Lisa Donegan Shoaf, PT, DPT, PhD

Program Director, Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

Dr. Lisa Shoaf came to Mary Baldwin University after 20 years on faculty at the Department of Physical Therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Shoaf taught ethics, professionalism, and orthopedic practice within the Department of Physical Therapy, as well as anatomy and kinesiology in the Department of Dance and Choreography. While at VCU, Shoaf conducted research, ran the Clinical Education program, maintained a clinical practice, and participated in the transition of VCU’s physical therapy program from an entry-level master’s degree to an entry-level doctoral degree. Shoaf served as president of the Virginia Physical Therapy Association from 2006–08 and has been active in the American Physical Therapy Association and the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy. A former dancer, Shoaf is enthusiastic about finding ways to channel her passion to help others prevent and heal performance-related injuries.

Gail M.Tarleton, PT, DPT, OCS

Director of Clinical Education, Physical Therapy
Assistant Professor

Dr. Gail Tarleton joins Mary Baldwin University with 24 years of diverse clinical experience working in a variety of settings, with a primary focus in orthopedics and industrial medicine. She is a certified Orthopedic Specialist and has been an adjunct faculty member at MDCHS since 2015. Dr. Tarleton received a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Plymouth State University in 1988. She graduated with honors from the University of Vermont with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1993 and obtained her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Utica College in 2014. Dr. Tarleton has worked with a wide variety of athletes with a focus on runners and running form, orthotics, post-surgical rehabilitation and industrial medicine. She has a strong interest in community health and fitness.


Keith Bishop, PhD, PT, ATC

Clinical Anatomist
Associate Professor

Keith Bishop brings a wealth of clinical experience in the areas of anatomy, neuroanatomy, pathophysiology, and cellular science to the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.

Prior to joining the Murphy Deming team, Bishop served as an active duty Air Force officer for 21 years. After earning a master of science in athletic training from Brigham Young University and a certificate of physical therapy from Cleveland State University, he performed various clinical roles for the Air Force throughout the world, including at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. That same year, Bishop also began working as an assistant professor of biology at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He earned a PhD in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University.



Bess Maxwell, PhD, PT

Physical Therapy Faculty
Assistant Professor

Dr. Maxwell received a Master’s Degree in Physical Education with a specialization in Exercise Physiology from Ball State University, a second Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine, and a PhD from University of Arizona in Animal Physiology/Exercise Physiology. She has been a practicing physical therapist for over fifteen years with a specialty in geriatrics and in fitness for individuals with life-long disability. She is an expert in aquatic therapy, presenting nationally on all aspects of this intervention technique and receiving over 2 million dollars in grants to support aquatic therapy initiatives.

She has published a number of research articles as well as training materials. Dr. Maxwell will complement the DPT program as our Applied Scientist. She is scheduled to teach Exercise Physiology, Anatomy and Physiology labs and Kinesiology courses along with supporting students in gaining aquatic therapeutic competencies.


Marty Fontenot, PT, DPT, OCS, SCS

Physical Therapy Faculty
Assistant Professor

Dr. Marty Fontenot received his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2006 from the University of Delaware, where he also completed a one year sports residency following graduation. He comes to Mary Baldwin University from the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at South University in Richmond, VA. In addition to his teaching experience, Dr. Fontenot, has a strong clinical background and is a certified Orthopedic and Sports Clinical Specialist, thus bringing a highly sought out specialty in orthopedics and sports medicine to the program. Dr. Fontenot has a published textbook chapter, a publication in Orthopaedic Practice as well as a number of national and regional presentations. He will be teaching the Musculoskeletal course content in the DPT program.



Ann Tuzson, PT, PhD

Physical Therapy Faculty
Assistant Professor

Dr. Ann Tuzson received her BS in Physical Therapy in 1997 from University of Illinois and went on to complete a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. In 2008 she finished a doctorate in Kinesiology also at UVA. Currently, as well as during her master and doctoral studies, Dr. Tuzson practices as a physical therapist at the University of Virginia Medical Center in acute care. She is also a Certified Early Intervention Professional and works part time at Albemarle Therapy Center. Dr. Tuzson has taught at UVA (graduate assistant) and Hampton University and MDCHS as an adjunct faculty member. She has two publications and has presented nationally. In addition to teaching at MDCHS, she will coordinate the Human Movement Laboratory.


Carolyn Moore, PT, DPT, MHS

Physical Therapy Faculty
Associate Professor

Dr. Carolyn Moore joined MDCHS after serving as Director of the PTA Program at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN for the last 6 years. Prior to that position she was in the Pediatric Neuro-rehabilitation Department of the University of Michigan Health Systems (U of M) for twenty years and a part of the Pediatric/Adolescent Traumatic Brain Injury Team. In addition, she served for five years as the supervisor of Outpatient Therapies at the U of M. She received her PT degree at the University Of Texas School Of Allied Health Sciences, her Masters of Health Sciences at University of Indianapolis, Krannert School of Physical Therapy, and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She has held numerous professional and community service positions and has been involved in international service learning.


Deborah S. Diaz, PT, PhD

Physical Therapy Faculty
Associate Professor

Dr. Diaz earned a BS in Physical Therapy from California State University, Long Beach, a Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in Instructional Systems Technology also from California State University, Long Beach, and a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Diaz practiced physical therapy for 10 years at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, specializing in Spinal Cord Injury, and also served patients on the Adult Neurology Service and Post-Polio Clinic.
Dr. Diaz has been faculty at Chapman University in Orange, CA and Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Diaz’ area of expertise is neurology. Her teaching responsibilities here at MDCHS beyond the adult neurologic track include research, evidence based practice, normal and pathological gait analysis and physical therapist as educator.
Dr. Diaz has served as DPT Program Director at The University of Texas at El Paso and Co-Chair of the DPT Program at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. Dr. Diaz decided to return to her “first love” teaching and research and is thrilled to assume a senior faculty role in the DPT program at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.
We are in the process of hiring additional faculty and staff — we expect a team of more than 30 professionals supporting our programs when at full capacity.  Potential faculty members are encouraged to reference our website for current employment searches.