Meet the Program Directors

American International College’s (AIC) academically rich health science programs are put together and led by our very talented program directors. Each director brings a deep well of knowledge and experience in their respective fields to our AIC classrooms.

Tracy Brudvig, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

Director and Professor of Physical Therapy

Tracy Brudvig earned her Master’s in Physical Therapy from the Army Baylor Program and went onto serve as an Army physical therapist in a variety of clinical and educational positions for 20 years. Upon retiring from the Army in 1999, Dr. Brudvig entered academia. She earned her PhD in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Brudvig has nearly 40 years of experience as a physical therapist, including 20 years as a physical therapy educator.

Prior to assuming the Director of the Division of Physical Therapy, Dr. Brudvig held a variety of academic positions and taught a variety of courses at the graduate level. She also held various positions in the American Physical Therapy Association both at the state and national levels.

Ellen Furman, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC

Director of Nursing

Dr. Furman’s tenure at AIC began as undergraduate faculty in 2012, transitioned to Associate Director of Graduate Nursing in 2013, and interim Director of Nursing in 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr. Furman has practiced nursing across the continuum of care. Her population of interest is older adults and she is a board-certified gerontological clinical nurse specialist. Her research interest is in the anorexia of aging. She has presented her research at local, regional, and national conferences.

She has taught undergraduate Pharmacology and Nursing Research and graduate- level Nursing Research, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Health Assessment, Professional Writing in Nursing as well as nursing education and nursing leadership courses.

Dr. Furman’s educational philosophy is that she is a partner with students leading toward successful learning outcomes. She especially enjoys working with students in nursing care quality improvement, integrating evidence-based practice, and dissemination of results.

Frederick Hooven, PhD

Director and Associate Professor of Public Health

Dr. Hooven joined the faculty at AIC in the fall of 2013 after over ten years as an epidemiologist on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. At UMass, Dr. Hooven directed a six-year, international cohort study focusing on osteoporosis and risk factors for fracture in post-menopausal women, and also served as Director of Research for the Massachusetts Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, which addressed barriers to working for people with disabilities.

Dr. Hooven has taught in the Determinants of Health sequence for second year medical students at UMass, in the public health program for University of Massachusetts Amherst, and evidence-based practice in the Bay Path College physician assistant program and the American International College Doctoral Physical Therapy program (DPT). In addition to his academic experience, Dr. Hooven worked for several years in managed care administration and prior to that, in health policy for the Massachusetts Medicaid program.

At AIC, Dr. Hooven is directing the undergraduate public health major, teaching courses within public health, and continuing to teach in the DPT program. His research interests include fracture risk factors, osteoporosis, and teaching evidence-based practice.

Susan Lachowski, PhD, CSCS

Director of Exercise Science

Dr. Lachowski joined AIC in the summer of 2016 as the new Director of the Division of Exercise Science in the School of Health Sciences. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in the Exercise Science/Sports Medicine, Exercise Physiology, and Strength and Conditioning fields. Dr. Lachowski’s specialty focuses on blood flow restriction training and rehabilitation, muscular physiology, ergonomics/biomechanics, and environmental physiology. She has presented research at the state, regional, and national levels. Dr. Lachowski certifies students and professionals in the BFR modality, along with BLS and First Aid certifications via the AHA. Her teaching experience in higher education encompasses a wide variety of topics in exercise science, biology, and physiology at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Dr. Lachowski has developed all academic and departmental requirements for the students and faculty of the Division of Exercise Science at AIC. She has created the BS and MS curriculums in accordance with the highest national standards in the respective fields. Dr. Lachowski has also developed and designed a state-of-the-art Human Performance Laboratory where faculty and students combine theory to practice.  Lastly, Dr. Lachowski is establishing new interdepartmental collaborations for faculty and students along with strategies where the Exercise Science Department can engage in community outreach.

Patricia Meyers OTD, OTR/L

Director and Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Meyers’ journey into academia began in 2013 at AIC, as a full time faculty member in the occupational therapy department and she has served as interim Director of the Division of Occupational Therapy since 2019. Dr. Meyers received a BS in Occupational Therapy from Boston University and a Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her areas of instruction in the subjects of kinesiology, introduction to occupational therapy, management, adaptive technology and adult physical disabilities reflect her interest in the history, philosophy and current research the profession. Her clinical experience incorporated interprofessional collaboration, which she believes has positively influenced her practical application in the classroom. This experience has also contributed to her interest in interprofessional education (IPE) as a component of student curriculum. Expanded to assistive technology, where occupational therapy and engineering students have collaborated on project designs has resulted in a United States Patent. Her interest and research in IPE has led to local, national and international presentations related to this subject matter.

She has extensive clinical experience in the area of outpatient occupational therapy treating clients with acute and chronic upper extremity orthopedic, neuromuscular and cumulative trauma disorders. She has specialized in industrial rehabilitation and industrial and office ergonomics. Her interest in program development and curriculum design intersect with her belief in providing quality and meaningful educational experiences where students are participatory and supported throughout their academic endeavors.

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