Program Director, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
During the past 20 years, Dr. Ben Herz has held numerous positions in private practice and served on the faculty of institutions with respected occupational therapy programs. Before coming to Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, he served as associate professor and program director at Georgia Health Sciences University, where he treated clients in the Movement Disorder Clinic and devised unique therapeutic strategies for patients with Parkinson’s disease using the Wii and WiiFit game systems. He has lectured on using virtual reality and gaming as a therapeutic intervention in rehabilitation. Herz is also recognized as an invited national speaker in the area of Parkinson’s disease and occupational therapy. He has extensive experience in orthopedic and industrial injuries as well. Herz is treasurer for the American Occupational Therapy Association. He previously served that organization as research and educational liaison for the administration and management special interest section. Herz earned his doctor of occupational therapy at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and his master of business administration from Averett University in Danville. In addition to his education at Averett, Herz’s ties to Virginia include positions at Jefferson College of Health Sciences and clinical and private business experience around the state.
Allison Ellington, MS, OTR/L
Director of Clinical Education, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Allison Ellington has joined the Murphy Deming team as the Director of Clinical Education for the Occupational Therapy Program. Ms. Ellington brings several years of clinical experience — primarily in adult neurological rehabilitation to the new college. She earned a master of science in occupational therapy from Ithaca College, and holds advanced clinical certification in Neuro-Integrative Functional Rehabilitation and Habilitation and certification through the American Occupational Therapy Organization as a fieldwork educator. While working at the University of Virginia HealthSouth, Ellington served as a fieldwork educator and assisted the occupational therapy fieldwork coordinator in scheduling and policy development. She is actively engaged in research on the use of virtual reality in stroke rehabilitation. She is also certified in Functional Independence Measure and has been trained with rehabilitation technology systems such as Bioness H-200 and ReoGo.
Lisa Burns, PhD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor, Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Dr. Burns completed her Ph.D. in Human Development (interdisciplinary approach, with specialization in higher education) from Marywood University in Scranton, PA in 2013. While in that program she received the William G. McGowan Medal for Excellence in Doctoral Studies. She has been a practicing OT for more than 20 years, twelve of those as OT Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at University of Scranton. She has taught several OT courses, has been active in numerous professional organizations and presented nationally and regionally on teaching and learning theory and practice in Occupational Therapy.
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.