Faculty and Staff

Kathleen McGinn, PT, DPT, M. Ed.

Physical Therapist Assistant Program Chair

Teaches: PTA 103, PTA 134, PTA 139, PTA 112, and PTA 201

Kathleen M. McGinn, PT, DPT, M.Ed., LCMT has been a core faculty member in MWCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program since it began in 1995. Dr. McGinn has over 34 years of teaching experience at the associate degree level and 37 years of clinical practice in physical therapy. As Program Director and primary instructional faculty member she ensures continuity of academic progression throughout the PTA courses/program. Dr. McGinn received a Baccalaureate Degree in Physical Therapy (PT) from Quinnipiac University in 1985, a Masters Degree in Health Education from Worcester State University in 1988, and most recently earned her Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from Simmons College while teaching and working in the field of physical therapy.

Dr. McGinn holds Massachusetts State licensure in both PT and massage therapy (certification in massage therapy from Bancroft School of Massage in 2001). Her 37 years of clinical experience includes practice in the areas of acute care, orthopedics, pediatric and adult pulmonology, and the integration of PT and massage therapy into her private bodywork practice. Dr. McGinn regularly attends and presents continuing education seminars and workshops and is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association’s National and Massachusetts Chapters.

Dr. McGinn currently provides instruction in a variety of Physical Therapist Assisting courses.


Jacqueline J. Shakar, DPT MS ATC CMT OCS

PTA Program Professor

Teaches: PTA 104, PTA 105, PTA 108, PTA 113, PTA 117

Jacqueline J. Shakar, DPT MS ATC CMT, has over 22 years of teaching and 27 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist. Shakar earned her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy (PT) from Boston University in 1983. She recently completed her DPT at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions, May 2010. She is licensed as a PT, Athletic Trainer and Massage Therapist in the state of Massachusetts (MA PT licensure since 1983). Her clinical experience includes acute care, home health, and sports medicine but her primary focus has been in education, orthopedics, biomechanics and private practice administration. She became certified as a massage therapist in 2001 from the Bancroft School of Massage Therapy, Worcester MA.

Shakar’s teaching experience has primarily been in anatomy and kinesiology, orthopedics and clinical management. She has taught at the associate degree level for the past 22 years. She has taken extensive continuing education coursework to foster her development in these areas. Shakar has developed and served as a course instructor for several workshops including Extremity Joint Mobilization, Strain/Counterstrain, the Pelvic Girdle and, Functional Footwear.

Prior to her teaching career, Shakar successfully started and managed a private practice with seven employees and has served as a physical therapist assistant (PTA) program director at two institutions of higher education. Shakar is a member of the American Physical Therapist Association, its Massachusetts Chapter and Orthopedic Section.


Jennifer Gentile, PTA, BA

Physical Therapist Assistant Program ACCE

Teaches: PTA 120, PTA 121, PTA 116, PTA 119

Ms. Gentile is an alumnus of the Mount Wachusett Community College PTA Program, graduating in 2012. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Framingham State University in 2004. Since becoming a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in 2012, she has practiced as a PTA in Skilled Nursing Facilities treating a variety of patients and long-term care residents with varying diagnoses, including post-operative, cardiac, pulmonary, post-amputee, CVA, TBI, Parkinson’s and high fall risk patients to name a few.

In 2016, Ms. Gentile became a Clinical Instructor and was able to mentor PTA students from MWCC. Her appreciation for teaching and guiding the PTA students in the clinic led her to becoming a Lab Assistant for the PTA Program at MWCC in 2017 and eventually her current ACCE position in 2019. As the MWCC PTA Program’s ACCE, she oversees the PTA students Clinical Education, from the classroom and Integrated Clinical Experiences during their first year, to providing support and expertise when they are on their clinical practicums to help them become entry level practitioners. Ms. Gentile completed the APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor Program and became a Credential Clinical Instructor in March 2021.