Faculty Affiliates

Faculty Affiliates

Sara T. Pappa, Ph.D., MCHES
Assistant Professor, Project Manager, NV Falls Prevention Alliance Coordinator, Marymount University
Email: saratpappa@gmail.com
Phone: 703-908-7711

Dr. Sara Pappa, a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), is an Assistant Professor in the Health and Human Performance Department. She holds a BS in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Cincinnati, an MA in Exercise Physiology from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati. In addition to teaching, she manages the regional falls prevention initiative, including the Northern Virginia Falls Prevention Alliance. This work is supported by a federal grant from the Administration for Community Living. Current research initiatives include evidence-based falls prevention programs for older adults and the professional preparation of health educators. Dr. Pappa is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Arthritis and Falls Prevention Coalition and a Board member of the Arlington Neighborhood Village. In previous roles, she worked in local public health departments in Fairfax County and Ohio. She has extensive experience in managing public health projects at the local, regional, and state levels. Her experience includes implementing and evaluating health promotion programs and policies; conducting community health needs assessments; developing and evaluating community health improvement plans; media outreach and public relations; grant research, writing, and administration; coalition development and leadership; and strategic planning.

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Faculty Affiliates

Julie D. Ries, PT, Ph.D.
Fellow, Marymount University Center for Optimal Aging
Professor of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy Department, School of Health Sciences, College of Health & Education
Email: jries@marymount.edu
Phone: 703-284-5983

Julie Ries has been on faculty at Marymount’s Physical Therapy program since its inception. She has extensive PT clinical experience in acute care, home care, and neurological rehabilitation. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in rehabilitation for individuals with dementia and is active in research with this population. She has presented numerous continuing education courses and invited lectures on topics related to rehab for older adults with dementia. The Malek School of Health Professions has recognized Dr. Ries for her excellence in teaching with the MSHP Faculty Teaching Award in 2003, 2006, and 2014 and for her outstanding research endeavors with the MSHP Faculty Scholarship Award in 2010 and 2019. She received the 2010 Excellence in Geriatric Research Award, a national award presented by the APTA’s Section on Geriatrics, for her research on clinical outcome measures for individuals with Alzheimer’s.

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Faculty Affiliates

Cathy S. Elrod, PT, PhD
Professor of Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy Department
School of Health Sciences
College of Health & Education
703-284-5984 (o)

Cathy Elrod has been on faculty at Marymount University’s Physical Therapy program since 1997. Her clinical expertise is in the management of the medically complex patient. She has worked with older adults in large trauma hospitals, home health care, and hospice. Through funding from federal grants, she became a Master Trainer for two evidence-based falls prevention programs (EBFPPs), A Matter of Balance (MOB) and Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL), and has been integrating them into the Northern Virginia region. She has presented regionally and nationally on her work on implementing EBFPPs within the community. The Malek School of Health Professions has recognized Dr. Elrod for her excellence in teaching with the MSHP Faculty Teaching Award in 2007 and 2013 and for her research with the MSHP Outstanding Scholarship Award in 2017.

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Faculty AffiliatesEric Bubar
Associate Professor, Engineering,
Email: eric.bubar@marymount.edu

Eric has a formal degree in Applied Physics with a research concentration in Stellar Astrophysics. He uses these general research skills to develop open-source solutions for individuals needing assistive technologies using hobbyist microcontrollers, electronics, and 3D printing/design. Through this work, Eric has collaborated with individuals worldwide (primarily through eNABLE and the Alliance for Project-Based Learning Solutions) to create and deploy upper limb assistive devices that provide some of the functionality offered by prosthetic limbs in situations where medically validated devices are unavailable. Through his research lab at Marymount University, he continuously works on creating solutions to problems as diverse as adapting devices to allow children with limb differences to play musical instruments to create tools to aid police officers with rehabilitation exercises. Most recently, Eric has brought a virtual reality development lab to the university with his design of virtual reality STEM-themed escape rooms and work with the Marymount Center for Optimal Aging to create gamified rehabilitation/exercise experiences and simulations, allowing the practice of ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).

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