionals on vestibular rehabilitation after concussions. Emily has completed extended coursework in vestibular rehabilitation and received her Certificate of Competency in Basic and Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation and Cervicogenic Dizziness from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course. Most recently, Emily advanced her education and specialization by becoming a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy through the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
In addition to working at the Balance Center, Emily works per diem as a lab instructor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in both the classroom and their Physical Therapy Center for Clinical Education and Health Promotion. Additionally, she is on the executive board of the American Physical Therapy Association of Massachusetts Geriatric Special Interest Group.
Alison Stallings, MSPT
Alison graduated from Gordon College in 1994 with a B.S. in Movement Science. She attended graduate school at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell where she received a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 1996.
Alison joined the staff at the Center for Balance Mobility and Wellness in November of 2010. She has experience working in a variety of clinical settings including inpatient rehabilitation, acute care, home care and skilled nursing facility.
Her physical therapy interests include neurological, vestibular, gait and balance rehabilitation. She has completed extensive coursework in vestibular rehabilitation including receiving a Certificate of Competency in Vestibular Rehabilitation from Susan Herdman’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course at Emory University. She has also completed certification for LSVT Big therapy for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. She facilitates an exercise group for people with Parkinson’s disease offered annually at the Balance Center.
In addition to working at the Center, Alison works as a per diem physical therapist in an acute rehabilitation hospital. She has a loving husband and four children. Her family breeds Cocker Spaniel dogs and they are animal lovers. In her free time, she likes to exercise and scrapbook.
McKenzie DiStefano, PT, DPT
McKenzie Garvey PT, DPT has been a full-time staff physical therapist at the Center since 2013. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Gordon College in 2009 where she completed an internship at the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness. During her internship at the Center, she developed and co-instructed a balance class designed to decrease fall risk. She continued on to graduate studies at Sacred Heart University where she received a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2013.
McKenzie has concentrated her physical therapy practice in vestibular, neurological, balance and concussion rehabilitation. Prior to joining the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness she completed a clinical rotation at the Balance and Concussion Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Jersey where she specialized in evaluating and treating patients with vestibular, balance and post-concussion impairments.
Heather Lewis, MSPT
Heather graduated from Ithaca College in 1998 with a Bachelor's Degree in Clinical Science, and in 1999 with a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy.
Heather joined the staff at the Center for Balance Mobility and Wellness in February of 2017. She has experience working in a variety of clinical settings including skilled nursing facilities, homecare, and acute care for surgical, cardiac, and general medical. She worked in an outpatient orthopedic setting for 10 years prior to coming to Gordon.
Her physical therapy interests include orthopedic issues in the aging adult, including chronic low back pain, as well as gait and balance disorders. She has completed a two-year fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Therapy. She is enrolled to attend Susan Herdman's Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course at Emory University in March 2018.
In addition to working at the Center, Heather works as a per diem physical therapist in homecare. She has a loving husband and two children. Heather was a rower in college and after college at a club on the Charles River in Cambridge. Since having kids, Heather enjoys cross-country skiing in the winter and exploring the back roads of Massachusetts on her bicycle in the summer.
Kevin Kinnard, PT, DPT
Kevin is a 2011 graduate from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and minor in Psychology. In 2015, he earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Northeastern University. Prior to coming to Gordon College, Kevin worked as a staff physical therapist at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in Braintree, MA and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he worked with patients with various neurological, cardiovascular, and orthopedic disorders and injuries. Kevin has focused his physical therapy practice in neurological, vestibular, and balance rehabilitation, while guiding patients to meet their personal goals, maintain their independence, and prevent falls. In his free time, Kevin enjoys playing baseball, softball, and hockey, fishing and hiking with his dog, Winnie.
Jessica Turner, PT, DPT
Jessica Turner graduated with the class of 2009 from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Spanish and International Health. She then went on to study at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2013.
Prior to joining the staff at CBMW, Jessica worked in the inpatient rehabilitation and orthopedic outpatient settings where she began to develop her interest in treating the balance and dizziness patient population. She joined the CBMW team in August 2017 and is now concentrating her physical therapy practice and continuing education in vestibular and balance rehabilitation.
Charity Trombley, MSPT
Charity Trombley PT, MSPT received her Bachelor of Science in Movement Science from Gordon College in 2003. She continued on to graduate studies at the University of Rhode Island where she received a Master of Science in Physical Therapy (MSPT) in 2006.
Charity has concentrated her physical therapy practice in vestibular, orthopedic, neurological and balance rehabilitation. She worked in both outpatient orthopedics and subacute rehabilitation prior to joining our team at the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness in 2008. She has completed extensive coursework in vestibular rehabilitation and has received a certificate of competency in vestibular rehabilitation after completing coursework and exams at Susan Herdman's Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course at Emory University.
Elisabeth Whitley, PT, DPT
Elisabeth (Lissa) received her Bachelor of Science in Movement Science from Gordon College in 2001 with a minor in music. She continued her education at MGH Institute of Health Professions and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2004.
Lissa joined the CBMW in 2005 and was involved in the initial development of the wellness program and exercise classes for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. She has been a guest speaker at local support groups for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and their caregivers. She has completed continuing education courses in vestibular rehabilitation, geriatric strength training and movement disorders. She feels it is such a privilege to work with patients to meet their goals and continue or advance their regular physical activity for healthy aging.
Prior to joining the staff at the CBMW, Lissa worked at Children’s Hospital Boston in inpatient and outpatient clinics and in a local outpatient orthopedic setting. She continued as a per diem therapist at Children’s for 12 years prior to having her 4th child. She currently works per diem at the CBMW in order to be home and keep up with those sweet kids.
Kristen Weiler, PT/s
Kristen is an intern from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at MGH Institute of Health Professions completing her final year-long internship at Gordon College's Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness. She completed her undergraduate degree at Villanova University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her previous clinical affiliations took place at Brigham and Women’s Outpatient in Boston, MA and University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, VT. Kristen is enjoying gaining experience treating vestibular, balance, and concussion populations.
Andrew Walker, BS, ACE-CPT
Center Wellness Director
Andrew received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Gordon College in 2001 after completing an internship at Orthopedics Plus, a private practice physical therapy clinic. Upon graduation, he was hired as an exercise physiologist for Orthopedics Plus. Here he had the privilege of rehabilitating spinal injuries, sports injuries, joint replacements, pre-surgical candidates, post-operative patients as well as those with pathology of upper and lower extremities. In order to expand his knowledge base and skill set, he became nationally certified by the American Council on Exercise (NCCA accredited) in 2003 as a personal trainer. He trained clients at Gordon College’s Bennett Center for three years, while continuing at Orthopedics Plus.
In 2007 Andrew began his management career, first as the Director of Health and Wellness at the Greater Beverly YMCA. In 2013 Andrew was promoted to oversee both Membership and Health and Wellness Departments at the YMCA. In mid-2014 Andrew expanded his role, leading disease prevention initiatives for the YMCA in addition to overseeing operational pieces of wellness and membership. In mid-2015, Andrew had the opportunity to take on a Branch Executive Director role for a brand new YMCA in Exeter, NH. Here he led a team of Professional Directors, and program staff, designed programming and services for all ages based on community need, participated in community wellness efforts and ensured a fiscally solvent beginning for the Exeter Area YMCA. In the early fall of 2017, Andrew had the privilege of returning to his alma mater as he joined the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness. Andrew leads wellness operations at the Center including membership, community outreach, student development, marketing, program development/design and patient transition from therapy to wellness in his role as Wellness Director.
Throughout his career, Andrew has had the opportunity to create and present training in-services and learn by doing seminars for wellness professionals and personal trainers, has mentored high school, college and graduate school students, interns, personal trainers, Wellness Directors, Membership leaders and young professionals, and has continued his own study through ongoing nationally recognized NCCA-accredited continuing education providers.
His professional interests include strength and conditioning throughout the lifespan, geriatric health and well being, community wellness, sports specific conditioning, group and individual program design, and wellness education. Andrew's personal interests include strength and conditioning, hiking, sailing, camping, reading, traveling, house projects and spending time with his wife and twin daughters.
"Exercise is medicine and with the right types in the right doses can bring about powerful change to your body at any age in the quest to reach your goals!"
Ross Ackley, BA, FAFS
Ross joined the Fitness staff of the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness in 2013 and was named the Fitness Manager of the Center in January 2014. His professional background includes experience in the areas of rehabilitation, injury prevention and personal training.
Ross completed his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from St. Lawrence University in 2001 and was soon thereafter gifted the opportunity to launch his career in the health and fitness field in western Mass. at an outpatient PT clinic in his hometown. He earned his credential as a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) with the Gray Institute in 2012 and subsequently served as a program Facilitator in 2015, studying under physical therapists Gary Gray and David Tiberio as well as a highly trained team of faculty/mentors. Ross completed comprehensive coursework for Pilates teacher training through Balanced Body University in 2008 and more recently participated in Brookline Tai Chi’s “Tai Chi For Healthy Aging” workshop, based on the principles of the evidence-based Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance program used in health and fitness facilities nationwide. In 2017, Ross attended FallProof! instructor training at the Center for Successful Aging, led by motor control and balance research scientist Dr. Debra J. Rose and based on the campus of California State University – Fullerton.
As the Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness strives to be a resource for premier active aging programming on the North Shore, Ross is proud to be part of an expert and dedicated staff. Ross is prepared to guide our members and clients through a full range of membership options, training needs and class offerings, whether for post-rehabilitation training or for everyday functional and fulfilling living. His holistic approach to wellness lends itself to a training style which aims to create an environment of success for each individual and which broadens the scope of each person’s comfort, confidence, and performance potential.
Dede graduated from Boston University in 1985 with a degree in French and business administration. She and her husband worked for 15 years in Christian ministry in France and Quebec and here on the North Shore. She spent five years in Christian publishing and most recently she and her husband, Kelly, owned and operated a small gym in Swampscott, Massachusetts.
Beth Ann Sperr
Beth Ann graduated from Barrington College in Barrington, RI in 1985, just prior to the merger with Gordon College, with a degree in Business Administration. She has worked extensively on the North Shore working in the financial and medical fields. The majority of her medical administrative experience has been in ophthalmology and psychotherapy. She joined the CBMW staff in October of 2015 and is happy to be working at the front desk, greeting and getting to know all the wonderful patients at the Center.
Beth Ann is a native to this area, growing up in Wenham. She has lived in Beverly all her adult life with her husband and daughter.