Upstate Medical University presented 16 awards at its fall convocation Sept. 16. The President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, College of Health Professions, was given to Kevin Neville. Below is his biography, as it appears in the convocation program.
By Stephanie DeJoseph
Kevin Neville has been a highly respected member of the Department of Physical Therapy Education faculty for the past 12 years. His expertise in acute care physical therapy, especially in the area of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation, is unparalleled.
Originally recruited from the clinical side of Upstate, he is one of only 218 Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Clinical Specialists (CCS) nationwide. It is clear evidence of his successful teaching ability that, year after year, graduates of the program score well above the national mean on the cardiopulmonary portion of the physical therapy licensing exam. Students praise his ability to make complicated principles understandable. He provides them with supportive learning experiences in an unfamiliar clinical environment, the critical care unit.
In the first year of the DPT curriculum, he lays the foundation for the decision-making skills that are essential for contemporary practice. “Very interesting class,” “shows patience in responding to student questions ” and “he gives 100% each day to his students and the profession” were a few student comments.
His leadership in the use of emerging technology has put the program on the cutting edge for physical therapy students. He was an early adopter of a sophisticated simulation mannequin that increases student engagement. He is developing further plans for the mannequin to enhance the skills of practicing physical therapy working in critical care units. “Kevin Neville is clearly an innovative educator with a strong commitment to student learning,” said a nominator.
He ignites a spark in his students to learn. When one student was wrestling with whether she chose the right field, Mr. Neville encouraged her to go on her first clinical round with an open mind. “He saw something in me that I didn’t. I found my passion, and eventually my job, in acute care. It’s been three years. Having Kevin’s confidence and hearing his words have always stuck with me. He was so much more than a teacher,” expressed a former student.
He is known for his teaching of practicing physical therapists, particularly related to the impact of medications on physical therapy plans of care and treatment sessions as well as parameters for mobilizing patients in critical care units. “He is a passionate teacher who displays a high level of professionalism, while using strategies to facilitate interaction and a sense of humor to promote learning,” commented a student. He has also presented his work on authentic learning experiences at regional, state and national presentations.
Serving on a wide range of college and university committees, including the departmental Curriculum and Integrated Standardized Patient Examination (ISPE) committees, he also chairs the College of Health Professions Academic Affairs Committee. He organizes recruitment events for local schools and is highly involved in admissions efforts. He is the “go to” person for potential applicants who have questions and is involved in “Shadow Days,” for these students who are exploring career options. He is a prolific author, holds memberships in many scientific and professional organizations and is a strong community citizen.
Mr. Neville received a BS degree from the College of the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1988. He obtained an MS in physical therapy from Columbia University in 1991. A lifelong learner, he is nearing the completion of a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Upstate Medical University.