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 outpatient orthopedic clinics for over 10 years prior to coming to Gordon.
She completed a two-year fellowship in Orthopedic Manual Therapy in 2006. Clinically, she enjoys treating orthopedic issues in the aging adult, including lumbar, hip and knee osteoarthritis, and balance issues in older populations. She received a Certificate of Competency in Basic Vestibular Rehabilitation from the American Physical Therapy Association’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Competency-Based Course at Emory University in 2018. Since joining the CBMW, she now enjoys treating patients with vestibular disorders, post-concussion syndrome or mTBI, and patients with gait and balance disorders.
Heather 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. Heather enjoys cross-country skiing in the winter and is a road bicycling enthusiast for the rest of the year. She has been a Pan-Mass Challenge rider since 2018.
Kevin Kinnard, PT, DPT
Kevin is a 2011 graduate from the 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.
Rachel Nelson, PT, DPT
Rachel graduated from Simmons College in 2012 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Health Sciences and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014. During her clinical experience, Rachel was able to travel across the country to Texas and California to broaden her experience and exposure to varying client demographics. Prior to coming to Gordon College, Rachel worked as a staff physical therapist at Lowell General Hospital for five years where she was involved in the Safe Patient Handling and Intensive Care Unit boards. Rachel enjoyed her time in the inpatient setting working with patients with various neurological, cardiovascular, and medically complex diagnoses, however she wanted to concentrate on furthering her education and experience within vestibular and balance rehabilitation, which brought her to the Center for Balance, Mobility, and Wellness. In her free time, Rachel enjoys running and hiking with her husband and rescue dog, Pearl.
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.
Meredith Conroy, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist: Student
Meredith graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Immediately following her undergraduate degree, she began her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree at MGH Institute of Health Professions where she graduated in January of 2020. Prior to coming to Gordon College CBMW, Meredith completed clinical work in a variety of settings including Portsmouth Regional Hospital, MGH and Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown. Meredith is interested in multiple facets of Physical Therapy but plans to focus her career primarily in neurological rehabilitation. She has a particular interest in brain injury and neurodegenerative disease, which is supported by her passion for helping patients reach their personal goals and maintain an active and independent lifestyle. In her spare time, Meredith enjoys running, hiking, painting, crafting, and relaxing with her dog, Ocho.
Andrew Walker, BS, ACE-CPT, SFS
Center Wellness Director
Andrew received his Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology from Gordon College in 2001. Upon graduation, he began his career at Orthopaedics Plus as an exercise physiologist where he assisted clients recovering from orthopedic and spinal injuries, joint replacement and other orthopedic surgeries. In 2003, Andrew became nationally certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (NCCA accredited) and has trained a variety of clients from high school age through the older adult population.
In 2007 Andrew began his management career, first as the Director of Health and Wellness at the Greater Beverly YMCA. In 2013 Andrew took on oversite of both Membership and Health and Wellness Departments at the YMCA. In mid-2014 Andrew added leadership of disease prevention initiatives to his role. In mid-2015, Andrew took on his next opportunity as the Branch Executive Director for a brand new YMCA in Exeter, NH. In the fall of 2017, Andrew was pleased to return to his alma mater as the center Wellness Director. In his role, Andrew leads wellness operations at the Center including membership, community outreach, student development, marketing, program development/design and patient transition from therapy to wellness.
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!"
Cara Hamilton, BS
Wellness Coach/Wellness Coordinator
Cara earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston in May 2016. During her college career, she developed a passion for fitness. This led to the pursuit of her personal training certification through the American College of Sports Medicine. As Cara became more involved in regular physical activity, she learned how important it is to maintain both physical and mental health.
During her college career, Cara participated in a meaningful internship that sparked her interest in the wellness field. While working at a boutique-style gym, Cara was able to connect with members of many different backgrounds, which boosted her desire for working within a wellness facility. Additionally, Cara enjoyed encouraging members to push themselves beyond what they thought they could do as she helped them reach their wellness goals. She believes there is something special about being able to create meaningful relationships with those seeking to pursue their health and wellness goals.
Following her graduation from college, Cara felt a strong pull to help others in meaningful and educational ways. This led to the beginning of her professional career at Seem Prep, a high school designed specifically for special education. During her time at Seem Prep, she found that guiding and teaching others is something she is deeply passionate about. As a result of her strong passion for helping others, Cara looks forward to connecting with CBMW members and patients as she helps them achieve their health and wellness goals.
Along with working out in the gym, Cara enjoys nature walks and anything else related to the outdoors. Growing up in Wenham, Cara is familiar and appreciative of all the beauty surrounding the north shore. She enjoys being on the local beaches throughout the summer and walking Appleton Farm during the cooler months. Over the last five years, exercise has been a large part of Cara's life and she can’t imagine a life without it. Cara is very excited to be at the Gordon College Center for Balance, Mobility and Wellness.
Jennifer Bradford, BA, W.I.T.S.- CPT
Wellness Coach/Certified Personal Trainer
Jen is passionate about working with people, sports and exercising. She graduated from Springfield College with a BA and played 4 years on the Women’s Lacrosse team. Jen’s first experience with Gordon was 25 years ago as she helped start the women’s lacrosse program. She is excited to see how well the program is doing today!
In 2013 Jen became a certified Personal Fitness Trainer through nationally recognized World’s Instructor Training School (WITS). She works in private one on one, two on one training sessions in addition to small group specialty training. She is a certified Senior Fit (AAHF), Mat Pilates (SCW, ACE) and Tai Chi instructor.
Jen desires to help her clients to make the most out of every session and strives to help her clients achieve their fitness & wellness goals. She is a compassionate trainer and looks to see the whole person; spirit, mind and body. Jen will provide her clients with guidance and support in developing and maintaining a more physically active lifestyle. She will help improve function and will explore interesting physical activity options to optimize health, function, and fitness.
Jen lives in Beverly with her husband, Rob and their three young adult children; Taylor, Riley, Colby and their favorite pup Chewy! Jen is grateful to live in a beautiful area where she can enjoy the outdoors with her family, friends and dog!
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.
Jennifer graduated from Gordon College in 1989 with a Bachelors in Science focusing on Exercise Physiology along with a minor in Psychology. She worked for several years for the North Shore Education Consortium followed by a few years working at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. For the past 20 years, she was a stay at home mom raising her three children before joining the staff at the front desk in January of 2018. She thoroughly enjoys the patients and the environment at the CBMW.
Jennifer has lived in the North Shore since graduating college and currently lives in Topsfield with her husband, children and beloved dog.
Marcia graduated from Marian Court College in 1991 with a degree in the Administrative Assistant program. She worked for an ophthalmology practice for eleven years. Prior to that she was a bank teller for two local banks. For the past fifteen years she has been a stay-at-home mom, formerly on ministry staff for a local church and currently in the catering field with Vinwood Catering. She joined the front office staff of CBMW in August of 2018. She is blessed to be part of a team that cares deeply for the patients and provides a welcoming atmosphere to all who enter the Center.
Marcia grew up in Saugus and resides in Ipswich with her husband Steve and their four children.