Skip navigation

Kinesiology Students, Faculty Receive Awards at Conference

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 09:42am | By: Hanna Knowles

A student and faculty member from the School of Kinesiology at The University of Southern Mississippi were honored at the American Kinesiotherapy Association's 69th annual conference in New Orleans Nov. 18-21.

Ty Bryant, a senior majoring in kinesiology with a kinesiotherapy emphasis, was awarded the Lou Montalvano Memorial Scholarship. Jerry Purvis, a kinesiotherapy faculty member, received the Warren C. Smith Award.

“This has special meaning to me as Warren Smith was one of the most prominent leaders in the discipline of kinesiotherapy, and a friend and mentor to me throughout my career,” said Purvis.

Bryant chose the kinesiotherapy major because she enjoys helping others and making a difference. “During my first three years of college, I had a high interest in working with amputees, but within this last semester I have stimulated an interest in working with heart and spinal cord injury patients as well,” Bryant said.

Purvis was president of the American Kinesiotherapy Association (AKTA) from 1984-1985, and has served as the coordinator for the council on professional standards for kinesiotherapy since 1987. “The council manages the professional credentials of the profession with specific emphasis on issues relative to academic accreditation, professional registration, and continuing competency,” he said.

After retiring from the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Indianapolis in 1999, Purvis has led the kinesiotherapy program at Southern Miss.

“The most rewarding part of my job is engaging with the students in the classroom as they master their academic curriculum and develop the clinical skills essential for graduation and subsequent successful employment as kinesiotherapists,” said Purvis.

The Lou Montalvano Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one kinesiotherapy student per year that shows academic excellence, displays exceptional promise as a clinician and educator, expresses definite intentions to pursue certification and a career in kinesiotherapy, and shows potential for professional leadership. The Warren C. Smith Award is a competitive award presented to an individual who has devoted a number of years to the AKTA, and demonstrates superior dedication to the profession. 

For information about the Southern Miss School of Kinesiology, visit