Walsh Announces New School of Behavioral and Health Sciences


School News

Appoints Dr. Pamela Ritzline as Dean, Dr. Penny Bove as Associate Dean

Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume is pleased to announce the establishment of the University’s fifth comprehensive School with the formation of the new School of Behavioral and Health Sciences.

Pamela Ritzline, PT, Ed.D., former Chair of the Health Sciences Division, will serve as the School’s new Dean. In addition, Penny Bove, Ph.D., former Chair of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has been appointed Associate Dean. The School of Behavioral and Health Sciences will join the already established DeVille School of Business, Byers School of Nursing, School for Professional Studies and the School of Arts and Sciences at Walsh University.

"The new School of Behavioral and Health Sciences will serve to enhance an already superior group of programs," said Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume. "By establishing a formal School, we will be able to better train and educate students who will provide critical skills to regional providers and their clients."

The School of Behavioral and Health Sciences will house the Division of Health Sciences and the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, which together will offer 10 undergraduate majors, three minors, and three graduate majors including the Doctor of Physical Therapy and master’s programs in Counseling and Human Development and Occupational Therapy.

Graduate Programs:

Undergraduate Majors:


The mission of the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences is to provide high quality innovative educational programs which foster academic excellence rooted in scholarship and evidence based practices. Academic excellence embodies critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, life-long learning and an orientation to interdisciplinary and global learning. The School will challenge students in the academic programs to examine their personal values and respect the uniqueness, human dignity and cultural backgrounds of all people. Students will become leaders in service who demonstrate ethical and professional behaviors and advocate for the rights, health and welfare of all human beings.  

Dr. Pamela Ritzline Named as Dean

An accomplished professional with 40 years of experience in the fields of physical therapy and higher education, Dr. Pamela Ritzline joined Walsh University in 2014 as the Chair of the newly created Health Sciences Division. As Division Chair, Dr. Ritzline provided oversight to Walsh’s Health Science programs including Physical Therapy, Exercise Science and the development of the Occupational Therapy program.

Dr. Ritzline joined Walsh from The University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center where she served as Director of Post-Professional Programs and taught in the entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and post-professional programs. She began her career as a PT Clinician in Houston, Texas, before joining the faculty of the University of Indianapolis in 1995.  Throughout her academic tenure, she has served in multiple academic roles, including the Program Director of a physical therapist assistant program, Program Director of Post-Professional Programs, Interim Dean, Interim Associate Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and full-time tenured faculty member in an entry-level DPT program. 

She earned her Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Indianapolis and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University. In addition, she completed the Academic Leadership Academy, a year-long educational opportunity for current and aspiring academic leaders, at Penn State University. In 2012, she helped to co-develop, launch and facilitate a specialized workshop series for new PT faculty members titled Physical Therapy: From Clinic to Classroom.

Dr. Ritzline also serves professionally as a Commissioner for The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Additionally, she served on the Educational Awards Committee for APTA and has held the positions of Chapter President and Delegate in Indiana and Chief Delegate in Tennessee.

Dr. Penny Bove Named Associate Dean

With nearly 40 years of professional experience in the health care and higher education fields, Dr. Penny Bove brings an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of applied sociology. A licensed social worker, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master of Science in Community Health and Health Administration, a Master of Arts in Counseling and Human Development, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction for Health/Patient Education. She has worked in the health care/higher education fields since 1978 as a patient educator, administrator, consultant and sociology professor.   

During her tenure at Walsh, Dr. Bove has overseen the growth of the Sociology and Psychology majors and the coordination of the joint BA/MA undergraduate Behavioral Science and graduate Counseling and Human Development programs.

She has been instrumental in Walsh’s Global Learning programs in Uganda including the Ziika Microfinance Program and counseling services in Gulu, where graduate faculty and students are involved in training local employees in the Diocese of Gulu to provide grief counseling and conflict resolution to this war-torn region. Since 2007, in southern Uganda, Dr. Bove has helped to direct Walsh undergraduate students and faculty in cultural immersion experiences. In 2010, she helped to establish a service project which provides monetary loans to women in the Ziika Village so that they can establish their own sustainable businesses. 

In 2014, she was also involved in the founding and launch of the Blouin Leaders in Social Justice, a three year, service-based program open to residential and commuter students who have a passion for helping others.

Dr. Bove is a 1991-1992 recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities - Literature in Medicine Institute with Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Hiram College. Her 1998 sabbatical project focused on researching and writing a manuscript on children's rights, relationships, and resiliency. She was a 2014-2015 Finalist for the David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service to honor outstanding work in service-learning and/or civic engagement by a faculty member at an Ohio Campus Compact member institution. Her professional interests include health behaviors/practices, family studies, thanatology and bereavement.