Jeff Sullivan, Ph.D., ATC, CES

Dean, College of Health Sciences
Professor of Kinesiology

After graduating from PLNU, Dr. Jeff Sullivan became a certified athletic trainer, then taught at San Jose State and Oregon State before returning to his alma mater, where he has taught since 2003. His expertise is in pathology to the shoulder and cervical spine. Sullivan previously directed the Athletic Training Education Program for eight years at PLNU, guiding it through a 10-year accreditation cycle. He has also served as an athletic trainer at PLNU and Stanford University with football, men’s basketball, track and field, cross country, men’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s tennis. Sullivan has been undergraduate department chair of kinesiology since 2008. In 2015, he developed the Master of Science in Kinesiology program, and now serves as the Dean of the College of Health Sciences at the Balboa Regional Center.


  • Ph.D., Exercise and Sport Science, Oregon State University
  • M.A., Human Performance, Athletic Training, San Jose State University
  • B.A., Athletic Training, Point Loma Nazarene University

Courses Taught

  • Assessment of Head, Spinal, and Upper Extremity Pathology – ATR 388
  • Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation – ATR 410
  • Introduction to Athletic Training – KIN 280
  • Foundations in Kinesiology – KIN 600

Experience in Field

  • Sullivan’s research focuses largely on gaining an enhanced understanding of neural aspects of human performance, such as proprioception and neuromuscular control, as they mediate human shoulder stability and are affected by injury.
  • Sullivan has recently branched into evidence-based practice research, studying health-related outcomes from a patient’s perspective (i.e., pain, function, disability, and quality of life). 
  • He is looking specifically at outcomes from postoperative shoulder patients on quality of life issues, pain, disability, and degree of satisfaction with shoulder surgery. Sullivan is also curious about return to play issues and rehabilitation of mild traumatic brain injury.

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • (2008). Shoulder Joint Position Sense After Thermal, Open and Arthroscopic Capsulorrhaphy for Recurrent Anterior Instability. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery.
  • (2007). The Influence of Glenohumeral Stabilization Technique on Joint Position Sense and Neuromuscular Control in Patients with Recurrent Anterior Instability. Poster presentation, National Athletic Trainers’ Association Clinical Symposium.
  • (2005). Comparison of Joint Position Sense, Strength, Functional Ability and Patient Satisfaction After Thermal, Open, and Arthroscopic Glenohumeral Capsulorrhaphy. Journal of Athletic Training 40(2).
  • (2004). The Effects of Gender and Limb Dominance on Critical Tracking Tasks Measuring Neuromuscular Control of the Shoulder. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise.