Kyle Coffey, Exercise Physiology, Physical Therapy
“Professors allowed for an academic distance that required me to develop skills on my own.”
After Kyle Coffey graduated in May 2010, he passed the board exam in July and landed a new job in August. This fast track to success — and a career he loves in physical therapy — was his reward for years of hard work.
Today, he works both as a physical therapist at Elliot Health Systems in Manchester, N.H. and as a lecturer and exercise physiology program director at UMass Lowell.
Little did he know when he was a student that he’d be back at his alma mater as a faculty member.
“Teaching has been an exciting and rewarding experience,” says Coffey. “The students are enthusiastic and engaging and challenge my thought processes just as much as I challenge them. Research questions and ideas that I am currently exploring have stemmed from insightful questions from my students.”
Coffey says he had great teachers and wants to give back to his students the same level of critical-thinking skills that have allowed him to be successful.
“When I was a student, the faculty challenged me to be the best student possible so that when I entered the real world, I was prepared to become the most professional physical therapist out there,” he says.
“Professors allowed for an academic distance that required me to develop skills on my own,” says Coffey, who earned both a doctorate of physical therapy degree and a bachelor of science degree in exercise physiology from UMass Lowell.
Since physical therapists are in high demand in the job market, students tend to have a variety of employment options after graduation, including positions in hospitals, outpatient clinics and private offices.